by Monique Jones | Shadow and Act
In celebration of Black History Month, Shadow And Act has put together a list of five documentaries that definitely need to be on your watchlist to view before the month is over!
Executive producers Nic Maye and Van Lathan’s documentary features the story of race car legend Willy T. Ribbs, who drove in races such as NASCAR, the Trans-Am racing series and the Indianapolis 500. The film screened at the African American Film Critics Association for its Sumer Screening Series.
They’ve Gotta Have Us, recently acquired by ARRAY, is created, directed and produced by UK-based filmmaker, photographer and broadcaster Simon Frederick. The docuseries follows how Black film combines art and activism. The series will include interviews with Black Hollywood royalty including John Singleton, Kasi Lemmons, Diahann Carroll, John Boyega, Harry Belafonte, Robert Townsend, David Oyelowo, Whoopi Goldberg, Laurence Fishburne and Barry Jenkins.
Renae Bluitt’s documentary about Black female entrepreneurship, She Did That, has debuted on Netflix to give viewers the chance to learn more about the Black women leading the charge in America. The film includes interviews with Carol’s Daughter founder Lisa Price, My Fab Finance’s Tonya Rapley, Awesomely Luvvie’s Luvvie Ajayi and The Lip Bar’s Melissa Butler. Other Black female entrepreneurs featured in the documentary include curlBOX’s Myleik Teele, Lit Brooklyn’s Denequa Williams, Cee Cee’s Closet’s Chioma Ngwudo, Pop by Yaz! founder Yasmin Quiles, Indigo Style Collective’s Ashaka Givens, Radical Women’s Kim Hill and The Crabby Shack’s Fifi Bell and Gwen Woods.
Rashida Jones and Alan Hicks co-directed this documentary about Jones’ father and music legend Quincy Jones. The film, available on Netflix, debuted at TIFF in 2018 and gives a play-by-play of Jones’ exceptional career in music–including his title as the second-most winningest person in Grammy history–and Hollywood.
5. LA 92 (2017)
The 2017 National Geographic documentary solely uses archival footage and photography to tell the story of what it was like to be in Los Angeles in 1992 during the Rodney King arrest and trial as well as community protests and riots. The film comes from organizing thousands of hours of broadcast footage, radio reports, personal home videos and police files to give viewers as many perspectives of the time as possible.