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Black History Month: best things to watch on Netflix and NOW TV

From Da 5 Bloods to Watchmen, check out our top picks

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Emmy Griffiths
TV & Film Editor
1 October 2020
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October is Black History Month and streaming services are marking the occasion with a fantastic array of moving, insightful and educational programs which should definitely be on all of or our must-watch lists this month...

READ: Lavinya Stennett on the need to have Black British History on the school curriculum

Just Mercy - Sky and NOW TV

Based on a powerful true story, follows Michael B Jordan as a young lawyer who is determined to overturn the wrongful conviction of Walter McMillian (Jamie Foxx), who was convicted for the murder of a teenage girl, despite there being solid evidence that proved his innocence. 

just mercy

Michael B Jordan stars in this new Sky film

Da 5 Bloods - Netflix

Directed by Spike Lee, the synopsis reads: "Four African American vets battle the forces of man and nature when they return to Vietnam seeking the remains of their fallen squad leader and the gold fortune he helped them hide." It is also one of the late great Chadwick Boseman's last projects before he passed away earlier this year.

WATCH: Brilliant new films coming this October

Harriet - Sky and NOW TV

Cynthia Erivo received an Oscar nomination for her portrayal of the American freedom fighter Harriet Tubman. The synopsis reads: "Harriet tells the extraordinary tale of Tubman’s escape from slavery and transformation into one of America’s greatest heroes. Her courage, ingenuity, and tenacity freed hundreds of slaves and changed the course of history." Incredible. 

MORE: 15 powerful and essential books on racial injustice to add to your reading list

MORE: Black-owned fashion and beauty brands to support and everything you need to know

MORE: 9 powerful shows and documentaries about racial injustice that are essential viewing


Harriet is based on a true story

A Black Lady Sketch Show - Sky and NOW TV

Fancy trying a new comedy? With Insecure's Issa Rae serving as executive producer, this hilarious show is set in a magical reality full of brilliant characters and plenty of famous faces serving as guest stars! Starring Robin Thede, Ashley Nicole Black and Gabrielle Dennis, the show presents sketches performed by a core cast of black women. 


Need a new comedy to try?

Dear White People - Netflix

This whip-smart satirical drama series follows a group of black students as they navigate a so-called "post-racial" America in the form of a predominantly white Ivy-League College. With each episode focusing on a different member of the group, the series looks at social injustice, cultural bias, political correctness and even misguided activism in the millennial age. It is also, incidentally, very very funny. 

dear white people

Have you watched Dear White People yet?

In the Long Run - Sky and NOW TV

Love a bit of Idris Elba? Check out the first three seasons of his semi-autobiographical comedy, based all on the Luther actor's own children. In season three, "Walter is desperate to impress his mum who has just arrived from Sierra Leone and Bagpipes' near-death experience has made him question the meaning of life. Meanwhile Agnes is suspicious as some developers take an interest in Eastbridge Estate - threatening the very existence of the community." 

idris elba

The show is loosely based on Idris Elba's childhood

Lovecraft Country - Sky and NOW TV

In this horror series, Atticus Freeman leaves his hometown with his uncle and his friend Letitia to track down his father. While on a road trip across the US in 1950s, the trio come face to face with horrendous racist terrors from small-town US, while also have to deal with killer monsters, wizards and all kinds of supernatural terrors. 


The story follows Atticus Freeman

American Son - Netflix 

This powerful TV film is an adaption of the Broadway production of the same name. It stars Kerry Washington and Steven Pasquale as Kendra and Scott, a recently separated couple left in disarray after their son Jamal goes missing. American Son powerfully navigates the issues of racial tensions surrounding interracial marriages and raising a mixed-race son in a privileged area.

american son 1

Kerry Washington stars in this must-watch film

Watchmen - Sky and NOW TV

Set in an alternate version of the modern-day, the brilliant show follows Angela Abar, a police officer who is allowed to wear a mask after a group of white supremacists committed synchronised murders of police officers, known as 'White Night'. In the show, the supremacist group has risen up once again, forcing Angela to put herself in danger to find out the truth. 

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The incredible Regina King stars as Angela

Black History Month Bedtime Story - CBeebies 

Thursday night will see historian and presenter of A House Through Time Professor David Olusoga reads ‘Coming to England’, by Floella Benjamin and illustrated by Diane Ewen. The synopsis reads: "It follows ten-year-old Floella as she and her family set sail from the Caribbean to a new life in London in 1960. The optimistic and very personal story shows how courage and determination can often overcome adversity." 

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Professor David Olusoga reads Coming to England by Floella Benjamin

Speaking about the show, David said: "I knew this was a very important and special book that needed to be shared widely. Not only does the story encourage empathy from children at a very young age but also a greater understanding of the Windrush generation.

MORE: Stars share powerful messages to support the Black Lives Matter movement

"It explains at an elementary level what it means to be a British person with black Caribbean heritage, a background that deserves to be celebrated and learned about." 

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