Best Civil Rights Movies to Watch In Honor of the March on Washington

As America gets ready to celebrate the 60th anniversary of the March On Washington, it’s only natural to look at books, like the 60th-anniversary edition of Dr. King’s I Have a Dream, featuring his famous speech at the March, and films that have captured the essence of the civil rights movement. These films take you on an emotional journey through history and sheds light on the struggles, triumphs and moments that shaped a movement.

Here are several films that have done just that to help you celebrate that auspicious day of the March on Washington on August 28, 1963.

One Night In Miami (2020)

Regina King makes her directorial debut heading up the shots in One Night In Miami. The film is a fictionalized account of a real February 1964 meeting between Malcolm X, Muhammad Ali, Jim Brown and Sam Cooke in a room at Hampton House, a famous Black-owned hotel.

John Lewis: Good Trouble (2020)

What better way to learn about John Lewis, a tour de force in the civil rights movement, than through a film on his life? Filled with real-life interviews and rare archival footage, this engaging documentary chronicles Lewis’ 60-plus years of social activism in the streets and legislative action in Congress.

All the Way (2016)

This biographical drama explores how Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. worked with President Lyndon B. Johnson to develop and pass the Civil Rights Act without limitations that would have weakened it. Anthony Mackie stars as the iconic civil rights activist.

Selma (2014)

Directed by Ava DuVernay, Selma chronicles a pivotal event that happened two years after the March on Washington. Led by Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. on the epic marches from Selma to Montgomery, Alabama, courageous Black Americans helped secure the Voting Rights Act of 1965.

The Butler (2013)

Inspired by the life of Eugene Allen, an African American man who served as a White House butler for several decades, the film offers a unique perspective on the civil rights movement through the eyes of someone who witnessed history unfold from inside the Oval Office.

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Updated: August 25, 2023 — 12:02 pm