The Definitive List Of African Diaspora Documentaries!

by AfrocentricFilmsCollaborative | created - 14 Jun 2018 | updated - 5 months ago | Public

Here is an amazing collection of Black/African documentaries!

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1. Eyes on the Prize (1987–1990)

TV-PG | 360 min | Documentary, History

A documentary about the American Civil Rights Movement from 1952 to 1965.

Stars: Julian Bond, Unita Blackwell, James Hicks, Burke Marshall

Votes: 457

2. The Black Panthers: Vanguard of the Revolution (2015)

Not Rated | 115 min | Documentary, History

79 Metascore

This documentary tells the rise and fall of the Black Panther Party, one of the 20th century's most alluring and controversial organizations that captivated the world's attention for nearly 50 years.

Director: Stanley Nelson | Stars: Blair Anderson, Omar Barbour, Julian Bond, Elaine Brown

Votes: 1,573 | Gross: $0.48M

3. What Happened, Miss Simone? (2015)

Not Rated | 101 min | Documentary, Biography, Music

75 Metascore

A documentary about the life and legend Nina Simone, an American singer, pianist, and civil rights activist labeled the "High Priestess of Soul."

Director: Liz Garbus | Stars: Nina Simone, Lisa Simone Kelly, Roger Nupie, Al Schackman

Votes: 10,563

4. I Am Not Your Negro (2016)

PG-13 | 93 min | Documentary

95 Metascore

Writer James Baldwin tells the story of race in modern America with his unfinished novel, Remember This House.

Director: Raoul Peck | Stars: Samuel L. Jackson, James Baldwin, Martin Luther King, Malcolm X

Votes: 14,576 | Gross: $7.12M

5. The Black Power Mixtape 1967-1975 (2011)

Not Rated | 100 min | Documentary, History

73 Metascore

Footage shot by a group of Swedish journalists documenting the Black Power Movement in the United States is edited together by a contemporary Swedish filmmaker.

Director: Göran Olsson | Stars: Angela Davis, Stokely Carmichael, Bobby Seale, Abiodun Oyewole

Votes: 1,683 | Gross: $0.26M

6. The Central Park Five (2012)

Not Rated | 119 min | Documentary, Crime, History

79 Metascore

A documentary that examines the 1989 case of five black and Latino teenagers who were convicted of raping a white woman in Central Park. After having spent between 6 and 13 years each in prison, a serial rapist confessed to the crime.

Directors: Ken Burns, Sarah Burns, David McMahon | Stars: Antron McCray, Kevin Richardson, Kharey Wise, Raymond Santana

Votes: 6,418 | Gross: $0.27M

7. Living in Emergency (2008)

Unrated | 120 min | Documentary

76 Metascore

In the war-zones of Liberia and Congo, four volunteers with Doctors Without Borders struggle to provide emergency medical care under extreme conditions.

Director: Mark N. Hopkins | Stars: Tom Krueger, Chris Brasher, Chiara Lepora, Davinder Gill

Votes: 1,016 | Gross: $0.03M

8. The Interrupters (2011)

Unrated | 125 min | Documentary, Crime

86 Metascore

A year in the life of a city grappling with urban violence.

Director: Steve James | Stars: Tio Hardiman, Ameena Matthews, Toya Batey, Cobe Williams

Votes: 3,343 | Gross: $0.28M

9. Soul Power (2008)

PG-13 | 92 min | Documentary, Music

76 Metascore

A filmed account of the Zaire 74 soul music festival, originally intended to be in concert with the famous Rumble in the Jungle bout in Kinshasa, Zaire in 1974.

Director: Jeffrey Kusama-Hinte | Stars: Muhammad Ali, James Brown, Don King, Afrisa

Votes: 726 | Gross: $0.21M

10. The Murder of Fred Hampton (1971)

Not Rated | 88 min | Documentary, Biography, Crime

86 Metascore

Fred Hampton was the leader of the Illinois Chapter of the Black Panther Party. This film depicts his brutal murder by the Chicago police and its subsequent investigation, but also ... See full summary »

Director: Howard Alk | Stars: Skip Andrew, Edward Carmody, James Davis, Rennie Davis

Votes: 208

11. Amandla! A Revolution in Four Part Harmony (2002)

PG-13 | 108 min | Documentary, History, Music

78 Metascore

Interviews, archival footage, and filmed performances highlight the role of music in the South African struggle against apartheid.

