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20 Black LGBTQ+ Films Everyone Should See

20 Black LGBTQ+ Films Everyone Should See

Bessie, the inspection, anything's possible, moonlight
Courtesy of HBO, A24, Prime Video

These films portray the queer Black experience and are essential viewing.


From Paris is Burning to The Inspection, you can celebrate Black excellence, history, and culture by watching these films that reflect the Black queer experience in its many forms.

All film descriptions are courtesy of their respective studios and networks.


Alike is a good student at her local high school. Alike is quietly but firmly embracing her identity as a lesbian. With the sometimes boisterous support of her best friend, out lesbian Laura (Pernell Walker), Alike is especially eager to find a girlfriend. At home, her parents’ marriage is strained and there is further tension in the household whenever Alike’s development becomes a topic of discussion. Pressed by her mother into making the acquaintance of a colleague’s daughter, Bina (Aasha Davis), Alike finds Bina to be unexpectedly refreshing to socialize with.

Wondering how much she can confide in her family, Alike strives to get through adolescence with grace, humor, and tenacity – sometimes succeeding, sometimes not, but always moving forward.

Where to watch: Prime Video

I Am Not Your Negro

Master filmmaker Raoul Peck envisions the book James Baldwin never finished, Remember This House. The result is a radical, up-to-the-minute examination of race in America, using Baldwin’s original words and flood of rich archival material. I Am Not Your Negro is a journey into black history that connects the past of the Civil Rights movement to the present of #BlackLivesMatter. It is a film that questions black representation in Hollywood and beyond. And, ultimately, by confronting the deeper connections between the lives and assassinations of Medgar Evers, Malcolm X, and Martin Luther King Jr., Baldwin, and Peck have produced a work that challenges the very definition of what America stands for.

Where to watch: Prime Video

The Color Purple

Based on Alice Walker's Pulitzer Prize-winning novel. The Color Purple is the richly textured, decades spanning story of Celie, an uneducated woman living in the rual south. Forced to marry a brutal man she calls "Mr.” Celie turns inward and shares her grief only with God. But she is transformed by the friendship two remarkable women, acquiring self-worth and the strength to forgive.

Where to watch: Prime Video

The Watermelon Woman

A young black lesbian filmmaker probes into the life of The Watermelon Woman, a 1930s black actress who played 'mammy' archetypes.

Where to watch: Fubo


Moonlight chronicles the life of a young black man from childhood to adulthood as he struggles to find his place in the world while growing up in a rough neighborhood of Miami. At once a vital portrait of contemporary African-American life and an intensely personal and poetic meditation on identity, family, friendship, and love, Moonlight is a groundbreaking piece of cinema that reverberates with deep compassion and universal truths.

Where to watch: Max


She was the 'Empress of the Blues,' an immense talent whose love for music took her from anonymity to international fame in the 1920s blues scene. Queen Latifah stars as legendary blues singer Bessie Smith in this vivid portrait of a tenacious spirit who, despite her own demons, went on to become one of the most successful and influential musical artists of the 20th century.

Where to watch: Max

Paris Is Burning

Four women take the law into their own hands and try to get some pay-back by robbing the city's biggest banks in this riveting action drama.

Where to watch: Fubo

Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom

Tensions and temperatures rise over the course of an afternoon recording session in 1920s Chicago as a band of musicians await trailblazing performer, the legendary “Mother of the Blues,” Ma Rainey (Academy Award® winner Viola Davis). Late to the session, the fearless, fiery Ma engages in a battle of wills with her white manager and producer over control of her music. As the band waits in the studio’s claustrophobic rehearsal room, ambitious cornet player Levee (Chadwick Boseman) — who has an eye for Ma’s girlfriend and is determined to stake his own claim on the music industry — spurs his fellow musicians into an eruption of stories revealing truths that will forever change the course of their lives.

Where to watch: Netflix

The Inspection

In Elegance Bratton’s deeply moving film inspired by his own story, a young, gay Black man, rejected by his mother and with few options for his future, decides to join the Marines, doing whatever it takes to succeed in a system that would cast him aside. But even as he battles deep-seated prejudice and the grueling routines of basic training, he finds unexpected camaraderie, strength, and support in this new community, giving him a hard-earned sense of belonging that will shape his identity and forever change his life.

Where to watch: Fubo

The United States vs Billie Holiday

Billie Holiday spent much of her career being adored by fans. In the 1940’s, the government targeted Holiday in a growing effort to racialize the war on drugs, ultimately aiming to stop her from singing her controversial ballad, “Strange Fruit.”

Where to watch: Hulu

The Aggressives

The Aggressives is an insightful look at the little explored, yet highly dramatic subculture of lesbian butches as well as their "femme" counterparts who tow the line between gender definitions. This fascinating documentary features intimate and revealing interviews with six aggressives.

Where to watch: Tubi

Brother to Brother

The critically acclaimed drama that invokes the glory days of the Harlem Renaissance. As an elderly man, poet Bruce Nugent meets a young black gay artist struggling to find his voice and together they embark on a surreal narrative journey through his inspiring past.

Where to watch: iTunes

Gun Hill Road

After three years in prison, Enrique (Esai Morales) returns home to the Bronx to find the world he knew has changed. His wife, Angela (Judy Reyes), struggles to hide an emotional affair, and his teenage son, Michael (Harmony Santana), explores a sexual transformation well beyond Enrique's grasp and understanding.

Where to watch: Tubi

Holiday Heart

The story of a gay drag queen (Ving Rhames) who begins to care for a girl, whose mother (Alfre Woodard) is fighting drug addiction, but a dealer (Mykelti Williamson) threatens everything.

Where to watch: Tubi

The Death and Life of Marsha P. Johnson

David France’s The Death and Life of Marsha P. Johnson, is a deeply compelling look at the murder of a transgender legend, known as “the Rosa Parks of the LGBT movement.”

Where to watch: Netflix

Naz & Maalik

Two closeted teens from Bed-Stuy, both black and Muslim, hawk goods across Brooklyn and struggle to come clean about their sexuality. The two of them unwittingly find themselves in the crosshairs of the War on Terror when surveillance footage of their secretive behavior is wildly misinterpreted in this smart indie comedy.

Where to watch: Prime Video


Upon hearing that her pimp boyfriend hasn't been faithful during the days she was locked up, a sex worker and her best friend embark on a mission to get to the bottom of the rumor. Their odyssey leads them through various subcultures of Los Angeles.

Where to watch: Fubo

Anything’s Possible

Anything’s Possible is an uplifting and delightfully modern Gen Z coming-of-age story that follows Kelsa, a confident high school girl who is trans, as she navigates her senior year. When her classmate – nerdy-but-cute Khal – gets a crush on her, he musters up the courage to ask her out, despite the drama he knows it could cause. What transpires is a high school romance that showcases the joy, tenderness, and pain of young love.

Where to watch: Prime Video


Seventeen-year-old Randy tries very hard to be a good person. Since his father left, Randy takes care of his emotionally disturbed mother, and he's the kind of friend all of his classmates can depend on. As strong as he seems on the outside, Randy is hiding a secret inner struggle and denial of his true self. It's not until he opens himself up to love that he discovers that becoming a man means accepting who you really are.

Where to watch: Tubi

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