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Top 10 Black Christmas Films

As we all continue to enjoy the Christmas festivities, here are our top ten Christmas movies to enjoy this year and for years to come…

Happy Christmas family

The preacher’s wife (1996)
The preacher’s wife came out in 1996 and I haven’t found a movie that reminds me more of my childhood. Over the years it has become a staple when decorating the Christmas tree and always gets me in the Christmas spirit. The film features an all-star cast of black Hollywood royalty such as Denzel Washington, Courtney B. Vance, Loretta Devine, Jenifer Lewis, Lionel Ritchie and of course the late great Whitney Houston.

So what’s the point?
Henry Biggs (Courtney B. Vance) feels like he has the world on his shoulders. He is few and far between as pastor of St. Matthews Baptist Church. As he struggles to support members of his congregation and keep the church afloat before impending closure, he misses important appointments with his son and his marriage to Julia Biggs (Whitney Houston) begins to crumble. He needs a Christmas miracle and gets one in the form of his personal angel, Dudley (Denzel Washington). With Houston lending her voice to the film, The Preacher’s Wife also boasts an outstanding soundtrack, which still stands as the best-selling gospel album of all time.

This Christmas (2007)
A star-studded cast of Idris Elba, Delroy Lindo, Regina King, Sharon Leal, Loretta Devine, Chris Brown, Columbus Short, Laz Alonzo and Lauren London come together in this popular celebratory film that features all the shenanigans you’ve come to expect from your typical sibling meeting. It’s a gift of little jokes, bickering, genuine love and Christmas cheer, shrouded in mysteries that threaten to ruin the holiday and change their future. Regina King’s baby oil scene is a favorite living rent free in my mind.

So what’s the point?
This Christmas, the Whitfield siblings have returned home for the Christmas break, leaving their mother, Ma’dere Whitfield (Loretta Devine), delighted to have all six of their children together for the first time in four years. Everyone seems happy on the surface, but most family members, including the mother, harbor secrets that show there’s more to their lives than meets the eye. With a combination of faith, food and family, this Christmas is heartwarming, romantic, fun and sure to get you in the Christmas spirit. Chris Brown also covers the original Donny Hathaway title track, which is a great complement to the film’s R&B soundtrack.

Black Nativity (2013)
Forest Whitaker, Angela Bassett, Jennifer Hudson, Jacob Latimore, Tyrese Gibson, Mary J. Blige and Nas star in this updated musical adaptation of the nativity scene originally written and directed by celebrated poet and playwright Langston Hughes. More theatrical than cinematic in approach, the musical is a definite homage to Hughes with his quotes and poems sprinkled throughout. Langston’s nativity scene dream sequence is enchanting in its double blend of fantasy and reality and has to be my favorite scene. It is particularly performative and is complemented by vocals from Jennifer Hudson, Jacob Latimore, Forest Whitaker, Mary J Blige, Luke James and Grace Gibson.

So what’s the point?
Langston (Jacob Latimore) was raised by his single mother Naima in Baltimore, but when she is financially overwhelmed and is about to be evicted, she sends him over the Christmas period to live with his estranged grandparents in Harlem. While Langston is there, the plot unravels and he eventually learns the truth behind the rift that separated his mother and grandparents. There is a lot of painful history to unravel, but during the time of giving, they find ways to offer forgiveness and find redemption.

Last holidays (2006)
Queen Latifah and LL COOL J direct this mix of rom-com and Christmas film. Last Holiday is about the festive season and a reminder of what can happen when we dare to embrace opportunity and take control of our lives. It’s an uplifting story full of positivity and I will always applaud scenes that show a black woman indulging in luxury.

So what’s the point?
Georgia (Queen Latifah) works as a saleswoman in a job where she is undervalued and underappreciated. She dreams of becoming a chef and opening her own restaurant, and also has a crush on her co-worker and dream man Sean (LL Cool J). She even has a scrapbook of personal visions in which she chronicles her dreams as “possibilities.” When an accident at work happens, Georgia is examined by a doctor, but instead of being given the all-clear, she receives the devastating news of a terminal illness. After initially wallowing in her sorrows, Georgia resolves to live the rest of her life to the maximum. With her savings, she flies to a European hotel, where she treats herself to every luxury she thinks she has for her final vacation.

Almost Christmas (2016)
Danny Glover, Mo’nique, Gabrielle Union, Kimberly Elise, Omar Epps and Romany Malco star in this tale of love, loss and the beauty that comes when families fight for each other instead of each other. My favorite scene is at Christmas dinner, where some Christmas bombs go off around the dining table, as well as an actual shotgun.

