Using #StreamTeam to Start a Conversation on Race and Experiences

Say it Rah-shay By Nov 30, 2014 9 Comments

Disclosure: Netflix has provided me with products and services in exchange for participation in their #StreamTeam program.


A few weeks ago I attended a workshop on HOW to have a conversation on your community about race relations. The conversation was interesting and I felt inspired to do something but what that something was…dunno. As I let a few ideas begin and then end I happened to chat with my friend Dresden who suggested I use movies as a way to spark a conversation. This month the StreamTeam members are sharing posts about “Friendsgiving” and after that conversation with Dresden, I did a search and found some movies to share with friends to start a conversation about race and share my experience as a Black woman.

Please note, I am sharing MY experience. I do not presume to speak for anyone else but myself.

School Daze

Explore the biases, anxiety and frustration of black students, and examine the social divide and interracial conflict that exist within black schools.

I was still in high school when this movie came out and at the time I looked at it as a movie about college. It’s so much more! Class, skin color, perceptions. Sadly, I can still hear some of the same things being discussed with my teens and despite the plea at the end of the movie to “Wake Up” there is still so much to work through.

Which leads me to

Dark Girls

This fascinating and controversial film that goes underneath the surface to explore the prejudices dark-skinned women face throughout the world. It explores the roots of classism, racism and the lack of self-esteem within a segment of cultures.

I have written about my daughter’s experience with colorism and when the post went live I had a few people share that they had no idea this was a thing. It’s a difficult documentary to watch; but imagine if this was your every day experience?


The Boondocks

This satirical series follows the socially conscious misadventures of Huey Freeman, a smart 10-year-old who relocates from Chicago to the suburbs.

A lot of what Aaron Macgruder shared was buried under the controversy that surrounded The Boondocks but I squirm, laugh and nod my head in agreement with this cartoon. Sometimes it feels as if “our secrets are being aired” but other times I feel like these “secrets” help open discussion.

Hav Plenty

For struggling novelist Lee Plenty, the only thing sorrier than his career is his love life — but things start to look up at a friend’s party.

Growing up, everybody was like my family…we struggled and made it the best way we could. When I got to high school it blew my mind to meet people so unlike myself, people a little better off, who did all of those things that I saw wealthy people do and …they…were…BLACK. Whoa! And when I got to college…yo! There were people from such diverse backgrounds and experiences. Some times I felt like such a fish out of water but others, it was such an interesting experience to be so alike and so different but still be able to relate.

Boyz n the Hood

A South Central Los Angeles high schooler struggles to please his father and to stay straight in a community polluted by drugs, violence and racism.

I was never a boy nor tempted by the hood but before my family moved from Philly to the burbs, my neighborhood was a den of atrocities. There were way too many casualties due to drugs and violence and 1991 was a year in which I questioned what it meant to be a Black woman, what I was a capable of and a life that seemed like both fiction and scary reality.

The Bernie Mac Show

Bernie Mac stars in this sitcom as a stand-up comedian who agrees to look after his nieces and nephew when his sister goes into drug rehab.

In an age where your mama’s methods of child rearing may not the status quo, Bernie Mac put into words the struggles I was having a new mom. I want the best for The Bee and here was someone who was making all of my missteps, and taking all of my doubts and worries and making it comedy. Towards the end the show strayed way far from what I was going through but I loved and laughed watching every minute of Bernie’s struggles with his nieces and nephew.

friendsgiving race


Other suggestions (also known as movies added to my cue to check out later!)

Yelling to the Sky

Zoë Kravitz plays a conflicted teen struggling to reconcile her dreams with the realities of her violent surroundings.

The Suspect

Two African-American academics travel to a small Southern town to impersonate bank robbers as a way of examining the role of race.


When a high-school football coach befriends a developmentally disabled man, his subsequent growth inspires the townsfolk to think differently.

Our Song

Experiencing growing pains while they’re on summer vacation, three inner-city teenage girls with hectic schedules make life-changing decisions.

African Americans: Many Rivers to Cross

Harvard scholar Henry Louis Gates Jr. recounts African-American history in full, exploring a range of cultural, religious and social perspectives.

Please share…what other movies would you add?
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I am mom, daughter, sister, yarn lover, word lover, crazy cat lady and library chick. Find me with book or with hook and a hot cuppa.


  1. Brandi says:

    This is a great list, Rachee! School Daze should be required viewing for anyone who wants to be friends with a Black woman.

    1. Rachee says:

      I STILL can’t watch School Daze without getting a little weepy. The Good and bad hair is still hard for me to think about.

  2. You’re right! Netflix has so many great shows to open up that dialogue. And as we’ve seen recently, these talks are definitely needed throughout all races to bring everyone together.

    1. Rachee says:

      Once people realize that it’s OK to talk about race then things will start to move forward.

  3. Mel Washington says:

    Native Son, definitely–from illustrating the invisible circumstances which shape Bigger's opportunities to the stark comparison of how the legal system treats Black female victims vs. White female victims.

  4. Mel Washington says:

    Native Son, definitely–from illustrating the invisible circumstances which shape Bigger's opportunities to the stark comparison of how the legal system treats Black female victims vs. White female victims.

    1. Rachee says:

      Yes! Celebrities R. Kelly and Bill Cosby come to mind.

    2. Rachee says:

      Yes! Celebrities R. Kelly and Bill Cosby come to mind. They way R. Kelly’s victims have been treated and then him exalted is sending a message to our girls that they do not matter.

  5. Sarah Donza-Hughes says:

    I have never see School Daze. I feel like I need to see it now that you and Brandi Riley say it should be required viewing!

Your turn! Tell it to Rah-shay!