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12 Black Documentaries on Disney Plus You Shouldn’t Miss

I’m a big fan of documentaries as a way of furthering my learning and understanding of the world around me.

And while most people think of Disney as a company that only puts out cheesy, family-friendly films, they also produce documentaries on a wide variety of topics!

On top of that, they partner with companies like National Geographic, ESPN, and ABC to bring even more non-fiction content to their streaming platform.

Through their own production houses and partnerships, Disney+ offers a rich array of documentaries that delve into the intricacies of Black history, as well as those that discuss the present day and future, bringing powerful and diverse stories to the forefront.

For those who cherish profound narratives and historical truths, here are 12 essential Black documentaries on Disney Plus that you shouldn’t miss whether it’s Black History Month or any other time of the year.

Akashinga: The Brave Ones

Promotional poster for the National Geographic documentary, Akashinga: The Brave Ones.
Photo: National Geographic

Director: Maria Wilhelm
Duration: 13 min
Best for: Animal lovers, Women’s history enthusiasts

Venture into the courageous world of Akashinga, an all-female anti-poaching unit in Zimbabwe, as they combat poaching and safeguard wildlife with unwavering strength and spirit.

Assembled: The Making of Wakanda Forever

Director Ryan Coogler on the set of Marvel Studios' Black Panther: Wakanda Forever.
Photo by Annette Brown. © 2022 MARVEL.

Featuring: Angela Bassett, Ryan Coogler, Winston Duke, Danai Gurira, Tenoch Huerta, Lupita Nyong’o, Dominique Thorne, Letitia Wright
Duration: 57 min
Best for: Marvel stans, Black Panther fanatics, Anyone interested in how movies are made

Step behind the scenes of the acclaimed film Wakanda Forever and discover the passion and intricate processes that went into creating one of the most culturally defining Marvel Studios films and a one of the top Black movies on Disney+.

Black in Vegas

Title graphic for the ABC News documentary, Soul of a Nation Presents: Black in Vegas.
Photo: ABC News

Director: Tine
Featuring: Ne-Yo, Smokey Robinson, Usher
Duration: 1 hr
Best for: Music fans

Celebrate the legacy of iconic Black entertainers who have lit up Las Vegas, featuring exclusive interviews with legends like Usher, Ne-Yo, and Smokey Robinson.

This documentary originally appeared as part of ABC News’ Soul of a Nation series.

Black Panther: In Search of Wakanda

Photo of Robin Roberts (left) and Ryan Coogler (right) on set for Black Panther: In Search of Wakanda.
Photo: ABC/Jeff Neira

Featuring: Robin Roberts, Ryan Coogler, Whoopi Goldberg, Simone Ledward Boseman
Duration: 40 min
Best for: Marvel stans, Black Panther fanatics

Trace the rise of Black Panther from its comic book origins to the blockbuster phenomenon in this marvelous documentary.

The documentary is hosted by Robin Roberts with assistance from Whoopi Goldberg and includes interviews including director Ryan Coogler and Simone Ledward Boseman, wife of the late actor, Chadwick Boseman, who played the original Black Panther role.

Black Pharaohs: Sunken Treasure

Director: Pearce Paul Creasman
Duration: 44 min
Best for: Egyptian history geeks

Follow archaeologists on a thrilling excavation to recover the sunken treasures of Kush, the mighty Nubian empire that rivaled ancient Egypt in splendor and power.

Also, is it just me or did we all go through a weird phase as a kid where we were obsessed with ancient Egyptian history? I definitely did and this documentary definitely brought that back up!

Black Travel Across America

Promotional graphic for the National Geographic documentary, Black Travel Across America.
Photo: National Geographic

Featuring: Martinique Lewis
Duration: 44 min
Best for: Travel enthusiasts, History buffs

Join travel host Martinique Lewis as she embarks on a poignant journey visiting historic “Green Book” locations across the US, uncovering stories etched in the annals of Black history.

