By Melanie Mayberry, programming editor

Today is Juneteenth, the day the nation celebrates the end of slavery in the United States. (Union soldiers enforced the Emancipation Proclamation in Texas on June 19, 1865, the last state where slaves were still being held.) With that in mind on this historic anniversary, we present the five best movies ever made about slavery in the United States — and where you can stream them. Enjoy.

1. 12 Years a Slave (2013)
Directed by Steve McQueen, this Academy Award-winning film is based on the real-life memoir of Solomon Northup. The movie powerfully depicts Northup’s harrowing journey from freedom to captivity, highlighting the atrocities of slavery and the resilience of the human spirit.
Now streaming for free on Tubi.

2. Amistad (1997)
Directed by Steven Spielberg, Amistad recounts the true story of a group of enslaved Africans who revolted against their captors aboard the ship La Amistad in 1839. This gripping film delves into the legal battles that ensued and the moral dilemmas surrounding slavery.
Now streaming on Paramount+.

3. Glory (1989)
Starring Denzel Washington and Matthew Broderick, Glory tells the story of the 54th Massachusetts Volunteer Infantry, one of the first African-American regiments to fight in the Civil War. This inspiring film explores the bravery, sacrifice, and discrimination faced by these soldiers on the battlefield.
Now streaming for free on Tubi.

4. Lincoln (2012)
Spielberg’s movie, Lincoln, is a captivating and masterful portrayal of one of America’s greatest leaders. Daniel Day-Lewis delivers a mesmerizing performance, embodying the essence of Abraham Lincoln with incredible depth and nuance. The film skillfully weaves together political maneuverings, personal struggles, and the weighty decisions faced by Lincoln during a pivotal moment in American history—the fight to pass the 13th Amendment and end slavery.
Now streaming on Hulu.

5. Django Unchained (2012)
Directed by Quentin Tarantino, Django Unchained combines elements of Western and slavery narratives. The film follows a freed slave (Jamie Foxx) and a bounty hunter (Christoph Waltz) as they seek to rescue Django’s wife from a sadistic plantation owner (Leonardo DiCaprio). It serves as a powerful and thought-provoking exploration of revenge, freedom, and racial dynamics mixed with the usual Tarantino verve.
Now streaming for free on Tubi.

The article and movie selections were compiled by the TV Answer Man team and ChatGPT.

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