So what’s the point?
It’s five days until Christmas and Walter Meyer (Danny Glover) only hopes to get through it so the Meyer family can have a traditional Christmas dinner the way his late wife would have loved. He knows this won’t be easy as a year has passed since their deaths and each of them is still mourning the loss. To top it off, he can’t find his wife’s tin of recipes for her signature sweet potato pie, his daughters are constantly at each other’s throats, his son has a secret betrayal, and he may have one himself.

Second day of Christmas (2021)
Aml Ameen directs and plays a successful Hollywood novelist who, with his American fiancé Lisa (a likable Aja Naomi King) in tow, returns home to visit his extended British-Caribbean family in London.

After years away from his family in the United States, British author Melvin (Aml Ameen) brings his American fiancé Lisa (Aja Naomi King) home for Christmas to meet her relatives for the first time. A run-in with his ex-girlfriend Georgia (Leigh-Anne Pinnock) and family drama put his new relationship to the test.

A Naija Christmas (2021)
You won’t find a more charming, stylish or competitive family than the fabulous A Naija Christmas foursome, consisting of Kunle Remi, Efa Iwara, Abayomi Alvin and Rachel Oniga. Sprinkled with a healthy dose of Nigerian flair, this Netflix original captures everyone’s hearts and bestows one of the final appearances of the late Nollywood great Rachel Oniga.

So what is it about
Fulfilling a mother’s wishes is a responsibility that falls at the feet of all sons, but this time the reward isn’t just a mother’s smile, it’s the key to her luxurious home. Uncomfortable with the fact that she doesn’t have a grandchild or daughter-in-law yet, Mama (Rachel Oniga) enlists her three sons Ugo (Kunle Remi), Obi (Efa Iwara) and Chike (Abayomi) to find a suitable wife for her give on Christmas day. Despite its simple premise, the film manages to bring issues of class, faith, and gender to the fore in a way that will likely spark some compelling conversations as the credits roll.

The Best Man Holiday (2013)
Nia Long, Morris Chesnut, Sanaa Lathan, Taye Diggs, Regina Hall, Terrance Howard… Is there a movie with a more likeable cast? I’ll help you out of here, the answer is a resounding “hell nawww!”. Set 14 years after the original, The Best Man Holiday brings all of our favorite stars together for a festive tearjerker. Complete with a smooth RnB soundtrack made to last, Black Love has never looked or sounded so good!

So what’s the point?
Reprising their roles from the original The Best Man (1999), the group of old college friends reunite after 15 years over the Christmas break and quickly discover just how easy it is to rekindle long-forgotten rivalries. When the two wealthiest members of the group – professional soccer player Lance (Morris Chestnut) and his wife Mia (Monica Calhoun) – decide to invite the gang to a reunion over the Christmas holidays, friendships and marriages are tested as new crises emerge.

Tyler Perry’s A Madea Christmas (2013)
There’s no Christmas like a Madea Christmas. Without a doubt, Tyler Perry’s most memorable alter ego, Madea, has appeared in over 10 films, but this one is probably the most popular. Tyler Perry’s A Madea Christmas is the sparkling, typically quirky gem on an incredible career.

So what’s the point?
Madea (Tyler Perry) accompanies her niece Eileen (Anna Maria Horsford) on a trip to the small town of Buck Tussel with the intention of surprising Eileen’s daughter, Lacey (Tika Sumpter), who had decided she wouldn’t dare do this home for Christmas every year. We soon find out that her reasons for not coming home run much deeper than a case of travel anxiety, but as always, nothing gets past Madea! Ridiculous laughter and heaps of mayhem culminate in a Christmas none of us will forget.

Jingle Jangle: A Christmas Journey (2020)
Jingle Jangle: A Christmas Journey is a visual spectacle made for the ages and not just a black Christmas movie, it is THE Christmas movie. Glamorous costumes, outstanding attention to detail, wonderful set designs and a Soundtrack so warm and cozy you’ll forget your cup of hot chocolate. Jingle Jangle bridges the gap between our legends Forrest Whittaker, Phylicia Rashad and brightest stars Madalen Mills and Kieron L. Dyer.

So what’s the point?
After being betrayed by his trusted apprentice, Guftofson (Keegan-Michael Key), the world’s greatest toymaker, Jeronicus Jangle (Forest Whitaker), has lost his spark and finds himself in a state of eternal darkness. Until his curious granddaughter (Madalen Mills) reignites his creative fire to be great once more.

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