In response to my piece challenging the call to boycott the broadcast of History channel’s remake of “Roots,” which premiered last night (read that article here if you haven’t), I received several emails, read a lot of comments on this blog, as well as on Facebook and Twitter, and even argued with a few folks, all making the claim, in one way or another, that the vast majority of films starring black actors that have been financed, produced, and/or released by film studios/companies here in the USA in recent years, have centered around slavery.

“When is Hollywood going to tell stories about black people that aren’t about slavery?” was a common question asked, followed with, “All we ever get are movies about slavery. This is BS! I’m tired of this. I’m not watching ‘Roots!'”

Or some variation of that… as Snoop Dogg, who shared a video on his Instagram page yesterday, said in an expletive-filled rant, “I’m sick of this… They just going to keep beating that sh*t into our heads as to how they did us, huh?”

There was more than that, but you get the picture. It was headline news, as many media outlets picked it up (I did as well, and commented on it in the piece I referenced earlier here).

I replied to a few of the folks who challenged my argument (more like my facts) that the “majority” of films backed by Hollywood (or American film companies) in one way or another, that star black actors, have, in fact, NOT had anything whatsoever to do with the slave trade. My response was to essentially do the work, and find out for themselves, confirming or denying their perceptions; because, as I said before, perception is not reality. Just because you think something is the case doesn’t make it so. If I may, in jest, #BlackFactsMatter!

A few argued that the burden of proof was on me (some even said I was being lazy) – meaning, I should do the work for them, and prove them wrong. Maybe they weren’t expecting me to do so, but, I did!

So I’ll just drop this list of films, going back 10 years (a full decade), which include every film released theatrically in the USA (no matter how limited the release was), that starred black actors, for every year since 2006. Now take a look, and tell me again about how the vast majority of movies that star black actors are always set in the slavery era, or are focused specifically on that subject. I’ve gotten you this far… surely you can do the rest…

The fact that I actually had to do this is a mystery to me. This is something that should be evident for anyone who’s seen more than a couple of films each year, and not require much research to prove correct. Alas… I did the work.

There are a number of things you can deduce and argue about black representation in cinema, based on this long list of films released since 2006; but the “mostly about slavery” claim is not one of them. And I can go back further than 10 years (I actually have) and the argument still would have no merit.

To be clear, I’m not “defending” the American studio system (or even the minis/indies). I’m one of the more critical voices of the studio system as I think those who’ve read this blog over the years would know well. Hollywood is certainly guilty of many things, especially when it comes to the lack of variety and volume in terms of the stories it chooses to tell about people of color and women (I broke this down in my article yesterday); but just be sure that you’re fighting the right battles, and that you’re well supported in your calls for action.

In closing, I’ll ask this question of those folks who challenged me on this: how many of the films listed here did you actually see and support? Especially those smaller indie and non-American films, and documentaries, that could’ve really used your dollars, or even just your shout-outs on social media.


The Pursuit of Happyness
Big Momma’s House 2
Déjà Vu
Tyler Perry’s Madea’s Family Reunion
Waist Deep
Akeelah and the Bee
The Last King of Scotland
Dave Chappelle’s Block Party
Phat Girlz
Kinky Boots
Steve Harvey’s Don’t Trip…He Ain’t Through with Me Yet!
Black Gold
Been Rich All My Life
Favela Rising
Masai: The Rain Warriors
Herbie Hancock: Possiblities
The Empire in Africa


I am Legend
Tyler Perry’s Why Did I Get Married
Are We There Yet?
Tyler Perry’s Daddy’s Little Girls
The Great Debaters
I Think I Love My Wife
Talk To Me
A Man Named Pearl
The Salon
Darfur Now
Snoop Dogg’s Hood of Horror
Dirty Laundry


Seven Pounds
College Road Trip
Welcome Home Roscoe Jenkins
Tyler Perry’s Meet The Browns
Lakeview Terrace
First Sunday
The Secret Life of Bees
Tyler Perry’s The Family That Preys
Soul Men
Meet Dave
The Express
Cadillac Records
Miracle at St. Anna
Noah’s Arc: Jumping the Broom
Trouble the Water


