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

More Black films should be added to school lesson plans.

Black History in Films and Books - Blockbuster 12 Years a Slave is racking up awards and nominations from the Oscars to the NAACP Image Awards. The film will be taught in American public high schools after it is distributed in September, according to the National School Boards Association. Keep reading to check out BET.com?s list of other Black literature and films that should be added to school curriculums.? Dominique Zony?? (@DominiqueZonyee)(Photo: FOX Searchlight)

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Black History in Films and Books - Blockbuster 12 Years a Slave is racking up awards and nominations from the Oscars to the NAACP Image Awards. The film will be taught in American public high schools after it is distributed in September, according to the National School Boards Association. Keep reading to check out BET.com’s list of other Black literature and films that should be added to school curriculums.— Dominique Zonyéé (@DominiqueZonyee)(Photo: FOX Searchlight)

Why Are All the Black Kids Sitting Together in the Cafeteria - Beverly Daniel Tatum?s book Why Are All the Black Kids Sitting Together in the Cafeteria: And Other Conversations About Race opens up the door for conversations about modern-day segregation in a multi-cultural society. The book has been added to summer reading lists in various schools across the nation.(Photo: Basic Books)

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Why Are All the Black Kids Sitting Together in the Cafeteria - Beverly Daniel Tatum’s book Why Are All the Black Kids Sitting Together in the Cafeteria: And Other Conversations About Race opens up the door for conversations about modern-day segregation in a multi-cultural society. The book has been added to summer reading lists in various schools across the nation.(Photo: Basic Books)

Malcolm X - It?s been more than 20 years since the release of Spike Lee?s biopic film Malcolm X, starring Denzel Washington.  The movie highlights the life of Malcolm Little as he transitions into Malcolm X. While most Black history curriculum?s focus on Martin Luther King Jr., this film will introduce students to another pioneer in the civil rights movement.(Photo: 40 Acres & A Mule Filmworks)

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Malcolm X - It’s been more than 20 years since the release of Spike Lee’s biopic film Malcolm X, starring Denzel Washington.  The movie highlights the life of Malcolm Little as he transitions into Malcolm X. While most Black history curriculum’s focus on Martin Luther King Jr., this film will introduce students to another pioneer in the civil rights movement.(Photo: 40 Acres & A Mule Filmworks)

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The Butler - Lee Daniel’s The Butler, starring some of the top African-Americans in film and entertainment such as Oprah, Forest Whitaker and Mariah Carey, gives a raw look at Black issues and the evolution of the Black man from the field to the White House.(Photo: The Weinstein Company)

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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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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The Help - This narrative illustrates Blacks going from the field to the house and has been played out in various films and in literature. However The Help focuses on the stereotypes surrounding Black housekeepers and maids and how the uneducated workers outsmart their racist employers.(Photos from left: Berkley Publishing, DreamWorks)

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The Help - This narrative illustrates Blacks going from the field to the house and has been played out in various films and in literature. However The Help focuses on the stereotypes surrounding Black housekeepers and maids and how the uneducated workers outsmart their racist employers.(Photos from left: Berkley Publishing, DreamWorks)

Amistad - 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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Amistad - 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)

Rosewood - John Singleton?s Rosewood focuses on a real-life 1923 massacre, which was ignited by racism and left an entire Florida community burned to the ground (and at least a half dozen African-Americans dead). The film offers a dramatized glimpse of racial inequality in American just 40 years before the civil rights movement.  (Photo: Warner Bros.)

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Rosewood - John Singleton’s Rosewood focuses on a real-life 1923 massacre, which was ignited by racism and left an entire Florida community burned to the ground (and at least a half dozen African-Americans dead). The film offers a dramatized glimpse of racial inequality in American just 40 years before the civil rights movement.  (Photo: Warner Bros.)

Brick by Brick - For a younger audience, Charles R. Smith Jr.?s book Brick by Brick will teach students about the slaves who built the White House.(Photo: Amistad Publishing)

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Brick by Brick - For a younger audience, Charles R. Smith Jr.’s book Brick by Brick will teach students about the slaves who built the White House.(Photo: Amistad Publishing)

Fifty Cents and a Dream: Young Booker T. Washington   - Booker T. Washington was once a slave who could only imagine learning to read and write. Besides offering a history lesson on Washington, Fifty Cents and a Dream: Young Booker T. Washington by Jabari Asim and Brian Colloies provides lessons about perseverance, character and more. (Photo: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers)

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Fifty Cents and a Dream: Young Booker T. Washington - Booker T. Washington was once a slave who could only imagine learning to read and write. Besides offering a history lesson on Washington, Fifty Cents and a Dream: Young Booker T. Washington by Jabari Asim and Brian Colloies provides lessons about perseverance, character and more. (Photo: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers)

March On!... and More Stories About African-American History   - If teachers are looking to give grammar school students lessons on Black history, then this animated Scholastic four-DVD series, March On!... and More Stories About African-American History, is the perfect way to introduce the lives of Martin Luther King Jr. and more. (Photo: Scholastic Books)

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March On!... and More Stories About African-American History - If teachers are looking to give grammar school students lessons on Black history, then this animated Scholastic four-DVD series, March On!... and More Stories About African-American History, is the perfect way to introduce the lives of Martin Luther King Jr. and more. (Photo: Scholastic Books)