The Black Candle

Watch The Black Candle

  • 2008
  • 1 hr 11 min

The Black Candle is a thought-provoking documentary film released in 2008, that features renowned poet and author Maya Angelou as the narrator. The documentary explores the history and significance of Kwanzaa, an annual seven-day holiday celebration that takes place primarily in African American communities in the United States. Chuck D, a member of the iconic hip-hop group Public Enemy, is featured in the film along with political hip-hop duo Dead Prez, spoken word artist Ursula Rucker, and social activist Haki Madhubuti. In addition, the documentary interweaves the story of Kiri Davis, an adolescent filmmaker who made a short film exploring the impact of colorism in her community, which won awards and was screened at film festivals.

Throughout the film, Angelou narrates the history of Kwanzaa, sharing the traditions and values that are central to the celebration, such as unity, self-determination, and collective work and responsibility. The documentary then delves into the origins of Kwanzaa, which was created in 1966 by Dr. Maulana Karenga, a professor of Africana Studies at California State University, Long Beach. Karenga sought to create a holiday that would bring together African Americans and encourage them to celebrate their culture and heritage.

The Black Candle explores the significance of Kwanzaa as part of the broader African American experience. The documentary highlights the ways in which the holiday has been embraced by Black people in the United States as a way to reconnect with their roots and reclaim their cultural identity. Through interviews with scholars and community leaders, the documentary also examines the ongoing struggles of Black people in the United States, including imperialism, economic exploitation, and racism.

In addition to exploring the history of Kwanzaa, The Black Candle also celebrates the creative talents of African American artists, who use their work to inspire and uplift the Black community. Maya Angelou recites some of her poetry, while Chuck D and Dead Prez perform songs that address social and political issues facing Black people. Ursula Rucker recites her powerful spoken word pieces, and Haki Madhubuti shares his perspective on the role of art in social change.

The documentary also follows the story of Kiri Davis, a teenager who made a short film called A Girl Like Me. The film explores colorism, a form of discrimination in which lighter-skinned Black people are privileged over those with darker skin. Davis uses her film to raise awareness about this issue and to inspire others to speak out against it.

Overall, The Black Candle is a powerful and inspiring documentary that explores the history, culture, and struggles of African Americans. The film celebrates the rich legacy of African American artists and intellectuals, and it encourages viewers to take action to build a more just and equitable society. Whether you are familiar with Kwanzaa or are learning about it for the first time, The Black Candle is a must-see film that will leave you feeling informed, inspired, and empowered.

The Black Candle is a 2008 documentary with a runtime of 1 hour and 11 minutes.

Where to Watch The Black Candle
The Black Candle is available to watch free on Peacock, Plex, The Roku Channel Free and Tubi TV. It's also available to stream, download and buy on demand at Amazon Prime and Amazon. Some platforms allow you to rent The Black Candle for a limited time or purchase the movie and download it to your device.
  • Release Date
  • Runtime
    1 hr 11 min
  • Language