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Ava DuVernay’s ‘Selma’ and other movies about race in America are free to stream right now. Here’s how to watch

Film studios and streaming services have made a variety of films about race and racism available for free

David Oyelowo, center, as Martin Luther King Jr., leads the historic 1965 civil rights march from Selma to Montgomery, Alabama, in “Selma,” now on Blu-ray and DVD.
David Oyelowo, center, as Martin Luther King Jr., leads the historic 1965 civil rights march from Selma to Montgomery, Alabama, in “Selma.” “Selma” will be available to stream for free during the month of June.
Paramount Home Entertainment

Amid nationwide protests over the death of George Floyd, studios and streaming services have begun making films that address racism and the experiences of black Americans free to watch online.

Last week, Warner Bros. made the 2019 movie “Just Mercy” about the real-life experience of civil rights attorney Bryan Stevenson available for free. The studio encouraged viewers to watch the film to learn more about “systemic racism” in the United States.

Other studios and services have followed suit, making a variety of films and documentaries available for free for a limited time.

Here are some of the movies that are free to stream right now.

“Selma”

This Oscar-nominated film (directed by Ava DuVernay) tells the story of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s campaign to secure equal voting rights by marching from Selma to Montgomery, Alabama in 1965.

  • How to watch: Paramount has made “Selma” available for free on all digital platforms, including iTunes and Amazon, through the end of June.

“13th”

Also from Ava DuVernay, this documentary explores the United States prison system and how it is tied to the nation’s history of racial inequality.

Note: “13th” is rated TV-MA on Netflix for “intense violence” and “cursing,” according to Common Sense Media.

  • How to watch: Netflix has made “13th” available to watch for free on YouTube.

“John Lewis: Get in the Way”

Rep. John Lewis, D-Ga., is interviewed at the Nashville Public Library Friday, Nov. 18, 2016, in Nashville, Tenn. Lewis will be honored this weekend in Nashville, where the civil rights leader once organized sit-ins at the city’s segregated lunch counters
Rep. John Lewis, D-Ga., is interviewed at the Nashville Public Library Friday, Nov. 18, 2016. “John Lewis: Get in the Way,” about the life of civil rights leader and congressman John Lewis, is available to watch for free on PBS.
Mark Humphrey, Associated Press

A documentary about the life of Rep. John Lewis of Georgia, who was a leader during the Civil Rights movement and is still a congressional leader today.

  • How to watch: Available to stream for free on PBS.

“I Am Not Your Negro”

Based on James Baldwin’s unfinished work “Remember This House,” which was meant to be a reflection on the assassination of his friends Medgar Evers, Malcolm X and Martin Luther King Jr., this film is narrated by Samuel L. Jackson using Baldwin’s words.

  • How to watch: Available to stream for free on PBS.

“The African-Americans: Many Rivers to Cross”

This six-episode miniseries from historian and filmmaker Henry Louis Gates Jr. is a full survey of African-American history. Other works from Gates, including “Reconstruction: America After the Civil War” and “Black America Since MLK: And Still I Rise,” are also currently free to watch.

  • How to watch: Available to stream for free on PBS.

“The Secret Life of Bees”

Queen Latifah, left, Sophie Okonedo, Jennifer Hudson, Alicia Keys and Dakota Fanning star in the movie “The Secret Life of Bees.”
Queen Latifah, left, Sophie Okonedo, Jennifer Hudson, Alicia Keys and Dakota Fanning star in the movie “The Secret Life of Bees.” The movie is available for free right now on Fandango Now.
Sidney Baldwin, Fox Searchlight

Based on the novel by Sue Monk Kidd, the movie tells the story of a girl who runs away from home to live with a group of women in South Carolina in 1964.

“Daughters of the Dust”

Julie Dash’s independent production “Daughters of the Dust” (1991) has been restored and released on Blu-ray for the film’s 25th anniversary.
Julie Dash’s independent production “Daughters of the Dust” (1991) is available to watch for free on the Criterion Channel’s website.
Cohen Media

This 1991 film was the first feature film to be directed by an African-American woman, Julie Dash, and follows the story of three generations of Gullah women in South Carolina.

  • How to watch: The Criterion Collection has made a number of films that focus on black lives, including “Daughters of the Dust,” available for free on their streaming platform, the Criterion Channel (no subscription necessary).