10 documentaries to watch beyond Women’s History Month
Dedicate time to learning about impactful Black women past this month of recognition
As Women’s History Month continues, the endeavors of women are being championed across the board. Although the third month of the year is established as the official period of recognition, empowering women should be a year-round affair.
Learning the stories of impactful women and celebrating their lives and accomplishments is not limited to 31 days. Below are 10 documentaries to checkout as March comes to a close and beyond.
Toni Morrison: The Pieces I Am
Where To Watch: Hulu
Directed by Timothy Greenfield-Sanders, this documentary released in 2019 examines the life and work of author Toni Morrison. It begins with her upbringing in Lorain, Ohio through her time as an editor of iconic African-American literature and beyond. It features interviews with Hilton Als, Angela Davis, Fran Lebowitz, Walter Mosley, Sonia Sanchez, and Oprah Winfrey.
Free Angela & All Political Prisoners
Where To Watch: Amazon
The 2012 documentary directed by Shola Lynch chronicles the life of young college professor Angela Davis and her dedication to activism. It examines how she was implicated in a botched kidnapping attempt that ends with a shootout, four dead, and her name on the FBI’s 10 most wanted list.
Audre Lorde – The Berlin Years 1984 to 1992
Where To Watch: Vimeo
This film by Ada Gray Griffin and Michelle Parkerson was screened at the 45th Berlin Film Festival in 1995. It details Audre Lorde’s time in Germany where she received naturopathic treatment after a terminal cancer diagnosis. She lived in the country for years and influenced the German political and cultural scene during a decade of profound social change.
A Ballerina’s Tale
Where To Watch: Amazon
A Ballerina’s Tale documents Misty Copeland’s rise in the world of dance as she became the first Black principal dancer with the prestigious American Ballet Theatre (ABT). It not only follows her journey but focuses on the absence of women of color at major ballet companies and the messages sent to young ballerinas.
Beah: A Black Woman Speaks
Where To Watch: HBO
Beah: A Black Woman Speaks is a 2003 film about actress Beah Richards, directed by LisaGay Hamilton. The Peabody Award-winning documentary explores Richards’s dedication to both art and activism as she worked to empower the Black community.
Josephine Baker: The Story Of An Awakening
Where To Watch: Currently not available for on-demand streaming. Visit American Public Television for broadcast details.
With rare photos and video footage, Josephine Baker: The Story Of An Awakening tells the story of the first Black superstar, Josephine Baker, and her career in both the United States and France. The documentary follows the 50-year-long of the performer and journey to civil rights activism.
American Masters: How It Feels To Be Free
Where To Watch: Amazon
This documentary tells the story of Lena Horne, Abbey Lincoln, Diahann Carroll, Nina Simone, Cicely Tyson and Pam Grier as six pioneers in entertainment. The film focused on challenged an industry deeply complicit in perpetuating racist stereotypes, and transformed themselves and their audiences in the process. Executively produced by Alicia Keys and directed by Yoruba Richen, it features commentary from Halle Berry, Lena Waithe, Meagan Good, LaTanya Richardson Jackson, Samuel L. Jackson.
Where To Watch: HBO Max
Being Serena is an intimate documentary that explores the life of the tennis great told by Serena Williams herself. With multiple chapters, the film chronicles Williams’s adjustment to life as a wife, mother, and world champion.
Where To Watch: HBO Max beginning March 27, 2021
The brand new documentary features never-before-seen footage, audiotapes, personal photos, and new interviews, with Tina Turner herself. Directed by Dan Lindsay and T.J. Martin, the film charts the music icon’s early fame, the private and public personal and professional struggles, and her return to the world stage as a global phenomenon in the 1980s.
Where To Watch: Netflix
Becoming takes a look into the life of former First Lady Michelle Obama as she stepped into the public eye. The documentary goes up-close-and-personal into her life as she heads out on a 34-city tour that highlights the power of community and connection.
Have you subscribed to theGrio’s podcast “Dear Culture”? Download our newest episodes now!
TheGrio is now on Apple TV, Amazon Fire, and Roku. Download theGrio today!