“Hoop Dreams” is a classic 1994 documentary directed by Steve James about two boys growing up in Chicago and their dream of playing professional basketball in the NBA. In pursuit of that, they attempt to move through the basketball development and recruitment pipeline. While much of the film focuses on the triumphs and letdowns of their high school basketball years we also see the ups and downs of their lives off the court.
If you’re interested in learning about the gospel turned soul singer who was the first Black artist to own a record label, then my Sam Cooke Black History Facts profile is for you.
“A Raisin in the Sun” is a 1961 film adapted from Lorraine Hansberry’s 1959 play about the fictional Younger family. The Youngers are a Black family living on Chicago’s Southside and thus far their dreams of a better life have been held in check by poverty and racism. As the family’s matriarch awaits a possibly life-changing insurance check resulting from her husband’s death, her son and daughter have hopes of using the money to pursue their dreams. The story follows the lives of the Youngers for a few weeks and explores their current lives versus their aspirations.
If you’re interested in learning about the first Black woman in NASA’s astronaut training program, America’s first Black woman astronaut, and the first Black woman in space, then my Mae C. Jemison Black History Short is for you.
“Soul Food” is a 1997 George Tillman Jr. drama about the Joseph family’s descent into dysfunction after the matriarch goes into a coma. The story is told through the eyes of the eldest grandchild, Ahmad, who serves as the film’s narrator. Josephine “Big Mama” Joseph and her three daughters gather with their families on Sundays and holidays to share a good meal. The tradition serves to keep them close while their sibling rivalries, meddling, and their raggedy Cousin Faith threaten to push them apart.