15 Best Movies About Slavery on Netflix to Stream Right Now

Movies about slavery, civil rights, and segregation always find their audience. Primarily the audience who follows everything connected to the topics or the one who wants to learn more and likes to have a wide choice of excellent titles. Netflix has a very good list of movies about slavery that you can watch at the moment and we have made a list of the 15 best to stream right now. Some are directly connected to slavery, some mention it and some are dealing with it from another period but again through various different kinds of oppression towards African-Americans.

The Help

Based on a brilliant book of the same name by Katherine Stockett, The Help is a drama set in the deep South, in Mississippi during the 1960s where we follow the story of a brave and stubborn young Skeeter who returns from college determined to become a writer.

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She decides to interview black women who live in her town and who devoted their lives to taking care of the prominent southern families, especially their children. She will turn her friends’ lives and this Mississippi town upside down when the stories of these women start getting out, revealing all the hideous things they have to listen to and experience from the people they work for.

12 Years a slave

In this 12 Years a Slave, we follow Solomon Northup, a free black man from upstate New York who is solved into slavery. Not used to the cruelty he has to face from his evil and malevolent slave owner, Solomon will have to struggle to stay alive but also retain his dignity.

In the twelfth year of his unforgettable odyssey, he will meet a Canadian abolitionist who will change his life forever. Solomon’s fight for freedom is truly a remarkable and unforgettable story full of adventure, unexpected kindness, and unimaginable cruelty.

Django Unchained

This excellent drama is masterfully directed by Quentin Tarantino and with a brilliant cast including Jamie Fox, Leonardo di Caprio, and Christoph Waltz is a must-watch. Even though it is the story of a free man, it is still a brilliant portrayal of slavery in the U.S. and the way white people behaved with and around them.

The movie talks about a bounty hunter named King Schultz who seeks the help of a slave Django, brilliantly played by Jamie Foxx. After Django helps him the two remain together in order to find Django’s wife Broomhilda. When they find out where she was taken, Django and Schultz come up with a plan for how to get close to the owner of the Mississippi-based plantation.

Beloved (1998)

Based on one of the most important novels about slavery of all time, Beloved by Toni Morrisson, this mystery drama tells the story of a former slave Sethe who is looking for freedom mostly for the sake of her children.

She is struggling with her troubled past, haunted by painful and well-hidden secrets when her old familiar Paul D re-enters her life and wants to give her a hand. But he is not the only one who wants to be involved in her life. Sethe meets a stranger in the form of a young mysterious woman and is eager to learn more about her while trying to get her life together with Paul D’s help.

The Long Walk Home

This remarkable history drama relives the events from 1955/1956 in Montgomery, Alabama when Afro-Americans started boycotting public transport because they got tired of having to sit at the back of the bus.

Odessa is well-treated in the household she works in and together with her employer, Miriam Thompson she has to decide how to react to the protests that are beginning to take place in their hometown. Odessa feels it is her duty to walk to work, even if that implies getting to work late.

Glory (1989)

This excellent biographical war drama with Denzel Washington and Matthew Broderick as leading roles tells the story of Colonel Robert Gould Shaw Shaw who was an officer in the Federal Army during the American Civil War. He was the one who volunteered to lead the first company of black soldiers.

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Being a white man, Shaw encountered many problems with his decision and had to deal with the prejudice of the enemies who were ordered to kill commanding officers of blacks and his own fellow officers. 

Harriet

One more biographical tale is this interesting and exciting drama based on the thrilling life of Harriet Tubman, one of the most famous and iconic American freedom fighters. It is the story of her escape from slavery after which she became one of America’s greatest heroes.

She was extremely courageous and tenacious and her strong will and stubbornness freed hundreds of slaves and changed the course of history.

Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom (2013)

This interesting biographical drama gives us an insight into Nelson Mandela’s life, protests, and his and his friends’ life imprisonment for treason. He was a South African lawyer who joined the African National Congress in 1940 when the law under Apartheid’s brutal tyranny proved wrong for his people.

He never stopped fighting and worked from prison, over the decades in chains and slowly his struggle became an international cause, making him the renowned leader of his movement, after his wife Winnie couldn’t lead it in peace anymore. He will have to find a way to a peaceful victory upon his release so that his country and people are left unstained.

13th (2016)

This outstanding crime documentary deals with the rise of imprisonments in the USA. in 1970 there were around 200 000 people in prison and today there are more than two million. The movie deals with many interesting issues, such as chattel slavery and it shows us the nation’s history of racial inequality.

It mentions many interesting and important historical events and things connected to racial inequality, such as D.W.Griffith’s movie The Birth of the Nation, the civil rights movement, the Civil Rights Act of 1964, Ronald Reagan’s declaration of the war on drugs, and many more.

I Am Not Your Negro (2016)

This brilliant historical documentary narrated by Samuel L. Jackson takes us back to 1979 when the writer James Baldwin wrote a letter to his literary agent in which he described his next project, “Remember This House”

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He planned to write a book about the lives and assassinations of three of his very close friends, Medgar Evers, Malcolm X, and Martin Luther King Jr. But when he died in 1987, there we only 39 completed pages of his manuscript, and in this documentary filmmaker Raoul Peck is giving us an insight into the book Baldwin has never finished. 

Free State of Jones (2016)

This interesting war western drama is set at the time of the Civil War and it tells the story of Newt Knight, a stubborn farmer, and his armed rebellion against the Confederacy. He joined forces with other small farmers and local slaves and created an uprising that led Jones County, Mississippi to secede from the Confederacy.

It created the Free State of Jones and Knight continued his struggle into Reconstruction which made him a compelling and controversial figure that was talked about long after the War.

 Freedom Riders (2010)

This documentary brings us the story of more than four hundred Americans who participated in a dangerous experiment that wanted to awaken the conscience of the complete nation. The Freedom Riders’ idea was to challenge racial segregation during the Civil Rights Movement.

They were oriented at American interstate transportation and traveled in small interracial groups and sat anywhere they wanted on buses and trains to demand equal access to terminal restaurants and waiting rooms. They brought attention to racial segregation in the Southern States.

The Butler (2013)

This interesting biographical drama, The Butler, tells the story of Cecil Gaines who served eight presidents as a butler at the White House. This story is about his life and all the things that made an impact on it, such as the civil rights movement, The Vietnam War, and other important events.

Cecil grew up in the 1920s and used to work as a domestic servant for a white family who destroyed his after this event, Cecil decided to make it on his own, without having to depend on anyone ever in his life. While working for all the presidents he would witness different moments related to the civil rights movement as well. When the situation in his family climaxes, he realizes that he should take action in his own way. 

Selma (2014)

One of the best movies dealing with this topic in the last decade is this biographical drama based on one of the most important events in the history of the civil rights movement and post-slavery era. It follows three story chronicles throughout the period of three months in 1965. 

It was the year when Martin Luther King, Jr. led his campaign to secure equal voting rights. It is the story of the epic march from Selma to Montgomery which culminated with President Johnson signing the Voting Rights Act of 1965 which is one of the greatest achievements of the civil rights movement.

Descendant (2022)

One of the newest documentaries about slavery that arrived on Netflix is this brilliant story that takes place in Alabama, among the members of a small community of Africatown. We will learn about their personal stories and community history as descendants of Clotilda.

Clotilda is the last known slave ship that illegally transported human beings as cargo from Africa to America. A team of marine archaeologists has confirmed the existence of the ship which was a centuries-old open secret.

  • Tamara is a big movie, music and book fan since always and writes a blog about all these things. Loves psychological thrillers, noir movies and mysteries of all kind. Enjoys discussing and talking about movies and tv series.