Turner Classic Movies is one of my favorite cable networks and today they’ll be showing several films that feature many talented African American actors in honor of Martin Luther King Day. The first to kick it off was Cabin in the Sky which aired at 8:30 AM, and will repeat on February 3 at 6:15 PM. It features the amazing Ethel Waters and Lena Horne as well as Eddie “Rochester” Anderson in the main cast. The film is just the beginning of a schedule filled with movies that are not only relevant to African American culture, but cinema as a whole…

According to the official TCM schedule, Cabin in the Sky will be followed by Bright Road, a 1953 film about teachers at an all Black school trying to save a problem child. Then one of my personal favorites Sounder will air, which starred the late Paul Winfield and the talented Cicely Tyson. Both actors did a great job at portraying sharecroppers during the Depression fighting to give their children a decent education. The only film that could take over the top spot on this list, is the film adaptation of the play, A Raisin in The Sun.

The play was originally written by Lorraine Hansberry, and debuted on Broadway in 1959. The film version featured a who’s who of actors led by the legendary Sidney Poitier and Ruby Dee. The story centered on a poor Chicago family struggling to make ends meet. When the patriarch of the family dies, everyone is conflicted about what to do with his life insurance money. Does the love of money tear them a part of bring them closer together? You’ll have to watch the movie to find out.

What’s your favorite film out of this bunch?