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Black Joy on Screen

By Skokie Staff Adult Services

In a Vogue article stressing the importance of Black joy, Chante Joseph says, "Where society has told Black people to 'be quiet' or that we’re 'too loud,' reveling in joy is an act of resistance. As our feeds become even more inundated with images of trauma, joy can help us heal, too." Here are some of our favorite depictions of Black joy on screen.

  • The Wiz

    2008

    I defy you to watch this and not get caught up in the joy! The music, the performances, the refreshing, updated take on the story we know so well...put it all together and you have a true gem of a movie. Recommended by Cecilia.

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  • Coming to America

    2007

    This has become a classic for a reason. It's a comedy that is fun from start to finish. Eddie Murphy has rarely (if ever) been better. Watch for the first time or watch again before the sequel is released. Recommended by Cecilia.

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  • Soul Food

    2000

    One of my favorite feel-good films, directed by George Tillman Jr. The relationships shown, the love felt, and the heart exuded all contribute to an excellent movie about life and living. Rotten Tomatoes says, "Much like the titular cuisine, Soul Food blends a series of savory ingredients to offer warm, generous helpings of nourishment and comfort." Recommended by Cecilia.

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  • The Weekend

    2019

    This is a delightful rom-com diversion. Indie filmmaker Stella Meghie wrote a funny, observant script and got perfect comedic delivery from her actors. I don't know where she filmed, but the weekend B&B getaway and its surrounding grounds made for some enjoyable armchair travel. Recommended by Sharon.

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  • Miss Juneteenth

    2021

    I can’t stop thinking about this touching feel-good mother-daughter story that is authentic and full of love. Nicole Beharie stars and she is fantastic. Kudos to writer/director Channing Godfrey Peoples. On a tiny budget, she delivers an outstanding first film. This is one of my favorites of 2020. Also available through Kanopy. Recommended by Sharon.

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  • The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air: The Complete First Season

    2005

    One of the most successful sitcoms ever, the family dynamics are hilarious and to the point. The series ran for six seasons and it’s perfect for your next TV spree. Recommended by Sharon.

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  • Blackish: The Complete First Season

    2015

    This is definitely a family you want to spend some time with. The cast is terrific, and the writing is sharp and funny, tackling some serious issues within the general comedic framework. If you haven’t seen this yet, you’re in for a treat. Recommended by Sharon.

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  • Drumline

    2003

    A blast from the past--but this is still fun to watch, and the music is really good, full of energy, and paired with cool choreography. Even if you don't know much about band music, there is a lot to like about this movie. Recommended by Sharon.

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  • Last Holiday

    2006

    A delightful movie about taking risks, laughing more, and loving more. Carpe diem! Recommended by Sharon.

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  • Akeelah and the Bee

    2006

    Keke Palmer is a standout as Akeelah. This is a great story about overcoming obstacles to achieve your dreams. Recommended by Sharon.

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