‘Black & Streaming’: from ‘Gabrielle Union: My Journey to 50′ to LeBron James’ ‘Shooting Stars,’ Here’s a List of 10 TV Shows and Movies to Enjoy During Juneteenth Weekend

Ahead of the annual Juneteenth holiday, which commemorates when, in 1865, Union troops delivered news to the Confederate state of Texas where slavery still existed, ABS has gathered a list of new and classic television and film releases.

It became a federal holiday in 2021, but Black communities have been celebrating Juneteenth for decades with family gatherings and bonding over food, fun and dancing, especially in the South. This week’s “What to Watch” list features a number of releases to enjoy with family, friends and loved ones, including a few with educational tidbits.

The documentary “Toni Morrison: The Pieces That I Am,” offers an artistic take on the life of Pulitzer Prize winner Toni Morrison, who passed away in 2019, as well as her literature, some of which deconstructed narrative and mentality surrounding the enslaved.

In the spirit of sharing knowledge and history, actress Gabrielle Union aimed to do just that with her family and friends for her 50th birthday last year. They traveled to Zanzibar, Tanzania, Accra, Ghana, Namibia and Cape Town, South Africa. She documented the entire experience in a special that aired on BET+ on Thursday, June 15.

Union is also in another movie on Netflix called “The Perfect Find” with Keith Powers.

Gabrielle Union and LeBron James in “Shooting Stars” (Photos: @beckmedial; “Shooting Stars” Screenshot/YouTube)

In an attempt to pave the way for other rising athletes, LeBron James produced a movie about his coming-of-age story and how he became one of the most respected players in the NBA league. The superstar’s origin story focuses on him and his four friends, who are connected in more ways than just by their love for basketball.

This week’s list also includes a new episode of “Run the World” and other classic films that have officially been released on streaming platforms, such as “The Color Purple,” “Boyz N The Hood” and more.

Check out this list of new television shows and movies hitting streaming platforms this weekend.

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  • Boyz N the Hood (1991) This film takes a sobering look at a community of people in South Central Los Angeles, a neighborhood rife with guns, gangs, money and police brutality. It was selected for preservation in the National Film Registry by the Library of Congress and earned the late John Singleton an Oscar nomination for Best Director — making him the youngest person and the first Black person to be nominated for this feat. The star-studded cast includes Ice Cube, Morris Chestnut, Cuba Gooding, Jr. Nia Long, Regina King, Angela Bassett, Laurence Fishburne and John Cothran.
  • Devil In a Blue Dress (1995) Denzel Washington turns up the heat in this 1990s gem, as WWII veteran Ezekiel “Easy” Rawlins in the summer of 1948. He’s broke and in desperate need of a job after being laid off, but somehow becomes involved in the search for a white woman wearing a blue dress.
  • The Color Purple (1985) The classic nostalgic film based on Alice Walker’s 1982 novel stars a variety of veteran actors such as Oprah Winfrey, Danny Glover and Margaret Avery. It follows the life of the character Celie, portrayed by Whoopi Goldberg, who struggled to find and understand her identity after enduring 30 years of abuse from her father and other individuals, as well as her husband. “The Color Purple” was adapted into a Broadway musical in the early and late 2000s. An adaptation of the film is set to be released around Christmas time, with powerhouse singer Fantasia playing Goldberg’s role.
  • Toni Morrison: The Pieces That I Am (2019) A white director tells the story of the legendary writer and Pulitzer Prize-winning author who passed months after this film was released. It captures her perspective on race, history, America and the human condition. She published her first novel at 39 years old and became the first Black woman to win the Nobel Prize in literature in 1993. Some of her most notable works are “The Bluest Eye,” “Beloved,” “Song of Solomon” and “Sula.”
Toni Morrison
U.S. author Toni Morrison smiles in her office at Princeton University in New Jersey, while being interviewed by reporters on Oct. 7, 1993. Morrison said “I am outrageously happy” after hearing that she had won the Nobel Prize for Literature. (Photo by DON EMMERT/ AFP/Getty Images)


  • Chevalier (2022) Here’s an interesting one, a black male in a French-inspired film that reflects the true story of composer Joseph Bologne also known as Chevalier de Saint-Georges. Actor Kelvin Harrison Jr. plays the illegitimate son of an African slave and a plantation owner who rises to heights in French society as a violinist before an ill-fated love affair with a white woman. 
  • Gabrielle Union: My Journey To 50 (2023) Gabrielle Union celebrated her 50th birthday with an epic trip to Africa with her husband, Dwyane Wade, daughter Kaavia, a few other friends, and loves ones such as Essence Atkins and Angie Martinez. Union said she wanted to create a knowledgeable experience for herself and her guests that teaches them about their history and heritage. “There was no other place I wanted to spend my 50th birthday,” Union said in a press release. “It was an experience I’ll never forget, and I’m excited for audiences to join me on the journey.” This series marks the first of many projects between Bet+ and Union as part of her network deal. 


  • The Perfect Find (2023) Gabrielle Union and Keith Powers play love interests in the new film base on Tia Williams’ 2016 novel of the same title. It follows two co-workers, Jenna and Eric, who gradually and unexpectedly fall in love. After a bad breakup and losing her previous job, Jenna moves to Brooklyn, where she meets Eric, the son of her new boss. 
  • Race (2016) Actor Stephan James stars as Jesse Owens in the autobiographical film about the legendary athlete who overcame obstacles such as poverty and racism. It tells the story of one of the greatest track and field athletes in history who took the stage at the 1936 Berlin Olympics. The cast also includes Jason Sudeikis, Shanice Banton and Shamier Anderson.


  • Shooting Stars (2023) Since the official trailer dropped a few weeks back, fans have patiently waited for the LeBron James biopic to be released, and now it’s here. The movie details his career prior to becoming an NBA player, and is centered around his relationships with his three best friends, friends, and other family members. The film stars Marquis Mookie Cook as James, Khalil Everage from 2019’s “Beats” and Caleb McLaughlin from “Stranger Things.”


  • Run The World (Season 2) In episode four, the ladies have been introduced to their therapist, Dr. Monica Mitchell, played by “A Different World” actress Cree Summer. Sondi is not unclear about where she stands with her boyfriend, who just earned tenure at the same college she is pursuing her Ph.D. at. Whitney was tricked into seeing Ola, who made it very clear that cheating is unacceptable and that he is not interested in getting back together. Meanwhile, Renee is dating a tech millionaire with a private jet and a Rolls Royce, which is an upgrade from her ex-husband, who left his corporate job to pursue a music career. But she’s having second doubts about getting so close to someone too soon. 
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