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 Holiday here. The Best Man Wedding, the latest film in the saga, is set to hit theaters April 15, 2016.
14
Love & Basketball (2000)
Omar Epps, Sanaa Lathan, Love and Basketball, New Line Cinema, Everett, 021016
New Line Cinema/Everett
Monica and Quincy (played by Sanaa Lathan and Omar Epps respectively) are childhood friends and fierce basketball players. As the duo grow closer over the years, they realize that having both Love & Basketball isn't as easy as it looks. Gina Prince-Bythewood's debut film masterpiece is about dreams, passion and of course love. Check out the trailer for this epic film here.
15
Two Can Play That Game (2001)
Morris Chestnut, Vivica A Fox, Two Can Play That Game, Everett, 021016
Everett
Vivica A. Fox stars in Two Can Play That Game as Shante, a business woman who is convinced she can keep her man if she adheres to a very particular set of rules. However, Shante underestimates Keith (Morris Chestnut), and his ability to play by his own rules. Two Can Play That Game is an enticing film about love and the willingness to let go of everything you think you know, for the person of your dreams. Watch the trailer here.
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16
Brown Sugar (2002)
Sanaa Lathan, Taye Diggs, Brown Sugar, 20th Century Fox, 021016
20th Century Fox/Everett
"When did you fall in love with hip-hop?" Hip-hop music helped define a generation. It became the soundtrack to love, friendship, loss and so much more. 2002's Brown Sugar follows BFF's Sidney and Dre (played by Sanna Lathan and Taye Diggs respectively), as they reflect on their life-long friendship, the music that they love, and the possibility for something more. It's a film that has the perfect mix of music and romance. Check out the trailer here.
17
Deliver Us From Eva (2003)
Gabrielle Union, LL Cool J, Deliver Us From Eva, Everett, 021016
Everett
We all have that family member who is way too involved in our personal business and Eva (Gabrielle Union), just happens to be that person for her family. Tired of her antics (and rather icy disposition), Eva's sister's decided to hire Ray (LL Cool J) to date her. Things don't quite go according to plan, and the duo fall in love. But, what happens when Eva figures out Ray was just playing her? Deliver Us From Eva is a very sexy fun time. Check out the trailer here.
18
Something New (2006)
Sanaa Lathan, Simon Baker, Focus Films, Everett, 021016
Focus/Everett
Sometimes you find love with the last person who'd expect. Sanaa Hamri's Something New stars Sanaa Lathan as Kenya, a rigid workaholic accountant and Simon Baker as Brian, a freelance landscaper who find love despite their differences. Something New is special because of its frank discussions about race and interracial relationships. Check out the trailer for the film here.
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19
Jumping the Broom (2011)
Paula Patton, Laz Alonso, Jumping the Broom, TriStar, 021016-
TriStar/Everett
Getting married can be a nerve wrecking experience for anyone, but when you account for extended family members from different worlds and the pressures of celibacy, things can really prove to be disastrous. Paula Patton and Laz Alonzo star as Sabrina and Jason, a couple trying to jump the broom before their family members drive them insane. Loretta Devine and Angela Bassett also star as the couples moms. Jumping the Broom has the perfect mix of, sweet and hilarious. Check out the trailer here.
20
Think Like A Man (2012)
Michael Ealy, Taraji P Henson, Think Like A Man, Screen Gems, 021716
Screen Gems
The saying is that men are from Mars and women are from Venus, and because of that, couples can have difficulty communicating. When a group of guys learn that the ladies in their lives have been reading Steve Harvey's relationship book, Think Like A Man , things quickly go awry. Think Like A Man is a fun and easy romantic comedy about love, patience and understanding. It's also a film full of great actors including, Michael Ealy, Jerry Ferrara, Kevin Hart, Taraji P. Henson, Gabrielle Union, Meagan Good and Regina Hall. Check out the trailer here. Also, if you like this film, Think Like a Man Too is also out for your viewing pleasure.
21
Beyond The Lights (2014)
Gugu Mbatha-Raw, Nate Parker, Beyond The Lights, Relativity Media, Everett, 021016
Relativity Media/Everett
Gina Prince-Bythewood's Beyond the Lights came 14 years after her rom-com hit Love & Basketball. The stunning film stars Gugu Mbatha-Raw as Noni, a breakout mega-star who is suffocating under the limelight and her overbearing mother. Unable to cope any longer, Noni contemplates killing herself. Luckily, Kaz, a police officer, (Nate Parker) is assigned as her bodyguard on the fateful evening, and pulls her to safety. Though the duos attraction is instant, fame and other forces just might keep them apart. Watch the trailer here, and then head to Netflix to stream the film in its entirety.



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