Black History Month: Here’s What To Stream On Netflix

From emotional to inspiring, there's something for everyone

Black History Month Netflix Shows Top Boy

by Charlotte Roberts |
Updated on

October marks Black History Month in the United Kingdom, and with that comes a whole host of celebratory and inspiring TV to watch. From biopics to concerts, dramas to comedies, streaming giant Netflix has an abundance of movies and series to watch this Black History Month.

With several titles available to stream now, viewers can watch Michaela Coel show her talents in Black Earth Rising, witness the overwhelming talents of some Beyoncé with Homecoming, or get adrenaline pumping with some Top Boy. And who says Black history is only for October? With this list, your Sunday night streaming sessions will be sorted for the foreseeable.

On Netflix, there's truly something for everyone - with films based on true stories (Barry) to horror films that you’ll need to the leave the lights on for (His House). So, here’s the best of what to stream on Netflix to celebrate Black History Month in 2023.


What To Watch on Netflix For Black History Month

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CREDIT: Netflix

Oprah + Viola (2022)

Screen legend Oprah sits down with actress Viola Davis for an intimate discussion about her memoir, her childhood, her experience of discrimination, and her incredible career journey. The most Oscar-nominated Black female in history, get to know the Viola on a much deeper level.

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CREDIT: Netflix

Two Distant Strangers (2011)

Two Distant Strangers is a necessary watch, delving into the struggle of living as a Black person in America. Inspired by George Floyd’s murder, this Academy Award winning film tells the story of a Black graphic designer who finds himself trapped in a time loop that always ends with death, following his encounter with a white NYPD officer.

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CREDIT: Netflix

Rocks (2020)

Olushola (or 'Rocks', as her friends know her) is forced to provide for her younger sibling after being abandoned by her mother. Heartbreaking and life-affirming, this coming of age film explores what it’s like to be a working-class teen growing up in inner-city London, carrying the weight of the world

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CREDIT: Netflix

Homecoming: A Film by Beyonce (2019)

Written, produced, and directed by Queen B herself, this concert film delves into Beyonce’s Coachella performance. The first Black woman to headline the Coachella Music Festival, fans are treated to footage of her stellar performances, as well as an in-depth look at her creative process. Is there ever a bad time for some Bey?

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CREDIT: Netflix

Monster (2018)

Inspired by Walter Dean Myers’ book, Monster follows the story of Steve Harmon – a 17-year-old honor student who finds himself fasley charged with murder. Shedding light on America’s flawed justice system, Monster tackles themes like peer pressure, Black identity, and masculinity.

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CREDIT: Netflix

Dear White People (2017)

As college radio host Samantha White leads the outcry over a blackface party on campus, a revelation about her love life sees her forced into an awkward spot. Following a group of Black students at a mostly white elite university, it’s an interesting portrayal of race relations and Black identity. With Four Volumes on Netflix with 10 episodes each, it’s a good one to keep going throughout the entire month.

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CREDIT: Netflix

Fatherhood (2021)

A heartwarming and emotional watch with just the right amount of funny sprinkled in, Fatherhood sees Kevin Hart star as a widower taking on one of the toughest jobs in the world: fatherhood. The story is based on the memoir of Matt Logelin – a white man – but the decision to cast Kevin Hart and Deborah Ayorinde highlights the horrific rate of Black maternal mortality that’s taking place across the globe.

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CREDIT: Netflix

Becoming (2020)

Inspired by Michelle Obama’s memoir of the same name, Becoming follows the former First Lady’s incredible 34-city book tour, including behind the scenes of her travels and what it means to work in the White House. It’s filled with plenty of heartfelt moments.

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CREDIT: Netflix

Top Boy (2011)

With a brand new season having just dropped, this is the perfect time to delve into Netflix's Top Boy. This drama explores the tensions between the drug gangs that operate in the housing estates of East London. It follows Dushane and Sully, two brothers determined to continue their legacy, as the younger children on the estate find themselves drawn into drugs, crime, and violence. Inspired by a Channel 4 show, fans can also watch Top Boy: Summerhouse on Netflix too. Whilst Netflix’s Top Boy is, in many ways, an entirely different show, the Summerhouse edition can help add some backstory and context.

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CREDIT: Netflix

13th (2016)

The documentary’s title refers to the 13th Amendment to the US Constitution, which abolished slavery in 1865. Nominated for an Academy Award, filmmaker Ava DuVernay explores issues of race, justice and mass incarceration by talking to scholars, activists, and politicians. Tracing a damning line between slavery and mass incarceration, 13th analyses exactly why the prison system disproportionately affects people of colour.

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CREDIT: Netflix

The Boy Who Harnessed The Wind (2019)

Based on a true story, The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind sees 13-year-old William Kamkwamba thrown out of school after his family are no longer able to afford the fees. Determined to continue his education, the teen sneaks into the library and teaches himself how to build a windmill - saving his village from a famine in the process.

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CREDIT: Netflix

American Son (2019)

When their mixed race teenage son suddenly goes missing, an estranged interracial couple is forced to reunite at a Florida Police station in an attempt to bring him home safely – only for racial injustice and prejudice to get in the way.

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CREDIT: Netflix

Barry (2016)

Focusing on the inspiring story of America’s first Black president, Barry sees Devon Terrell star as Barack Obama. Set during his time at Colombia University, the movie follows the 20-year-old future president struggle to balance his studies with his personal life and connect with his classmates.

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CREDIT: Netflix

Black Earth Rising (2018)

In Black Earth Rising, Michaela Coel plays Kate Ashby. Adopted by a human rights attorney after the Rwandan genocide, Kate has grown up in Britain with her adoptive mother Eve. Following in her mother’s footsteps, Kate takes on a job as a legal investigator – but when she takes on a case prosecuting an African Militia leader, she finds her life suddenly turned upside down as she’s left confronting her past.

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CREDIT: Netflix

Self Made: Inspired by the Life of Madam C.J. Walker (2020)

One of Netflix’s limited series being championed over Black History Month, Self Made follows the inspiring true story of how one African-American washerwoman rose from poverty to build a beauty empire that took over the world – making her the first female self-made millionaire. Starring the likes of Octavia Spencer and Tiffany Haddish, it’s an emotional and inspiring feel-good film.

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CREDIT: Netflix

His House

Horror fans, this one's for you. His House follows a refugee couple from South Sudan as they attempt to start over in an English town, only to be tormented by an evil force in their new home. On Netflix from 30 October

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