These movies were hand-picked to give the 10 and younger set an opportunity to watch and learn about some of the experiences, challenges, and triumphs of the African-American community.

Watch these with your child to tap into important conversations you can have during Black History Month and throughout the rest of the year.

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March On! The Day My Brother Martin Changed the World

This Scholastic Storybook DVD includes narrations of four children's books about the civil rights movement and black history. It manages to explain how black people were treated unequally in a way even preschoolers can understand on a basic level.

Recommended for ages 4 and older

Quality: 4 out of 5

Directed by Paul R. Gagne, Melissa R. Ellard

Scholastic, 2010

March On! The Day My Brother Martin Changed the World

This is the uplifting true story of Janet Collins, whose dedication and determination led her to become the first African-American ballerina in the country to perform at the Metropolitan Opera House. Narrated by Chris Rock, this inspirational film can teach kids a lot about the lingering effects of slavery and racism in Jim Crow America. Recommended for ages 5 and older Quality: 4 out of 5 Directed by Saxton Moore Sweet Blackberry, 2015

Garrett's Gift

Narrated by Queen Latifah, this short movie about Garrett Morgan is a great primer on the history of a famous African-American inventor and on the fascinating places where ideas originate.

Recommended for ages 5 and older

Quality: 4 out of 5

Directed by Karyn Parsons

Sweet Blackberry, 2007

The Journey of Henry Box Brown

The Journey of Henry Box Brown is an educational, uplifting short film that tells the true story of a former slave who shipped himself to freedom in a crate in a harrowing 27-hour journey. It’s a perfect introduction to African-American history.

Recommended for ages 5 and older

Quality: 4 out of 5

Directed by Karyn Parsons

Sweet Blackberry, 2005

And the Children Shall Lead

This powerful drama provides a great way to open discussion with kids about racial issues. Direct and sensitive, it personalizes a portrait of America's arduous struggles to break free of racism.

Recommended for ages 9 and older

Quality: 5 out of 5

Directed by Michael Pressman

HBO, 1988

A Ballerina's Tale

A Ballerina's Tale examines the life and career of Misty Copeland, the first African-American principal dancer at New York's American Ballet Theater. Not only is Copeland a significant role model for any young girl who dreams of a career as a dancer, she's also emerged as an important example for the black community.

Recommended for ages 9 and older

Quality: 4 out of 5

Directed by Nelson George

Sundance Selects, 2015

Thunder Soul

This documentary about one of the country’s top jazz bands in the mid-‘70s is full of inspiring messages and strong role models. The Kashmere Stage Band was an all-black high school band from Houston who not only revitalized the predominantly African-American school, but it also revolutionized the entire concept of the stage band.

Recommended for ages 9 and older

Quality: 4 out of 5

Directed by Mark Landsman

Roadside Attractions, 2011

Hidden Figures

Based on the nonfiction book by Margot Lee Shetterly, Hidden Figures is the true story of three brilliant African-American women who worked for NASA in the 1950s and '60s as "human computers.” This is a story that needed to be told—and it's told in a triumphant manner.

Recommended for ages 10 and older

Quality: 4 out of 5

Directed by Theodore Melfi

Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation, 2016

Remember the Titans

Remember the Titans tells the inspirational true story about the struggles and victories of a newly-integrated high school football team in 1971 Alexandria, Virginia. It’s a deeply moving film about the courage of individuals and the power of sports to transcend perceived and ingrained differences.

Recommended for ages 10 and older

Quality: 4 out of 5

Directed by Boaz Yakin

Walt Disney Pictures, 2000

Woodlawn

Woodlawn is a faith-based drama inspired by true events at a Birmingham, Alabama, high school in 1973. The movie focuses on how a sports chaplain helped convert nearly the entire Woodlawn High School football team to born-again Christianity after it was desegregated, helping the players deal with racial strife on and off the field.

Recommended for ages 10 and older

Quality: 3 out of 5

Directed by Andrew Erwin and Jon Erwin

Pure Flix Entertainment, 2015

—Common Sense Media

 

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