The Princess and the Frog
Tyler Perry’s Madea Goes To Jail
Michael Jackson’s This is It
The Taking of Pelham 1 2 3
Tyler Perry’s I Can Do Bad All By Myself
Not Easily Broken
Next Day Air
Good Hair
American Violet
The Limits of Control
Black Dynamite
Soul Power
35 Shots of Rum
Youssou N’Dour: I Bring What I Love
Medicine For Melancholy
Confessionsofa Ex-Doofus-ItchyFooted Mutha


The Karate Kid
The Book of Eli
Why Did I Get Married Too?
Death at a Funeral
For Colored Girls
Just Wright
Our Family Wedding
Night Catches Us


The Help
Tyler Perry’s Big Happy Family
Big Mammas: Like Father Like Son
Jumping the Broom
Kevin Hart: Laugh At My Pain
Beats, Rhymes & Life: The Travels of a Tribe Called Quest
Attack The Block
The First Grader
Being Elmo: A puppeteer’s Journey
The Interrupters
The Black Power Mixtape
Gun Hill Road
Thunder Soul
I Will Follow
Life, Above All
35 and Ticking
Rejoice & Shout
Viva Riva!
Crime After Crime
Brenda Bilili!
Frankie & Alice
A Screaming Man


Joyful Noise
Brooklyn Castle
Django Unchained
Think Like A Man
Tyler Perry’s Madea’s Witness Protection
Red Tails
Tyler Perry’s Good Deeds
Alex Cross
A Thousand Words
The Man with the Iron Fists
Beasts of the Southern Wild
Woman Thou Art Loosed: On The 7th Day
Chico & Rita
Red Hook Summer
The Central Park Five
Something From Nothing: The Art of Rap
Middle of Nowhere
Wuthering Heights
Deitrick Haddon’s A Beautiful Soul
Ballplayer: Pelotero
Dysfunctional Friends
Dreams of a Life
Restless City
The Last Fall
Booker’s Place: A Mississippi Story


12 Years a Slave
20 Feet from Stardom
A Band Called Death
A Haunted House
After Earth
American Promise
An Oversimplification of Her Beauty
Baggage Claim
Better Mus’ Come
Big Words
Black Nativity
Blue Caprice
Call Me Kuchu
Fire in the Blood
Free Angela and All Political Prisoners
Fruitvale Station
Gimme the Loot
Go For Sisters
God Loves Uganda
Holla II
I’m In Love With a Church Girl
Jamel Shabazz Street Photographer
Kevin Hart: Let Me Explain
La Playa D.C.
La Pirogue
Lee Daniels’ The Butler
Let the Fire Burn
Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom
Mother of George
Mumia: Long Distance Revolutionary
The Best Man Holiday
The Call
The Inevitable Defeat of Mister and Pete
The Iran Job
The Square
The Trials of Muhammad Ali
The We and the I
Tyler Perry Presents Peeples
Tyler Perry’s A Madea Christmas
Tyler Perry’s Temptation: Confessions of a Marriage Counselor
Una Noche
Venus and Serena
War Witch
Welcome to Pine Hill
Winnie Mandela


Ride Along
The Equalizer
Think Like a Man Too
No Good Deed
About Last Night
Get On Up
Tyler Perry’s The Single Moms Club
Dear White People
Frankie & Alice
Jimi: All Is By My Side
NAS: Time is Illmatic
Finding Fela
12 O’Clock Boys
Through a Lens Darkly
Half of a Yellow Sun
The Retrieval
Horses of God
On the Other Side of the Tracks
I Am Ali
Flex is Kings
Death Metal Angola
Evolution of a Criminal


Straight Outta Compton
San Andreas
War Room
The Perfect Guy
Black Panthers: Vanguard of the Revolution
Brotherly Love
The Man in 3B
Carter High
Chocolate City
A Ballerina’s Tale
Beasts of No Nation
Lila & Eve
3 1/2 Minutes, 10 Bullets
Rubble Kings
Horse Money
Black November
Salvation Army
Out of My Hand
Call Me King
My Friend Victoria
Five Star