The Color Purple
This tremendous adaptation of the best-selling Alice Walker novel won the Golden Globe award for Best Drama of 1985. Celia is a young woman who comes of age under an umbrella of horrible bigotry and abuse. She dreams of one day returning to her heritage lands in Africa to be reunited with her sister, but lives a life of unimaginable tragedy. The magical cast includes Whoopie Goldberg, Danny Glover, and Oprah Winfrey. One of the best black movies of all time.
This is a historically accurate ancient war movie retelling of the Battle of Fort Wagner during the American Civil War. It featured the formation and rough exploits of the 54th Massachusetts Voluntary Infantry, the first African-American regiment officially recognized by the US. Brilliant roles played by Denzel Washington, Morgan Freeman, Jihmi Kennedy, and Andre Braugher highlight one of the proudest moments in Black, or any other people’s histories.
Diary of a Mad Black Woman
Tyler Perry’s stage-to-screen magnum opus introduced the world to Madea, an eccentric and humor-filled grandmother who possesses a penchant for discipline and family values. Her “chirens” are the light of her life, but they drive her crazy. The movie has a few weak and patronizing moments, but remains unique in the library of black cast movies.
This unsuccessful collision of a classic genie tale and 90s “gangsta” life features Shaq in his prime—for basketball, that is. A young boy is faced with the decision to join a gang, or make steps to locating is absent father. Instead of growing into a culturally pertinent adventure, the movie quickly takes a u-turn into a painfully awkward hip-hop flop. As far as 90s teen movies go, this was as bad as it gets.
This movie is definitely one of the most uninteresting, and box office refund-worthy, black comedy experiments that should have been scrapped. Chris Rock attempts to morph one of his forgotten HBO comedy roles into a legitimate super hero movie. From opening to closing credits, the film is nothing more than political rants, raunchy quips, unintelligible one-liners, and pervasive examples of the worst urban black culture behavior.