Here are seven love stories to watch this week that include Black voices and stories to celebrate love. These films, which range from cult blockbusters to masterpieces and everything in between, all tell lovely, timeless love stories. The directors of these films have gone on to create more fantastic works such as The Old Guard, The Mandalorian, and Space Jam: A New Legacy. Here are seven of the best Black-Led love stories now available on the market.
1. Moonlight (2016)
Director- Barry Jenkins
The sensitive nine-year-old child, Chiron, or Little, is an easy target in 1980s Miami because of the way he walks. The terrified child, who has spent virtually his entire life escaping bullies, seeks safety in a run-down crack house, where Juan, the disposable drug dealer, takes him under his wing. Chiron, on the other hand, is doomed to live a predestined existence. He is stuck in a vicious circle of antitheses, in a world where everything can change at the sight of a knife or a pistol.
To put it another way, Juan has taken on the role of the boy’s pale father figure. While Paula, Chiron’s inattentive mother, has become Juan’s best customer. But, as Little matures into an introspective sixteen-year-old kid struggling with his identity. Only a thick exterior can protect him from the world. Three eras describe a sensitive young adult Chiron who, above all, is still grappling with profound pent-up emotions after all these years.
2. Love & Basketball (2000)
Director- Gina Prince-Bythewood
Monica moves in next door to Quincy in Los Angeles in 1981. They’re both 11 years old and, like Quincy’s father, want to play in the NBA. Except when Quincy’s parents dispute and he climbs through Monica’s window to sleep on the floor. Their love-hate connection lasts until high school, with Monica’s edge and Quincy’s top-dog attitude dividing them. They become a pair as high school ends, but within a year, with both of them playing baseball at USC. Quincy’s relationship with his father deteriorates, and he breaks up with Monica. They meet again a few years later, their professional careers at a fork in the road. It’s time for a high-stakes final one-on-one game.
3. If Beale Street Could Talk (2018)
Director- Barry Jenkins
Tish, nineteen, and her twenty-two-year-old self-made sculptor beau, Fonny, have known each other since childhood. They have all the time in the world to plan their shared future in early-1970s Harlem. A heinous crime on the opposite side of town, coupled with a flagrant misuse of authority. It would result in an unjustly accused Fonny being singled out in a police line-up. Along with imprisonment for an atrocity he did not commit. As life’s irresistible power benefits both saints and sinners, a never-ending lone struggle for justice begins.
4. Brown Sugar (2002)
Director- Rick Fameyiwa
Sidney is a writer who just quit her job as a music critic for the Los Angeles Times to become the editor of XXL, a hip-hop publication in New York. Dre works as an executive for a hip-hop record label in New York. They’ve known each other since they were kids, when they both first discovered hip-hop. They should be great for each other now that they’re back together, except Dre is going to marry lawyer Reese. On the other hand, Sidney swears he’s not romantically interested in Dre. Meanwhile, Dre is becoming increasingly dissatisfied with his label’s emphasis on business over artistry. It has led to the signing of the gimmicky Ren and Ten while disregarding the gifted Chris.
5. The Best Man (1999)
Director- Malcolm D. Lee
Harper’s autobiographical autobiography is almost finished, his girlfriend Robin is looking for a long-term relationship, and he’ll be best man at Lance’s pro athlete wedding. He arrives in New York early (Robin will arrive for the wedding) to hang out with Lance and other friends, including Jordan, his previous almost-girlfriend who now works in the media and has access to an advance copy of the book. Jordan wants to try again with Harper, at least for one night; and Harper is afraid that Lance will read his book and discover that the bride-to-be slept with him once to payback Lance’s many indiscretions.
6. Boomerang (1992)
Director- Reginald Hudlin
Marcus Graham, the successful New York City cosmetics firm executive, is suave, seductive, and self-assured. He lives the bachelor’s dream life. Marcus will meet his match in the form of his new similarly elusive and immensely ambitious employer, Jacqueline, who has a tendency of playing with men, despite his refusal to settle down and get married. Marcus now needs to re-evaluate his life and the way he treats women if he wants to experience what he truly desires: unbridled passion and, most all, true love, as the self-assured advertising is increasingly getting a taste of his own medicine.
7. Love Jones (1997)
Director- Theodore Witcher
Darius (Larenz Tate), an aspiring writer, and Nina (Nia Long), an aspiring photographer, strike up an instant friendship following a fortuitous encounter in a Chicago club. They become friends over music, photography, and poetry, and finally fall in love. Nina’s decision to go to New York in order to repair her relationship with her ex-fiancé, Marvin (Khalil Kain), however, leaves Darius distraught and the couple’s future in peril.
In short, black-led love stories have made a significant impact on American popular culture. Whether you’re looking for a classic love story or just want to stay up to date on modern black-led romances, you can’t go wrong with any of the fine stories listed in our lineup.