Top Ten Sankofa Movies Ep. 10

Top 10 Movies You Need to See to Remember Tomorrow

10–The Color Purple

9–Red Tails

8—42: The Jackie Robinson Story

7–Hotel Rwanda

6–Malcolm X


4—12 years a Slave

3—The Help

2–The Butler

1—??? Listen to the podcast and find out our #1 pick!

 Let’s Connect

What do you think about the list? What movie would you add? 

Thanks to these great artists for providing their music!


There are 5 thoughts below

  • AJ Walker says:

    As I said on Twitter, this was a very interesting list. There were a couple on your list that would be on my list as well but, obviously, some would not even be in my top 20, lol!

    Here are my top ten (I won all but 3 on DVD/Bluray)

    10. Claudine (1974) A Black family working to find love, acceptance and their way in the world that was exceptionally well acted with Diahann Carroll and James Earl Jones in the lead roles.

    9. Hotel Rwanda – For the reasons you said.

    8. Daughters of the Dust (1991) Julie Dash wrote and directed this phenomenal film of the last day of the Peazant family as many members where leaving the Gullah Island region for “up north”. It’s slow, languid, with a wonderfully cast that had me in tears for it’s sheer beauty, love and hope at the end.

    7. House Party (1990) A teen comedy that had an all Black cast, talking about Black youth and their issues that was also seriously funny? What was not to like?

    6. D.R.O.P. Squad (1994) – The premise of taking Black folks who forgot their essential “Blackness” and having them abducted and “deprogrammed” from a Eurocentric mindset was a very provocative idea. Even now, I know a few brothers and sisters and I would like to have “Dropped” (in the parlance of the film), lol.

    5. Malcolm X (1992) – For all the reasons you said.

    4. Sarafina (1992) – This film so richly captures the struggle against Apartheid led by essentially school children moves me to this day. The scenes of protest and the aftermath are haunting. And Whoppie Goldberg’s character was so strong throughout the film. But the real standout is the young actress (at the time) who played Sarafina (Leleti Khumalo), her performance was spot on.

    3. Selma (2015) I had to leave the theater during some parts of this film, it was that powerful. The initial bridge scene, the scene when the cop chased that young man into the diner and shot him, wow, just wow.

    2. Crash (2005) On any given day, this could be my number 1 film. The issues of race this film looks and from all sides coupled with the performances of Don Cheadle, Thandie Newton and Terrence Howard. Even the character Don Cheadle’s mom in this film, although a small role, is so well acted. I can’t help but be moved after every viewing of this film.

    1. Do The Right Thing (1989) From the soundtrack, to the direction, to the characters, to the story, this film is just about perfect. Spike wove this wonderful cast of characters together throughout this fictional day such that I understand (understood) why Mookie threw that trash can into the window of Sal’s Pizzeria that started the “riot”.

    That’s my list. A few things are the same. Some are different. If I could only choose 10 films to watch from now on, these would be the 10.

    I don’t share your affinity for the “Color Purple,” I remember turning it off within the first 5 minutes. I did the same to Spike’s “She’s Gotta Have It.” “42” felt way too Hollywood for my liking, although I felt the performance was strong. I regret seeing “12 Years A Slave” as I felt it was gratuitous in its presentation of sex and violence and I fail to see how and why it was awarded an Oscar, that film was hardly Oscar worthy in my opinion.

    “The Help” and “The Butler” I did not see because, well, it’s about the help and being a butler, I had no real desire to see how our people made it through those kinds of times. The subject matter didn’t interest me in the slightest and I particularly remember “The Help”‘s ad campaign suggesting the story would be told through the eyes of the white employers. Nope. Pass.

    I’ve never seen “Red Tails” nor ever heard of the film but will investigate based on your recommendation.

    • AJ–
      Don’t spend any time on “Red Tails”–You won’t like it!

      You have some suggestions here that I’ve not seen. Thanks for the suggestions.


      • AJ Walker says:

        I’ve picked up films like “Sarafina”, “Daughters of the Dust”, “House Party”, “Do the Right Thing” and “Claudine” along the way of life and living but I do know the “D.R.O.P. Squad” DVD is available on Amazon as I write this.

        But “Crash”, “Sarafina” and “Do the Right Thing” are all phenomenal films that should be at the top of the pile of any of the other suggestions I made.

  • Chris Coleman says:

    Great list! I do have an issue with one and propose a replacement. #9 Red Tails. As an avid aviation enthusiast, pilot, and graduate of Tuskegee University, I was very disappointed with it. I drove to the theater, with great excitement, to watch this movie in the middle of a snow storm only to leave feeling like I had wasted my money. I thought it was all around bad (acting, story, etc). I really, really, really, really, didn’t care for it.

    Now my proposed replacement: The Tuskegee Airmen!

    Also featuring Cuba Gooding Jr. (and the likes of Laurence Fishburne and Malcolm Jamal Warner), this movie, along with Top Gun, is the reason I became a pilot, and it is also the reason I attended Tuskegee University (so i may be a little biased). I believe this movie more fully captures what a Tuskegee Airmen was/is, better portraying the obstacles and struggles that these men went through on their way to becoming the best pilots of WWII. But this is just my opinion…

    Keep up the great work!

    • Chris,
      I agree with you on Red Tails but it was the only one that I was aware of that highlighted the Tuskegee Airmen.
      Thanks to you we now have a worthy replacement! Can’t wait check it out.