Black Lives Matter, no matter what. They do not matter just because they make music. So please don’t take this list as a sort of justification for why black lives matter. Please don’t think I’m saying black lives matter because Earl Sweatshirt is black or because Nina Simone was black. Black lives matter because black people are human beings. Until black people across the world can live with the same freedoms and rights that white people take for granted, I’ll keep saying Black Lives Matter.

I’m using this space to highlight Black art I love. By no means take this as a comprehensive list or history of black music, but a collection of songs by black artists which have all meant something to me at some point in my life. I will let the songs speak for themselves, I don’t feel any need to explain my choices or to analyse the content of the songs. This playlist is a mere scratch of the surface.

I have also selected some black films that I love, and where to find them. My original intent was to only feature work by black filmmakers, but due to a number of reasons, one being my own ignorance, two being the under-representation of black filmmakers in the industry, and three being the lack of representation their work has in the popular canon, I have also included films a few films regarding the black experience. In the case of the films directed by white men, the black principal actors all had significant involvement in the film beyond their performance. Once again, this is by no means a comprehensive list. Like the list of music, I have kept it to one film per director, as otherwise I would probably have just directed you to Spike Lee’s entire filmography.


  • If Beale Street Could Talk – Prime Video
  • Do the Right Thing – Now TV
  • Sorry to Bother You – Now TV
  • Boyz N The Hood – Netflix
  • Field Niggas – Criterion Channel
  • When I Get Home – YouTube
  • Shadows – BFI Player
  • The Last Black Man in San Francisco – Rent on Prime or YouTube
  • Hoop Dreams – Rent on Curzon Home Cinema
  • Ali: Fear Eats the Soul – BFI Player
  • Black Panthers – Criterion Channel