Movies with Inspiring Role Models for African American Girls

Although there's some progress in Hollywood toward diversity in films, it's not enough. Fortunately, there are movies with inspiring African American role models who positively affect girls' ideas of their self-worth. From Tiana, the first African American Disney princess, to Misty Copeland, the first African American principal dancer at the American Ballet Theater, the hardworking heroines in these films overcome adversity to accomplish their goals. Some of these top-rated titles might need more parental input when tough topics such as racism and slavery come up. However, these movies ultimately provide girls with messages of strength and perseverance.

Browse Movies with Inspiring Role Models for African American Girls

Dancing in the Light: The Janet Collins Story Movie Poster Image
Inspirational animated tale of famous black ballerina soars.
On DVD/Streaming
(Release Year: 2015)
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Rodgers & Hammerstein's Cinderella Movie Poster Image
Multi-ethnic cast modernizes classic fairy tale.
On DVD/Streaming
(Release Year: 1997)
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The Princess and the Frog Movie Poster Image
First African-American Disney princess is a good role model.
On DVD/Streaming
(Release Year: 2009)
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Akeelah and the Bee Movie Poster Image
Inspiring drama about a champion speller; OK for tweens.
On DVD/Streaming
(Release Year: 2006)
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Dr. Dolittle 3 Movie Poster Image
Positive messages throughout tween-friendly animal comedy.
On DVD/Streaming
(Release Year: 2006)
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The Wiz Movie Poster Image
Jazzy, family-friendly musical remake of classic film.
On DVD/Streaming
(Release Year: 1978)
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A Ballerina's Tale Movie Poster Image
Engrossing dance docu introduces powerful role model.
On DVD/Streaming
(Release Year: 2015)
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Hidden Figures Movie Poster Image
Inspiring true story of African-American women at NASA.
On DVD/Streaming
(Release Year: 2016)
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Betty & Coretta Movie Poster Image
Moving tribute to two civil rights widows' legacies.
On DVD/Streaming
(Release Year: 2013)
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The Gabby Douglas Story Movie Poster Image
Strong positive messages in otherwise rote athlete biopic.
On DVD/Streaming
(Release Year: 2014)
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The Help Movie Poster Image
Poignant, thought-provoking civil rights tale.
On DVD/Streaming
(Release Year: 2011)
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Anita: Speaking Truth to Power Movie Poster Image
Riveting docu may inspire discussion of sexual harassment.
On DVD/Streaming
(Release Year: 2013)
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Dreamgirls Movie Poster Image
Broadway + Beyoncé = big, boomy musical fun.
On DVD/Streaming
(Release Year: 2006)
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The Fits Movie Poster Image
Thoughtful, beautifully made drama with no easy answers.
On DVD/Streaming
(Release Year: 2016)
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A Raisin in the Sun Movie Poster Image
Classic based on the Pulitzer prize-winning play.
On DVD/Streaming
(Release Year: 1961)
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The Secret Life of Bees Movie Poster Image
1960s-set family drama tackles weighty issues.
On DVD/Streaming
(Release Year: 2008)
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Beasts of the Southern Wild Movie Poster Image
Devastatingly moving drama has harsh truths, whimsy, wisdom.
On DVD/Streaming
(Release Year: 2012)
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The Color Purple Movie Poster Image
Powerful tale of survival with wrenching scenes of abuse.
On DVD/Streaming
(Release Year: 1986)
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Love and Basketball Movie Poster Image
Good romance, but strong sexuality for a PG-13.
On DVD/Streaming
(Release Year: 2000)
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Introducing Dorothy Dandridge Movie Poster Image
Rise and fall of talented star documents racism, sexuality.
On DVD/Streaming
(Release Year: 1999)
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Our Song Movie Poster Image
Honest, positive look at urban teens; mature themes.
On DVD/Streaming
(Release Year: 2001)
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T-Rex Movie Poster Image
Inspirational yet troubling, edgy doc about female boxer.
On DVD/Streaming
(Release Year: 2016)
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Pariah Movie Poster Image
Smart, sad, empowering film about a teen coming out.
On DVD/Streaming
(Release Year: 2011)
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Precious: Based on the Novel Push by Sapphire Movie Poster Image
Powerful, painful account of Harlem teen's hard-luck life.
On DVD/Streaming
(Release Year: 2009)
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