Director: Lee Hirsch | Stars: Abdullah Ibrahim, Duma Ka Ndlovu, Vusi Mahlasela, Walter Cronkite

Votes: 548 | Gross: $0.40M

12. Maya Angelou and Still I Rise (2016)

Not Rated | 114 min | Documentary, Biography, History

66 Metascore

The first feature documentary about the remarkable writer, poet, actress, activist Maya Angelou.

Directors: Bob Hercules, Rita Coburn Whack | Stars: Cicely Tyson, Guy Johnson, Diahann Carroll, Don Martin

Votes: 416

13. Buena Vista Social Club (1999)

G | 105 min | Documentary, Music

81 Metascore

Aging Cuban musicians whose talents had been virtually forgotten following Castro's takeover of Cuba, are brought out of retirement by Ry Cooder, who travelled to Havana in order to bring the musicians together, resulting in triumphant performances of extraordinary music, and resurrecting the musicians' careers.

Director: Wim Wenders | Stars: Compay Segundo, Ibrahim Ferrer, Rubén González, Octavio Calderon

Votes: 15,603 | Gross: $7.00M

14. Thelonious Monk: Straight, No Chaser (1988)

PG-13 | 90 min | Documentary, Biography, Music

A documentary film about the life of pianist and jazz great Thelonious Sphere Monk. Features live performances by Monk and his band, and interviews with friends and family about the offbeat genius.

Director: Charlotte Zwerin | Stars: Thelonious Monk, John Coltrane, Jimmy Cleveland, Harry Colomby

Votes: 907 | Gross: $0.52M

15. Beats, Rhymes & Life: The Travels of A Tribe Called Quest (2011)

R | 97 min | Documentary, Music

76 Metascore

Michael Rapaport documents the inner workings and behind the scenes drama that follows this innovative and influential band to this day.

Director: Michael Rapaport | Stars: Q-Tip, Phife Dawg, Ali Shaheed Muhammad, Jarobi White

Votes: 3,297 | Gross: $1.20M

16. Mama Africa (2011)

90 min | Documentary, Biography, Music

Documentary about Miriam Makeba.

Director: Mika Kaurismäki | Stars: Miriam Makeba, Bageot Bah, Harry Belafonte, Stokely Carmichael

Votes: 253 | Gross: $0.01M

17. Dark Girls (2011)

Not Rated | 71 min | Documentary

Documentary exploring the deep-seated biases and attitudes about skin color---particularly dark skinned women, outside of and within the Black American culture.

Directors: D. Channsin Berry, Bill Duke | Stars: Soren Baker, Ronald Boutelle, Joni Bovill, Kirk Bovill

Votes: 479

18. Good Hair (2009)

PG-13 | 96 min | Documentary, Comedy

72 Metascore

Chris Rock explores the wonders of African-American hairstyles.

Director: Jeff Stilson | Stars: Chris Rock, Maya Angelou, Al Sharpton, Tanya Crumel

Votes: 5,294 | Gross: $4.16M

19. Tango Negro: The African Roots of Tango (2013)

93 min | Documentary

Tango Negro, The African Roots of Tango by Angolan filmmaker Dom Pedro explores the expression of Tango's Africanness and the contribution of African cultures in the creation of the tango. ... See full summary »

Director: Dom Pedro | Star: Juan Carlos Cáceres

Votes: 9

20. They Are We (2014)

Not Rated | 77 min | Documentary, History

Can a family separated by the transatlantic slave trade sing and dance its way back together? In Perico, Cuba is an Afro-Cuban group that has kept alive songs and dances brought aboard a ... See full summary »

Director: Emma Christopher | Stars: Joe Allie, Lucy Amara, Cuco Casanova, Emma Christopher

Votes: 15

21. Favela Rising (2005)

TV-14 | 80 min | Documentary

65 Metascore

A man emerges from the slums of Rio to lead the nonviolent cultural movement known as Afro-reggae.

Directors: Matt Mochary, Jeff Zimbalist | Stars: Andre Luis Azevedo, José Júnior, Michele Moraes, Anderson Sa

Votes: 619

22. Black in Latin America (2011)

In a style similar to "Wonders of the African World", Skip Gates will travel to places in Latin America where Africa has touched the continent with lasting cultural results to explore what happens when African and Hispanic worlds meet.

