5 Black History Month Docs: Music

    Black music and artists take center stage in our second installment of 5 Black History Month Docs! Each week in February, we’ll be diving into the Full Frame archive to share festival alums that highlight the Black experience in America.


    Amazing Grace

    Amazing Grace (Full Frame 2019 Closing Night Film)

    Stream: Hulu

    Resurrected footage from 1972 captures Aretha Franklin’s electrifying performance with the Southern California Community Choir for the live recording of the late singer’s Amazing Grace, one of the bestselling gospel records of all time.


    Miles Davis: Birth of the Cool

    Miles Davis: Birth of the Cool (Full Frame 2019) | Director: Stanley Nelson

    Stream: Netflix

    Navigating his professional and personal lives, this remarkable study of the jazz musician unfolds through reflections from musicians, scholars, lovers, and friends. Davis’s own reflections—and the music itself—narrate his extraordinary genius and sometimes turbulent life.


    Sammy Davis, Jr.: I’ve Gotta Be Me

    Sammy Davis, Jr.: I’ve Gotta Be Me (Full Frame 2018 Road Show Fall Series) | Director: Sam Pollard

    Stream: Amazon Prime

    Sammy Davis, Jr.: I’ve Gotta Be Me is the first major film documentary to examine Davis’s vast talent and his journey for identity through the shifting tides of civil rights and racial progress during 20th-century America.



    Mavis! (Full Frame 2015) | Director: Jessica Edwards)

    Stream: Hulu

    Her family group, the Staple Singers, inspired millions and helped propel the civil rights movement with their music. This vibrant film highlights Mavis Staples’ enduring legacy and message of love and equality.


    What Happened, Miss Simone?

    What Happened, Miss Simone? (Full Frame 2015) | Director: Liz Garbus

    Stream: Netflix

    The brilliance and darkness of legendary pianist, singer, and civil rights activist Nina Simone is explored in this sensitive portrait of a singular artist.


    Looking for more? Find the first installment of this series below:

    5 Black History Month Docs: Politics