15 Movies Free to Stream That Address Racism and Police Brutality in America

Looking for movies free to stream to learn more about racism in America. Here you go.

With all the national and international protests going on, Hollywood is doing their part to help fight racism, but making movies that address racism, police brutality, and more experiences of being black in America free to stream online.

READ: 12 Favorite Martin Lawrence Characters of All Time

These films are available to rent (for a limited time) for free (some are in 4K, too) through many streaming services, including iTunes, Google Play, Vudu, FandangoNow, and YouTube.

READ: 11 Must-See Documentaries on Police Brutality and Corruption

Check out the 15 movies free to stream that address racism and police brutality in America below


Synopsis: Dave Chappelle’s latest stand up where he addresses George Floyd’s death, protesting, Don lemon, and more.
How to Watch: Free to watch on YouTube

Just Mercy

Synopsis: After graduating from Harvard, Bryan Stevenson heads to Alabama to defend those wrongly condemned or those not afforded proper representation. One of his first cases is that of Walter McMillian, who is sentenced to die in 1987 for the murder of an 18-year-old girl, despite evidence proving his innocence. In the years that follow, Stevenson encounters racism and legal and political maneuverings as he tirelessly fights for McMillian’s life.

How to Watch: Free on all digital platforms like Vudu, Fandango, Amazon Prime, iTunes, etc.

The Hate Your Give

Synopsis: Starr Carter is constantly switching between two worlds — the poor, mostly black neighborhood where she lives and the wealthy, mostly white prep school that she attends. The uneasy balance between these worlds is soon shattered when she witnesses the fatal shooting of her childhood best friend at the hands of a police officer. Facing pressure from all sides of the community, Starr must find her voice and decide to stand up for what’s right.

How to Watch: Free on all digital platforms like Vudu, Fandango, Amazon Prime, iTunes, etc.

READ: 13 Powerful TV Episodes That Address Police Brutality and Racism


Synopsis: Filmmaker Ava DuVernay explores the history of racial inequality in the United States, focusing on the fact that the nation’s prisons are disproportionately filled with African-Americans.

How to Watch: Youtube and Netflix (with subscription)


Synopsis: Although the Civil Rights Act of 1964 legally desegregated the South, discrimination was still rampant in certain areas, making it very difficult for blacks to register to vote. In 1965, an Alabama city became the battleground in the fight for suffrage. Despite violent opposition, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. (David Oyelowo) and his followers pressed forward on an epic march from Selma to Montgomery, and their efforts culminated in President Lyndon Johnson signing the Voting Rights Act of 1965.

How to Watch: Free on all digital platforms, including iTunes and Amazon, through the end of June.


John Lewis: Get in the Way

Synopsis: The life and work of the civil rights leader and congressman.

How to Watch: Free to stream on PBS

Brian Banks

Synopsis: The inspirational true story of Brian Banks, an all-American high school football star who finds his life upended when he’s wrongly convicted of a crime he didn’t commit. Despite the lack of evidence, Banks gets railroaded through a broken justice system and sentenced to a decade of prison and probation. Years later, with the support of Justin Brooks and the California Innocence Project, Banks fights to reclaim his life and fulfill his dreams of playing in the NFL.

How to Watch: Free on all digital platforms like Vudu, Fandango, Amazon Prime, iTunes, Youtube (above) etc.


Synopsis: With wit and athletic genius, with defiant rage and inner grace, Muhammad Ali forever changed the American landscape. Fighting all comers, Ali took on the law, conventions, the status quo and the war — as well as the fists in front of him. Ali both ignited and mirrored the conflicts of his time and ours to become one of the most admired fighters in the world. Forget, now, what you thought you knew.

How to Watch: Free on all digital platforms like Vudu, Fandango, Amazon Prime, iTunes, etc.

