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Free Black History Month movies at the BWG Library

Check out some of the top films from the BWG Library this week
picks of the week Feb 27
Stock photo.

Celebrate Black History Month with free Kanopy Movies from the BWG Library

Did your family enjoy last week’s recommended Black History Month movies for kids?  Librarians from the BWG Library have curated another list, this one for older audiences.  This is a list of entertaining and inspiring movies to enrich us and challenge our perspectives. 

This Black History Month, you can stream thoughtful entertainment to your preferred device with no fees and no commercials. With a catalogue of thousands of titles, including Black History Month favourites and popular picks chosen for their insight into other cultures, perspectives and beliefs. New titles are added every month and BWG Library cardholders get 10 Adult Play Tokens per month.  Get started at and check out the Kanopy Movies listed below!

For help using Kanopy, please message the BWG Library through Facebook at or email  

Agents of Change: The Longest Student Strike in U.S. History

Current struggles to make colleges welcoming and relevant for students of colour continue movements which swept across campuses fifty years ago. Agents of Change tells the timely and inspiring story of how successful protests for equity and inclusion led to establishing the first Black and Ethnic Studies departments at two very different universities: San Francisco State (1968) and Cornell (1969).

San Francisco State students, their supporters on the faculty and in the community, including the increasingly influential Black Panther Party, launched the longest student strike in U.S. history. In addition to curricular changes, they demanded increased minority student recruitment and retention, and the hiring of minority faculty. Student activists, like actor Danny Glover, demonstrated and faced brutal police assaults and massive arrests unleashed by then-Governor Ronald Reagan. 

Cane River

Written, produced, and directed by Emmy Award-winning documentarian, Horace B. Jenkins, and crafted by an entirely African American cast and crew, Cane River is a racially-charged love story in Natchitoches Parish, a “free community of color” in Louisiana. A budding, forbidden romance lays bare the tensions between two black communities, both descended from slaves but of disparate opportunity—the light-skinned, property-owning Creoles and the darker-skinned, more disenfranchised families of the area. 

This lyrical, visionary film disappeared for decades after Jenkins died suddenly following the film’s completion, robbing generations of a talented, vibrant new voice in African American cinema. Available now for the first time in nearly forty years in a brand-new, state-of-the-art 4k restoration.


Directed by Ryan Coogler (Fruitvale Station, Black Panther), FIG is a sympathetic look at the life of a working-class mother, a prostitute named Candice wants nothing more than to provide a good life for her daughter Kyla.

One night that she is unable to find a babysitter for Kyla, Candice takes her to the corner where she picks up johns and leaves her in the car. When Candice is with a john, Kyla is found alone by the police and is taken into emergency foster care. When she finds out, Candice does everything in her power to convince the social worker in charge of Kyla’s case that she really does love her daughter very much.

Winner of the Short Film Award at the American Black Film Festival. Nominated for Outstanding Independent Short Film at the Black Reel Awards.

Miss Juneteenth

A former beauty queen and single mom prepares her rebellious teenage daughter for the "Miss Juneteenth" pageant.

Official Selection at the Sundance Film Festival and SXSW Film Festival.

Night Catches Us

Set in 70s Philadelphia. After years away, an ex-black panther returns to his old neighbourhood only to find himself drawn right back into the rivalries and love affair he left behind. Music by the Roots.

Official Selection at the Sundance Film Festival.

Ronald Reagan. In spite of these obstacles, Black, Latino and Asian student groups formed the Third World Liberation Front and emerged victorious, creating the first College of Ethnic Studies in the nation and igniting similar actions across the country.

The Watermelon Woman

Cheryl Dunye plays a version of herself in this witty, nimble landmark of New Queer Cinema.

A video store clerk and fledgling filmmaker, Cheryl becomes obsessed with the "most beautiful mammy," a character she sees in a 1930s movie. Determined to find out who the actress she knows only as the "Watermelon Woman" was and make her the subject of a documentary, she starts researching and is bowled over to discover that not only was Fae Richards (Lisa Marie Bronson) a fellow Philadelphian but also a lesbian.

The project Is not without drama as Cheryl’s singular focus causes friction between her and her friend Tamara (Valarie Walker) and as she begins to see parallels between Fae’s problematic relationship with a white director and her own budding romance with white Diana (fellow filmmaker Guinevere Turner).