diana-ross_web.jpgAs we recognize the huge contribution that black music has made  to the country’s social landscape, we also pause to remember movies that showcased black music in a memorable way. Here are ten favorites, in order of their production year.

Mahogany (1976)
Diana Ross demonstrated that in addition to being a fine singer, she has great acting chops in this movie that paired her again with heart throb Billy Dee Williams. Who can forget Do You Know Where You’re Going To?

The Wiz  (1978)
With an all black cast representing all of the roles from the American classic, The Wizard of Oz, The Wiz featured Michael Jackson, Diana Ross, Nipsey Russell and Richard Pryor as The Wiz in a highly creative musical.

School Daze (1988) 
The Spike Lee joint that is his closest to a musical, School Daze dared to address the skin color issue within the black community while also introducing us to the timeless dance hit Da Butt.

What’s Love Got To Do With It (1993)
Many believe that Angela Bassett was robbed when she was not even nominated for an Academy Award for her powerful portrayal of rock icon Tina Turner. Laurence Fishburne delivered an eerie portrayal of Ike Turner.

Love Jones (1997)
This near cult classic among what used to be referred to as BUPPIES (black urban professionals) features a classy and diverse selection of music that helps tell the love story of Darius Lovehall and Nina Moseley.

The Temptations (1999)
This epic about one of Motown’s most soulful, endearing groups featured most of their chart-topping hits, like Papa Was A Rolling Stone, Runaway Child, Running Wild, Psychedelic Shack and Cloud Nine.

Brown Sugar (2002)
Because the relationship between Andre Romulus 'Dre' Ellis (Taye Diggs), Sidney 'Syd' Shaw (Sanaa Lathan) is built upon their love of hip-hop, Brown Sugar had to include a universally familiar, get-you-out-of-your-seat soundtrack. It did.

Jamie Foxx embodied Ray Charles in his Oscar winning depiction of the late singer’s life story. The movie with music from Charles’ vast body of work, including the classic Georgia on My Mind, also starred Regina King.

Dreamgirls (2006)
The remake of the stage gem that launched the careers of Loretta Devine and Sheryl Lee Ralph also served as the vehicle through which Jennifer Hudson won the Academy Award. The movie featured Hudsons remake of And­ I’m Telling You.

Michael Jackson's This Is It (2009)
The world’s embrace of This Is It was undoubtedly fueled by the pop singer’s untimely death, which left a major void in the hearts of music lovers all over. Even still, it is one of the most entertaining musical films ever made.

Renee Michelle Harris may be reached at RMHarris15@Bellsouth.net.