African-American Literature and Films That Should Be Taught in the Classroom

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  • The Color Purple
  • The Help
  • Amistad
  • Rosewood
  • Brick by Brick
  • Fifty Cents and a Dream: Young Booker T. Washington
  • March On!... and More Stories About African-American History
  • Black History in Films and Books
  • Why Are All the Black Kids Sitting Together in the Cafeteria
  • Malcolm X
  • The Butler


Steven Spielberg’s 1997 film Amistad takes viewers through the North Atlantic slave trade from Sierra Leone to the Caribbean. It shows the reluctance, strength and courage of the Mende slaves who took over the La Amistad ship off the coast of Cuba. The film also exposes racism in the American judicial system as the takeover became an 1841 Supreme Court case.

 (Photo: DreamWorks)

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