Get Enraptured With 60 Years Of Black Romance Films

Since Black History Month and Valentine’s Day fall during the same month, what better way is there to celebrate than with some of the most romantic films in Black cinema. From 1954’s Carmen Jones to 2014’s Beyond the Lights, Black love is just as timeless as our history as a people. Cozy up with a loved one (or with yourself) and get ready to get enraptured with some of the best romance films to ever grace the big screen. Here are 21 of the best Black romance films of all time!

1
Carmen Jones (1954)
Dorothy Dandridge, Harry Belafonte, Carmen Jones, 20th Century Fox, 021016
20th Century Fox/Everett
In 1954, Bizet's opera Carmen was adapted with an African-American cast for the big screen. Hollywood icons, Harry Belafonte and Dorothy Dandridge star in Carmen Jones. Belafonte plays a smitten solider, who becomes entangled with Dandridge's Carmen. The duo get caught up in a love triangle that eventually turns deadly. For her performance as the sultry Carmen Jones, Dorothy Dandridge became the first black woman to be nominated for a Leading Actress Academy Award. Check out the trailer here.
2
Nothing But A Man (1964)
Ivan Dixon, Abbey Lincoln, Nothing But A Man, Everett, 021016
Everett
The Washington Post wrote that Nothing But a Man "is one of the most sensitive films about black life ever made in this country."  It's also one of the most poignant films about love and relationships in Black cinema. The film follows Duff, (Ivan Dixon) an outspoken rail worker and his relationship  with  a schoolteacher named Josie (played by Abbey Lincoln). Nothing But A Man shows Duff and Josie as they struggle to hold on to their love for one another, in the oppressive racism of 1960's America. See the trailer here.
3
Claudine (1974)
James Earl Jones, Diahann Carroll, Claudine, 20th Century Fox, Everett, 021016
20th Century Fox/Everett
Finding love is hard enough, but finding love as a single mother of six is something else entirely. Diahann Carroll stars as Claudine, a single hard-working mother living in Harlem. Despite her hectic schedule, Claudine falls in love with Rupert (James Earl Jones), a garbage man. The duo's courtship isn't easy, they have to face adversity with Claudine's children, as well as the welfare system. However, things just might turn out OK in the end. Watch the trailer for this classic here.
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4
Mahogany (1975)
Diana Ross, Billy Dee Williams, Mahagony, Paramount, 021016
Paramount
During the '60s and '70s Diana Ross reigned supreme. Following her Best Actress nomination for 1972's Lady Sings the Blues Ross starred in Mahogany as Tracy, a fashion design student who hits the jackpot when she is discovered by major photographer. Tracy's success puts a major strain on her relationship with a charming Chicago activist, Brian (Billy Dee Williams). Will she be able to have it all in the end? Check out the trailer for Mahogany here.
5
Mississippi Masala (1992)
Denzel Washington, Sarita Choudhury, Mississippi Masala, MGM, Everett, 021116
MGM/Everett
Mira Nair's Mississippi Masala is a powerful work about love, culture, tradition and passion. In his most sensual sex scene to date, Denzel Washington stars as Demetrius, a Black carpet cleaner who falls for Mina, (played by Sarita Choudhury) a Ugandan Indian who has relocated with her family to Greenwood, Mississippi. As the couple grows closer, racial and cultural strains between their families and the community at large become more and more apparent. Check out the trailer for the gorgeously shot film here.
6
Boomerang (1992)
Halle Berry, Eddie Murphy, Boomerang, Paramount. Everett, 021016
Parmount/Everett
In 1992's Boomerang, Eddie Murphy stars as Marcus, the ultimate player who can charm the panties off of any woman that he meets. That is until his new boss Jacqueline (Robin Givens) comes along, and gives him a run for his money. Marcus comes to realize that maybe he's been going about love the wrong way. Halle Berry also stars in the film as Angela, Marcus' friend who helps him get himself together. Watch the trailer here.
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7
Poetic Justice (1993)
Janet Jackson, Tupac Shakur, Poetic Justice, Columbia, Everett, 021016
Columbia/Everett
Two of musics most legendary artists, Janet Jackson and Tupac Shakur star in John Singleton's second feature film. Poetic Justice is a story about two opposites finding love. Jackson stars as Justice, a heartbroken hairdresser who uses poetry as a means to get over the loss of her first love. The late-great Shakur stars as Lucky, a man about his music. Regina King also stars. Watch the trailer for the film here.
8
Jason's Lyric (1994)
Allen Payne, Jada Pinkett, Jasons Lyric, Gramercy, Everett, 021016
Gramercy/Everett
In this coming-of-age romantic drama, Allen Payne stars as Jason, a TV salesman living in violent and drug infested Houston. Jason is focused on helping out his mom and trying to steer his brother away from his criminal path. Everything changes when he meets Lyric (Jada Pinkett Smith), Jason begins yearning for a very different future, while trying to reconcile a secret from his past. Jason's Lyric is a film about old scars and new love. Check out the trailer for the film and to see young Jada Pinkett (before the Smith) here.
9
Waiting To Exhale (1995)
Waiting To Exhale, 20th Century Fox, Everett, 021016
20th Century Fox/Everett
Directed by Forest Whitaker and based on Terry McMillian's best-selling novel, Whitney Houston, Angela Bassett, Lela Rochon and Loretta Devine star in Waiting to Exhale. This romantic drama follows four friends who bond over their trials and tribulations with the opposite sex. For the soundtrack alone, the film is worth the watch. Watch the trailer here.
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10
Love Jones (1997)
Larenz Tate, Nia Long, Love Jones, New Line Cinema, 021016
New Line Cinema/Everett
Larenz Tate and Nia Long have off-the-charts chemistry in one of our all-time favorite films, Love Jones. Set in '90s Chicago, Tate and Long star as Darius and Nina, two 20-somethings who are just having fun, but discover one steamy night together just might mean a whole lot more. It's a film about art, music, friendship and desire. See the trailer for yourself here.
11
Hav Plenty (1998)
Christopher Scott Cherot, Chenoa Maxwel, Hav Plenty, Miramax, 021016
Miramax
Nothing is worse as a 20-something then being at the beginning of your career and being broke AF. Christopher Scott Cherot's 1998 indie rom-com explores this very topic. Cherot stars as Lee Plenty, a up and coming novelist who tries to win over the woman of his dreams despite his lack of funds and her high maintenance lifestyle. Watch the trailer for Hav Plenty here.
12
How Stella Got Her Groove Back (1998)
Angela Bassett, Taye Digg, How Stella Got Her Groove Back, 20th Century Fox, Everett, 021016
20th Century Fox/Everett
Based on Terry McMillan's bestselling novel, How Stella Got Her Groove Back, Angela Bassett stars as Stella, an overworked single-mom who heads to Jamaica for some much needed sun and relaxation. However, what Stella doesn't anticipate is Winston (played by Taye Diggs) a 20-something Jamaican guy who helps her let her guard down and get back into the grove of things. Check out the trailer for this cult favorite here.
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13
The Best Man (1999)
The Best Man, Universal, Everett, 021016
Universal/Everett
In The Best Man, best-selling author Harper (Taye Diggs), heads to New York to be the best man in his bestie's wedding. However, what he didn't anticipate is his tight-knit group of friends getting their hands on his new novel which is based on their lives. Bringing up the past can certainly be nostalgic, but old lustful memories along with new adventures can also prove disastrous. Morris Chestnut, Nia Long and Terrence Howard among others star in this classic Black romance film. If you love it, you can check out its 2013 sequel, The Best Man