Tis’ the season for curling up under a warm blanket, sipping hot chocolate, and of course watching your favorite holiday movie. Whatever your Christmas traditions are, putting on a cozy Christmas movie is a must! Whether it’s a romcom, a comedy, or a family film, Christmas movies bring the whole family together and can instantly put you in the holiday spirit.
For this list, we’re counting down some of the best Black Christmas movies to watch this holiday season. There are countless Christmas classics, but far too often Black holiday films get left out of the conversation. Some of the Christmas movies that people regard as the “greats,” either feature black people as side characters or not at all. While movies like Elf, Home Alone, or The Holiday, are good movies, they don’t do much black representation. Black Christmas movies are great because they are some of the few movies that display black joy on screen.
What the world needs is more joy and so our gift to you this holiday season is our list of 12 Must-See Black Christmas Movies! Everything from the classics to newcomers, to laugh-out-loud comedies, to heartwarming favorites, your Christmas watch-a-thon is complete with this list. Get to watching and Merry Christmas from HBCU Buzz!
This star-studded film follows the Whitfield family as they come together for Christmas for the first time in four years. Six siblings carry secrets with them that threaten to ruin the holiday as they reunite at their mother’s house. To get through the holiday they must put aside their differences and learn the true meaning of family. Led by Loretta Devine as the matriarch of the Whitfield family, this movie features an all-star cast, including, Chris Brown, Idris Elba, Lauren London, Regina King, Columbus Short, Mekhi Phifer, and Sharon Leal.
In the third installment of the beloved Friday series, Craig and Day-Day take on Christmas in Compton. After “ “Ghetto Santa Claus” breaks into their apartment on the morning of Christmas Eve, they are forced to get jobs as mall security guards in order to pay their rent and not get evicted. As expected, hilarity ensues as Craig and Day-Day experience another crazy Friday.
This Christmas classic features Denzel Washington as an angel sent to help a struggling reverend remember what’s important in life. Played by Courtney B. Vance, Henry Biggs is a pastor overwhelmed with the problems of his church and prays for divine guidance, which is where Denzel Wahington’s character comes in. In walks Dudley, an angel sent to help Henry yet ends up falling for his wife, Julia, whose played by the incomparable Whitney Houston. Dudley’s presence begins to threaten Henry’s marriage, causing him to begin to remember what is truly important.
4. Last Holiday
Queen Latifah stars in this feel-good holiday film about living life to the fullest. It follows a shy saleswoman who upon learning she has three weeks to live, takes out all of her life savings and lives it up in Europe. She lets go of all her inhibitions and comes to the attention of the chef and the hotel’s powerful American guests: a Congressman, a Senator, a retail magnate, and his mistress. She has nothing to lose, so she tells them what she thinks. L.L. Cool J also stars as her long-time crush in this must-see Christmas movie.
This Christmas comedy follows the dysfunctional Meyer family as they gather together for the first Christmas since the passing of their matriarch. The film stars Danny Glover as a retired mechanic who invites his grown children home for Christmas, with the hope that they get along. Guaranteeing laughs and maybe a couple of tears, Almost Christmas is the perfect holiday film and features an impressive cast including, Danny Glover, Gabrielle Union, Mo’Nique, Kimberly Elise, Romany Malco, J.B. Smoove, Nicole Ari Parker, and Omar Epps.
This sequel to 1999’s The Best Man, takes place fourteen years after the events of the first film. The cast reunites over the Christmas holiday and though much has changed in their lives, the friends discover just how easy it is for long-forgotten rivalries and passionate romances to be reignited. Much like the first movie, you’ll laugh and you’ll cry and be left feeling thankful for the friends and family within your life.
This musical fantasy film starring Phylicia Rashad and Forest Whitaker became an instant Christmas classic when released on Netflix in 2020. It tells the story of a formerly successful toy maker finding joy again decades after his apprentice betrays him. With his imaginative granddaughter by his side, he finds new hope. This movie is fun for the whole family and features music by Grammy award-winning artist John Legend.
This 2007 comedy stars Gabrielle Union as a lonely divorced mother of three during the holidays. When her daughter asks a department store Santa, played by Morris Chesnut, to grant her mother’s wish of a perfect holiday, he works to fulfill that wish. This movie also features the talents of Queen Latifah, Terrence Howard, Charlie Murphy, Katt Williams, and Faizon Love
9. Holiday Rush
Romany Malco plays a widowed radio DJ who loses his job just before Christmas. As he and his four spoiled kids downsize and move in with his aunt, they begin to realize there are more important things to life than materialistic things.
In this Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner-like story, Madea accompanies her niece to a small country town to surprise her daughter for Christmas. As the small, rural town prepares for its annual Christmas Carnival, new secrets are revealed and old relationships are tested while Madea dishes her special brand of holiday spirit to all.
Kelly Rowland returns as Jacquie in the third installment of Lifetime’s Liddle Christmas film series. A year after their holiday wedding, Jacquie and Tyler prepare for the arrival of their first baby, while her sister Treena and her husband Julian are thinking about adoption.
12. Black Nativity
This updated version of the popular Langston Hughes play follows Baltimore teen, Langston as he journeys to New York City to spend the Christmas holiday with his estranged relatives. But in the face of their strict rules, he is determined to return back home. Langston embarks on a surprising and inspirational journey as discovers the true meaning of faith, healing, and family. This holiday musical drama stars Angela Bassett, Jennifer Hudson, Forest Whitaker, Tyrese Gibson, Jacob Latimore, and Mary J. Blige.