1. “The Best Man” (1999)
“The Wood” and then “The Best Man” were important for black movies. It showed that a movie with an all-black cast can be successful at the box office. We put “The Best Man” over “The Wood” because frankly, it boasts a better cast and better plot development.
2. “Brown Sugar” (2002)
One of the best hip-hop movies is also one of the best romantic movies. Who would have thought? “Brown Sugar” (starring Taye Diggs…again) is sweet, funny, hip…everything you want from a romantic dramedy.
3. “Jason’s Lyric” (1994)
“Jason’s Lyric” tells the story of how new love can heal old wounds. A young Jada Pinkett Smith gives one of the finer performances of her career.
4. “How Stella Got Her Groove Back” (1998)
If you’re a women, “How Stella Got Her Groove Back” is your fantasy. It tells the story of a overworked woman who takes a much-needed vacation where, at the age of 40, she finds the man of her dreams. (Taye Diggs…AGAIN.)
5. “Mississippi Masala” (1991)
Before Denzel Washington was one of America’s biggest action stars, he was a ladies’ man. The powerful “Mississippi Masala” is about the strenuous relationship between Indians and African Americans.
6. Mahogany (1975)
This was when Diana Ross could do no wrong. Diana Ross followed up the film “Lady Sings the Blues,” for which she was nominated for a Best Actress Oscar, with the low budget but charming “Mahogany.”
7. Poetic Justice (1993)
It’s not everyday you get a movie featuring two of the most iconic pop artists ever. But there are very few movies like “Poetic Justice,” a film about two opposite personalities — Tupac and Janet Jackson basically playing themselves — who find love.
8. Love and Basketball (2000)
Finally, a love movie where the two principles are equal, where the female lead Monica (played by Sanaa Lathan) is as strong, if not stronger, than the male lead Quincy (played by Omar Epps). The movie is equally loved by women (who relate to the love story) and men (who appreciate the basketball narrative).
9. “Carmen Jones” (1954)
Dorothy Dandridge was the first black woman to be nominated for an Oscar. That performance was for the sexy “Carmen Jones,” a woman stuck in a love triangle that eventually turns dangerous.
10. “Love Jones” (1997)
Despite the fact that it was not a box office success at all (it only pulled in $12 million) “Love Jones” has built a fierce cult following. Point blank: when you think about black love, you think about Nina and Darius. Plus, the movie has one of the best soundtracks ever.