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

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  • Malcolm X
  • The Butler
  • 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

The Color Purple

Alice Walker’s Pulitzer Prize- and National Book Award-winning novel The Color Purple was banned from Virginia schools in 1986. But its narrative centered on the lives of Black women in Georgia during the 1930s and has made its way into several schools across the nation. If the book is too mature for your classroom, then maybe the film adaption starring Whoopi Goldberg and Oprah may appeal to students. 

(Photos from left: Mariner Books, Warner Brothers/courtesy Everett Collection)

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