I Am Not Your Negro

Synopsis:In 1979, James Baldwin wrote a letter to his literary agent describing his next project, “Remember This House.” The book was to be a revolutionary, personal account of the lives and assassinations of three of his close friends: Medgar Evers, Malcolm X and Martin Luther King, Jr. At the time of Baldwin’s death in 1987, he left behind only 30 completed pages of this manuscript. Filmmaker Raoul Peck envisions the book James Baldwin never finished.

How to Watch: Free to stream on PBS

The African-Americans: Many Rivers to Cross

Synopsis: Presented and written by Henry Louis Gates Jr., this six-hour series guides viewers on a journey across two continents to explore the transition of African-Americans. The series encompasses five centuries of events, visits key sites, and engages in debates with historians and eyewitnesses like school integration pioneers Ruby Bridges and Charlayne Hunter-Gault, former Black Panther Kathleen Neal Cleaver and former Secretary of State Colin Powell.

How to Watch: Free to stream on PBS

Antwone Fisher

Synopsis: The touching story of a sailor (Derek Luke) who, prone to violent outbursts, is sent to a naval psychiatrist (Denzel Washington) for help. Refusing at first to open up, the young man eventually breaks down and reveals a horrific childhood. Through the guidance of his new doctor, he confronts his painful past and begins a quest to find the family he never knew.
How to Watch: Free to rent on Fandango Now.

Reconstruction: America After the Civil War

Synopsis: Henry Louis Gates Jr. hosts this four-hour documentary exploring how the United States emerged from the Civil War and slavery. Featuring interviews with historians, authors and other experts, the film explores the transformative years following the Civil War through the rise of Jim Crow segregation. The film also looks at blacks in art, music, literature and culture and the surge of political activism that eventually leads to the rise of civil rights organizations.

How to Watch: Free to stream on PBS

Black America Since MLK: And Still I Rise

Synopsis: Professor Henry Louis Gates Jr. hosts a personal journey through the past 50 years of black history in the United States, citing both the progress made and obstacles yet to be overcome. Featuring comments from Jesse Jackson, Nas and Donna Brazile, the series provides interviews as well as archival footage that document the struggle for black equality and America’s changing racial landscape, from the civil rights era through present day. Eric Holder, Shonda Rhimes and DeRay Mckesson also offer insight into the state of black America — and the nation as a whole.

How to Watch: Free to stream on PBS

America to Me

Synopsis: This unscripted documentary series presents an exclusive look into an academic year at suburban Chicago’s Oak Park and River Forest High School. Students, teachers and administrators from one of the country’s highest performing and diverse public schools are profiled in the face of decades-old racial and educational inequities. The series delves into the experiences of the racially diverse student population, sparking conversations about what has and has not succeeded in the quest to achieve racial equity and overcome bias in education.

How to Watch: Free to rent on Fandango Now.

The Secret Life of Bees

Synopsis: Haunted by memories of her late mother and abused by her father (Paul Bettany), 14-year-old Lily Owens (Dakota Fanning) runs away with her friend and caregiver Rosaleen (Jennifer Hudson) to the South Carolina town that holds the key to her mother’s past. There, Lily meets the Boatwright sisters (Queen Latifah, Alicia Keys, Sophie Okonedo), who take her in and teach her about beekeeping, honey, and the Black Madonna. Lily also discovers that the truth about her mother is closer than she thinks.

How to Watch: Free to rent on Fandango Now.

Daughters of the Dust

Synopsis: At the dawn of the 20th century, a family in the Gullah community of coastal South Carolina — former West African slaves who adopted many of their ancestors’ Yoruba traditions — suffers a generational split. Young Haagar (Kaycee Moore) wants to move to the mainland away from tradition-bound matriarch Nana (Cora Lee Day). Former prostitute Yellow Mary (Barbara-O) gets a cold shoulder when she returns to the island with her female lover, especially from her sister Viola (Cheryl Lynn Bruce).

How to Watch: Free to stream on The Criterion Channel

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