Bobi Wine: The People’s President

Bobi Wine on top of his vehicle with his wife Barbara ltungo Kyagulanyi as they campaigned in Kasanda district, Central Uganda on November 27, 2020.
Photo: Lookman Kampala, courtesy of National Geographic.

Director: Moses Bwayo, Christopher Sharp
Featuring: Bobi Wine
Duration: 1 hr 53 min
Best for: World history buffs, Political junkies

Discover the remarkable transformation of pop star Bobi Wine into a political luminary who challenged and helped dethrone Uganda’s dictatorship on his way to becoming the nation’s new president.

Clotilda: Last American Slave Ship

Duration: 44 min
Best for: American history enthusiasts

Unearth the secrets of the Clotilda, the last ship to transport enslaved Africans to America, and bear witness to a defining moment in history through the exploration of its wreckage.

This National Geographic documentary includes interviews with descendants of the enslaved people who lost their life on the ship.

Screen Queens Rising

Director: Tine
Featuring: Debbie Allen, Fantasia Barrino, Halle Berry, Whoopi Goldberg, Regina Hall, Jackée Harry, Marsai Martin, Tessa Thompson
Duration: 40 min
Best for: Cinephiles

Explore the evolution of Black actresses in Hollywood, from the trailblazers of yesteryears to today’s celebrated talents, and witness their journey toward respect and influence in the industry.

The documentary was originally aired as part of ABC News’ Soul of a Nation series and includes a sneak peek into the 2023 film, The Color Purple.

Summer of Soul (…Or, When the Revolution Could Not Be Televised)

Promotional graphic for the Disney documentary, Summer of Soul, directed by Questlove.
Photo: Disney

Director: Ahmir “Questlove” Thompson
Featuring: Rev. Jesse Jackson, Gladys Knight, Chris Rock, Rev. Al Sharpton, Stevie Wonder
Duration: 1 hr 58 min
Best for: History buffs, 60s babies

Dive into the euphoric soundscape of the 1969 Harlem Cultural Festival, a celebration of Black music and culture, through unseen footage unveiled with soulful grace by director Ahmir “Questlove” Thompson from the musical group, The Roots.

Appearances (via archival footage and interviews) include Gladys Knight & the Pips, The Harlem Calypso Band, Sly and the Family Stone, The Staple Singers, Nina Simone, B.B. King, and much more.

Voices Rising: The Music of Wakanda Forever

Featuring: Ryan Coogler, Ludwig Göransson
Duration: 1 hr 30 min
Best for: Marvel stans, Black Panther fanatics, Global music lovers

Immerse yourself in the heart of music production for Wakanda Forever through this 3-episode docuseries that celebrates the rich blend of Nigerian and Mexican traditional music, as well as music from other cultures and genres.

X/Onerated: The Murder of Malcolm X and 55 Years to Justice

Director: Jeanmarie Condon, Tine
Featuring: Muhammad Abdul Aziz
Duration: 41 min
Best for: History buffs, Crime podcast fans

Witness the harrowing tale of Muhammad Abdul Aziz and his wrongful conviction in the assassination of Malcolm X. This documentary unravels a story of injustice and the quest for truth.

This documentary originally appeared as part of ABC News’ Soul of a Nation series.

What are your favorite Black history documentaries on Disney+?

Whether you’re a history buff, a documentary lover or simply seeking to enrich your understanding of the world, Disney+ offers a window into the stories that have shaped the Black experience. Stream these empowering narratives and embark on a journey of discovery and inspiration.

Share this list with friends and family to spread these influential stories by saving on Pinterest or Facebook.

Which documentary are you most excited to watch? Comment below and let me know!

About the author

Photo of Meg Frost on Buzz Lightyear: Space Ranger Blast at Disney World's Magic Kingdom.
Photo by Meg Frost, All rights reserved.

Meg Frost is the creator of The Park Pixie, where she covers Disney World, Disney+, and Disney fandom.

She holds an M.A. in Journalism from Northeastern University and B.S. in Communication & American Studies from University of Miami in Florida.

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