Votes: 48

23. Atlântico Negro - Na Rota dos Orixás (1998)

54 min | Documentary

Documentary about the African influence on Brazilian religiosity.

Director: Renato Barbieri | Star: Gésio Amadeu

Votes: 18

25. The Language You Cry In (1998)

Not Rated | 53 min | Documentary, History

THE LANGUAGE YOU CRY IN tells an amazing scholarly detective story that searches for, and finds meaningful links between African Americans and their ancestral past. It bridges hundreds of ... See full summary »

Directors: Angel Serrano, Alvaro Toepke | Star: Vertamae Grosvenor

Votes: 19

26. The African Americans: Many Rivers to Cross with Henry Louis Gates, Jr. (2013)

TV-PG | Documentary

Professor Gates describes the history of the African American people by talking to historians, authors, and the people who made history.

Stars: Henry Louis Gates, Bernard E. Powers Jr., Peniel E. Joseph, David Levering Lewis

Votes: 173

27. Black America Since MLK: And Still I Rise (2016)

TV-PG | 240 min | Documentary

Documentary with host Henry Louis Gates Jr. chronicles the triumphs, struggles and contradictions of the last fifty years in African American History.

Stars: Henry Louis Gates, Jesse Jackson Jr., Nas, Cornel West

Votes: 48

28. The African Americans: Many Rivers to Cross with Henry Louis Gates, Jr. (2013)
Episode: The Black Atlantic (1500-1800) (2013)

TV-PG | 54 min | Documentary

From PBS: "The Black Atlantic" explores the global experiences that created the African-American people. Beginning a century before the first documented "20-and-odd" slaves who arrived at ... See full summary »

Director: Sabin Streeter | Stars: Henry Louis Gates, James H. Sweet, Christopher L. Brown, Annette Gordon-Reed

Votes: 12

29. Makala (2017)

96 min | Documentary

71 Metascore

Trials tribulation dreams and aspirations of a young farmer earning a living making and selling charcoal in Congo.

Director: Emmanuel Gras | Stars: Kabwita Kasongo, Lydie Kasongo

Votes: 491

30. When We Were Kings (1996)

PG | 88 min | Documentary, Sport

83 Metascore

A documentary of the 1974 heavyweight championship bout in Zaire, "The Rumble in the Jungle," between champion George Foreman and underdog challenger Muhammad Ali.

Director: Leon Gast | Stars: Muhammad Ali, George Foreman, Don King, James Brown

Votes: 14,101 | Gross: $2.67M

31. Undefeated (2011)

PG-13 | 113 min | Documentary, Sport

71 Metascore

Chronicles three underprivileged students from inner-city Memphis and their volunteer coach who tries to help them beat the odds on and off the field.

Directors: Daniel Lindsay, T.J. Martin | Stars: Bill Courtney, O.C. Brown, Montrail 'Money' Brown, Chavis Daniels

Votes: 6,500 | Gross: $0.56M

32. I Am a Promise: The Children of Stanton Elementary School (1993)

89 min | Documentary

Filmmakers Alan Raymond and Susan Raymond document Philadelphia teachers facing challenges at an inner-city school.

Director: Susan Raymond | Stars: Susan Raymond, Deanna Burney, Clary Jansson

Votes: 165

33. Murder on a Sunday Morning (2001)

Not Rated | 111 min | Documentary, Crime

Oscar-winning documentary that documents a murder trial in which a 15-year-old African-American is wrongfully accused of a 2000 murder in Jacksonville, Florida.

Director: Jean-Xavier de Lestrade | Stars: Ann Finnell, Patrick McGuinness, James Williams, Michael Glover

Votes: 3,997

34. 20 Feet from Stardom (2013)

PG-13 | 91 min | Documentary, Biography, Music

83 Metascore

Backup singers live in a world that lies just beyond the spotlight. Their voices bring harmony to the biggest bands in popular music, but we've had no idea who these singers are or what lives they lead, until now.

