Reflecting on Juneteenth

Juneteenth Freedom Day

Reflecting on Juneteenth – Evocative Movies to Watch

by Roderic March
Juneteenth Freedom Day
Saturday is Juneteenth, a time to reflect on the impact that slavery and racism continues to have on our lives. Important movements like Black Lives Matter remind us that even with the changes since June 19th, 1865, we still have a lot of work to do.
One way to celebrate Juneteenth is to learn from some of the great films that have been produced based on stories about slavery and the history of the African-American experience. To help you discover some of these titles, we've put together nanogenre® collections that are based on viewers’ comments. 


All of the minigenre and nanogenre collections below are in our primary genre, Politics and Human Rights. It’s one of the 19 genres we identified by clustering titles based on viewers’ comments. These are the first 10 titles in Politics and Human Rights.
These titles cover a broad range of topics, but all are about important issues related to politics or human rights. Racism titles are in this genre, but we have to dig in a bit more and look at our minigenres to find them. Genre -  Politics and Human Rights movies: 
fahrenheit 9/11 movie poster
Fahrenheit 9/11
lincoln movie poster
The Butler movie poster
The Butler
Selma movie poster
good night, and  good luck movie poster
good night, and good luck
JFK movie poster
W. movie poster
The Post movie poster
The Post


Within Politics and Human Rights, there’s a minigenre that includes movies about racism and its continuing impact. 

These are the top titles in the Racism minigenre. They specifically cover the impact of racism and slavery on American history. Many of them, like Selma, are hard to watch, but they demonstrate the resilience and heroism of the human spirit when confronted with evil.

Racism mini-genres
Racism minigenre - Racism, Powerful, Historical, African-American,  Slavery movies -  Selma, 12 Years a Slave, The Butler, Lincoln, Crash, American History X, Hotel Rwanda, Amistad


If you're looking for a particular type of story, we can go one layer deeper to discover three nanogenre collections, each with a slightly different theme.


Racism stories are emotionally wrenching, but it's important to learn from them. These movies are described by viewers as emotional and gripping, including a 2021 Academy Award nominee: The Trial of the Chicago 7.
Emotional, Anger, Gripping, Nanogenre collection
Nanogenre collection- Emotional, Anger, Gripping movies -  Just Mercy, American Skin, When They see Us, The Mauritanian, The Trial  of the Chicago 7, American History X, The Hate U Give, Marshall


These movies describe the continuing impact of bigotry on American society. 

All of these titles are challenging and moving. But, some directors like Spike Lee have found a way to expose bigotry and racism with stories that are sometimes uncomfortable, and at other times they're outrageous and funny.

African-American, Bigotry, Society nanogenre collection
Nanogenre collection - African-American, Bigotry, Society movies: Uncle Tom, American Skin, BlacKkKlansman, the Help, Selma, American History X, Dear White People, Crash


Our last collection has several titles that overlap the ones above, but the viewer comments that held these titles together are more emotional than political, so if you're out to experience the feeling of heartbreak and the courage it takes to overcome it, these might be for you.
Feelings,Heartbreaking, Courage nanogenre collection
Nanogenre collection - Feelings, Heartbreaking, Courage movies: Just Mercy, Selma, The Hate U Give, Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom, Hotel Rwanda, I Am Not Your Negro, When They See Us, The Constant Gardener
Whichever titles you choose to watch, you'll discover some new truths about the continuing impact that slavery and racism have had. Juneteenth is an important day to remember and celebrate.