Happiness Class: Movie Therapy 22 Films to Soothe Our Racial Justice Soul


"Three years ago, when I switched up the television shows that I watch, choosing only those that feature what I perceived to be real Black lives, I was unknowingly engaged in cinema therapy. Watching shows that affirmed my Blackness and womanhood helped me reflect on  my own value and worthiness and heal from the trauma I'd experienced over the years of consuming White-male-dominated narratives.

Research has shown that certain films have caused social justice change, or simply inspired good things to happen. A study by Yale researchers shows that the movie The Day After Tomorrow 'had a significant impact' on movie goers' attitude toward climate change. 

Considering the polarize and xenophobic state of the country and the world, I'll take the liberty of suggesting that we all are---no matter how we identify---experiencing racial trauma. The following race-related flicks will make you cry and laugh (looking at you, Trevor Noah); some may make you mad. They all will help you think differently. 

Inside the Ku Klux Klan (2015)

I Am Not Your Negro (2016)

13th (2016)

Who Killed Vincent Chin? (1987)

Trevor Noah: Afraid of the Dark (2017) and Son of Patricia (2018)

Dave Chappelle: Equanimity and the Bird Revelation (2017)

Bright (2017)

Belle (2013)

Loving (2016)"

(YES! MAGAZINE Zenobia Jeffries Warfield is an associate editor at YES! She covers racial justice. Twitter: @ZenobiaJeffries)


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