Director: Morgan Neville | Stars: Darlene Love, Merry Clayton, Lisa Fischer, Judith Hill

Votes: 11,530 | Gross: $4.95M

35. 13th (2016)

TV-MA | 100 min | Documentary, Crime, News

88 Metascore

An in-depth look at the prison system in the United States and how it reveals the nation's history of racial inequality.

Director: Ava DuVernay | Stars: Melina Abdullah, Michelle Alexander, Cory Booker, Dolores Canales

Votes: 20,679

36. Bastards of the Party (2005)

95 min | Documentary

Surrounded by death and the brutal lifestyle that feeds it, a Los Angeles gangbanger explores the history of Southern California street gangs from the 1950s through the 1990s in an attempt ... See full summary »

Director: Cle Sloan | Stars: Daryl Gates, Fred Hampton, Joe Hicks, Ericka Huggins

Votes: 498

37. Life and Debt (2001)

Not Rated | 80 min | Documentary

67 Metascore

Documentary look at the effects of globalization on Jamaican industry and agriculture.

Director: Stephanie Black | Stars: Belinda Becker, Buju Banton, Horst Köhler, Michael Manley

Votes: 932 | Gross: $0.24M

38. Sing Your Song (2011)

Not Rated | 103 min | Documentary, Biography, Music

73 Metascore

Most people know the lasting legacy of Harry Belafonte, the entertainer. This film unearths his significant contribution to and his leadership in the civil rights movement in America and to social justice globally.

Director: Susanne Rostock | Stars: Harry Belafonte, Sidney Poitier, Marge Champion, Fran Scott Attaway

Votes: 416 | Gross: $0.05M

39. O.J.: Made in America (2016)

TV-MA | 467 min | Documentary, Biography, Crime

A chronicle of the rise and fall of O.J. Simpson, whose high-profile murder trial exposed the extent of American racial tensions, revealing a fractured and divided nation.

Director: Ezra Edelman | Stars: Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Mike Albanese, Muhammad Ali, Marcus Allen

Votes: 15,500

40. The Uncomfortable Truth (2017)

85 min | Documentary

When the award-winning filmmaker of "An Ordinary Hero", Loki Mulholland, dives into the 400 year history of institutional racism in America he is confronted with the shocking reality that ... See full summary »

Director: Loki Mulholland | Stars: Luvaughn Brown, Joan Mulholland, Loki Mulholland

Votes: 44

41. Us Against the World (2017)

Documentary

When a black coach takes control of a high school basketball team in rural Kentucky, heads turn. When he wins, heads roll. UPROXX original documentary Us Against The World examines how Cordia High School became a hotbed for racial tension.

Votes: 8

42. John Lewis: Get in the Way (2017 TV Movie)

PG | 60 min | Documentary, Biography, History

John Lewis: Get in the Way is the first major documentary biography of John Lewis, civil rights hero, congressional leader and champion of human rights whose unwavering fight for justice ... See full summary »

Director: Kathleen Dowdey | Star: John Lewis

Votes: 18

43. Against All Odds: The Fight For a Black Middle Class with Bob Herbert (2017 TV Movie)

77 min | Documentary

A documentary about the extraordinary difficulty African-Americans have faced in their efforts to establish and maintain a middle class standard of living. Nearly 40 percent of all black ... See full summary »

Director: Bob Herbert

Votes: 10

44. Speak Up (2017)

122 min | Documentary

[Ouvrir La Voix] SPEAK UP/MAKE YOUR WAY focuses on our common identities : "woman" and "black", whilst highlighting the diversity of Afropean diasporas. This documentary explores the ... See full summary »

Director: Amandine Gay

Votes: 48

45. The Rape of Recy Taylor (2017)

Not Rated | 91 min | Documentary, History

73 Metascore

Mrs. Recy Taylor was gang raped by six white boys in 1944 Alabama. Unbroken, she spoke up and fought for justice with help from Rosa Parks and legions of women.

Director: Nancy Buirski | Stars: Cynthia Erivo, Recy Taylor, Robert Corbitt, Alma Daniels

Votes: 267

46. The Blood Is at the Doorstep (2017)

Not Rated | 90 min | Documentary

After Dontre Hamilton was shot 14 times and killed by police in Milwaukee, his family embarks on a quest for answers, justice and reform.

Director: Erik Ljung | Star: Wes Tank

Votes: 122

47. Street Fighting Men (2017)

103 min | Documentary, Crime, Drama