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This February, delve into inspiring true stories on UP Faith & Family with family movie nights that celebrate Black history! We’ve curated a selection perfect for sparking conversations about sportsmanship, kindness, and the power of resilience. Grab some popcorn, snuggle up with your loved ones, and embark on these inspiring journeys:

From the Rough

Watch the inspiring story of Catana Starks, played by Taraji P Henson, the first woman to coach a collegiate men’s golf team. This uplifting film follows Starks’ journey as she faces gender discrimination and prejudice on the course, while also struggling with self-doubt. Starks’ passion leads her team of international recruits to achieve an all-time record at the PGA National Collegiate Minority Championship. Watch for wonderful performances by Tom Felton, Justin Chon and Michael Clarke Duncan in one of his final roles. This film celebrates the power of teamwork, perseverance, and breaking down barriers.

Discussion Topics:

  • What forms of discrimination did Catana Starks face, and how did she overcome them?
  • Why is it important to stand up for yourself and others facing injustice?
  • How can we celebrate diversity and inclusion in sports and other areas of life?

Life of a King

Follow the inspiring story of Eugene Brown (played by Oscar winner Cuba Gooding Jr.), an ex-con who finds redemption and purpose through the game of chess. After spending years in prison, Eugene struggles to find his place in society but discovers his strength in teaching at-risk youth the strategic power of chess. Witness the transformative power of the game as Eugene guides his students toward discipline, self-respect, and the ability to think ahead before making life-changing decisions. Heads UP: This movie is rated TV-14. Viewer Discretion Advised.

Discussion Topics:

  • How did Eugene’s past affect his life after prison? What did he do to overcome these challenges?
  • Why is it important to offer second chances to people who have made mistakes?
  • Discuss the importance of mentorship in Eugene’s story. How did his role as a mentor impact both him and his students?
  • How did learning and teaching chess benefit Eugene and his students? Discuss the life lessons chess can teach beyond the game itself.
  • How did Eugene use his experience to help break the cycle of negativity and violence in his community?

Captive Heart: The James Mink Story

Witness the incredible journey of James “Shack” Mink, played by the iconic Louis Gossett Jr., as he navigates wrongful imprisonment. This heartwarming film follows Mink, a successful Black businessman in 19th century Canada and his wife, whose lives are shattered when their daughter is sold into slavery by her white American husband. Despite facing unimaginable hardship, Mink’s family clings to his faith and unwavering hope, inspiring those around him with his strength and resilience. Featuring Kate Nelligan as his loving wife and Ruby Dee in another significant role, this film explores themes of forgiveness, perseverance, and the power of the human spirit.

Discussion Topics:

  • How did Mink’s family maintain their hope?
  • How can we practice forgiveness even in difficult situations?
  • What qualities make Mink a role model for strength and perseverance?

Run for the Dream

Cheer on Charlayne Woodard’s inspiring portrayal of Gail Devers, the Olympic champion who defied the odds. This film chronicles Devers’ incredible journey, from being diagnosed with Graves’ disease to becoming win the gold medal in the 1992 Summer Olympic Games. Witness Devers’ determination and unwavering spirit as she overcomes physical limitations and societal expectations, with powerful performances from Louis Gossett Jr. as her supportive coach, Robert Guillame as her loving father, and the legendary Paula Kelly as her mother. This uplifting film celebrates the power of dreams, hard work, and the unwavering support of family and community. Heads UP: This movie is rated TV-14. Viewer Discretion Advised.

Discussion Topics:

  • What physical and emotional challenges did Gail face in her journey?
  • Why is it important to believe in yourself, even when faced with obstacles?
  • How can we encourage and support others in pursuing their dreams?

The Stand: How One Gesture Shook the World

Witness the impactful stand taken by Olympic athletes Tommie Smith and John Carlos in this powerful documentary. Learn the true story of these two athletes who raised their fists in a silent protest against racial injustice during the 1968 Olympic Games in Mexico City. Explore the historical context, the personal sacrifices they made, and the lasting impact of their bold gesture on the fight for equality. This film provokes important discussions about courage, taking action against injustice, and the ongoing struggle for social change. Heads UP: This movie is rated TV-14. Viewer Discretion Advised.

Discussion Topics:

  • What message were Tommie and John trying to send with their protest?
  • Why is it important to speak up for what you believe in, even when it’s difficult?
  • How can we continue to fight for racial justice and equality in our own communities?


By watching these movies together, you can create meaningful conversations, celebrate Black history, and inspire your family to embrace kindness, courage, and hope.

Bonus Tip: Check out UP Faith & Family’s Black Film and TV category for more inspiring movies and shows to explore with your family throughout Black History Month and beyond!

Remember, these are just a few suggestions to get you started. Happy watching and celebrating!

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