GUESS WHO’S COMING TO DINNER (1967)

A lightish drama about interracial marriage that came out the same year it became legal nationwide. But is it a good movie?

NIGHT OF THE LIVING DEAD (1968)

This tiny indie movie found the right metaphor for basically all of modern society’s fears and single-handedly spawned a major subgenre that’s lasted until today.

BOYZ N THE HOOD (1991)

John Singleton’s slice-of-life drama about young men dealing with life South Central Los Angeles received wide acclaim and maybe changed Hollywood a little.

IN THE HEAT OF THE NIGHT (1967)

Sidney Poitier has to solve a murder in a small southern town that hates him. A great social movie but kind of a blah procedural.

CANDYMAN (1992)

More a dream-like, twisted love story than a slasher movie, also there are lots of bees.

THE WATERMELON WOMAN (1996)

Considered the first feature from an African-American lesbian, I found it enjoyable and interesting. Not everyone agreed at the time.

BLAZING SADDLES (1974)

Mel Brooks takes a western pastiche and pushes the boundaries of comedy about racism. Oh, and it’s super funny.

LA NOIRE DE… (1966)

The first film from Sub-Saharan Africa to make a big splash in Europe and the US, its story about the toll of colonization is very relevant even today.