Juneteenth is a celebratory holiday for Black Americans. Even though I’m Haitian, my ancestors were also once enslaved. In the same way we celebrate January 1st, 1804 as our Haitian Independence Day, I’ll be celebrating June 19th, 1865 as the day that the last of those in bondage within the United States were claimed their freedom. The 13th Amendment came with issues of its own, but that’s a discussion for another day.
This list does not include anti-racism resources or the pain and suffering that black folk have endured. For Juneteenth, I’d like to bring some focus to Black Joy and stories that don’t center police brutality. This isn’t in any particular order and it includes a wide range of genres. Black people are not a monolith.
So, check out these shows and movies that make for a joyful Juneteenth watchlist:
Let’s start off with the movie named after the holiday. Miss Juneteenth came out TODAY so y’all better go check it out. You can rent it on all major platforms like Google Play, Amazon, Virtual Cinemas, etc.
This is a pretty obvious addition but a necessary one. Black Panther was the first time I saw a black superhero on the big screen. It’s also one of the first movies I’ve watched with dark skinned women who aren’t being oppressed and I’m here for it.
My second encounter with a black superhero. Black Lightning is super dope. I binged the first season soon after it came out but I haven’t seen Season 2, so I should probably get on that today.
Spider-Man Into the Spider-Verse
The last of the black superheroes I’ll be adding to this list. I loved Spider-Man Into the Spider-Verse so much, I saw it twice in theaters.
Blood and Water
I talked about this a bit yesterday but y’all really do need to check out this show. It is WILD and it just got renewed for a second season!
This was such a lighthearted and fun movie. I never got around to posting my review of it but *spoiler alert* I loved it.
See You Yesterday
I don’t understand why I wasn’t hearing more See You Yesterday when it first came out. It’s a pretty dope movie. Yes it involves police brutality but it also includes time travel and black kids trying to be kids.
I had to include one of my all-time favorite sitcoms. I know it has some mixed reviews, especially lately, but I stand by my love for Black-ish and the ish-universe.
Oh, y’all thought I wouldn’t talk about my favorite show. That’s cute. I don’t care how much trash talk I hear about it, I love Grown-ish with a passion. I will not tolerate any Grown-ish slander in the comments.
This is such an underrated show. Raising Dion is so good and it was produced by Michael B. Jordan.
Craig of the Creek
I’m a sucker for cartoons and this is one of the best of the newer stuff from Cartoon Network. Craig is probably up there in my top favorite cartoon characters, right after his sister Jessica. The representation is on point and the show tackles some serious issues in a way that kids can understand.
Key and Peele
If you’re looking for some comedy this is classic. I remember being in middle school and my classmates would just tell these jokes all day. When I was finally old enough to watch it without my mom stressing out, I would be on the floor laughing.
Couldn’t Make This Without a Few Throwbacks
That’s So Raven
Even if Raven could see into the future, she definitely didn’t 2020 coming the way it did.
Akeelah and the Bee
This was one of my favorite movies as a kid. Keke Palmer ate every role she got in the 2000s. She really was my TV hero. I used to do spelling bees at home, pretending to be her.
Y’all thought I’d only mention Keke Palmer once? Corbin Bleu was in this right after High School Musical. They were my first SHIP before I even knew what a SHIP was.
This is probably the only movie I remember Nick Cannon in but boy do I remember it. Drumline is a whole classic.