To show support for the Black Lives Matter movement, Criterion Collection president Peter Becker and CEO Jonathan Turell announced a $25,000 initial contribution with a monthly commitment of $5,000 to organizations fighting racism in America, the company said in a statement posted to Twitter.

The Criterion Channel has also lifted its paywall on a number of titles from black filmmakers, as well as documentaries that detail the black experience.

“We are also committed to examining the role we play in the idea of canon formation, whose voices get elevated, and who gets to decide what stories get told,” Criterion's statement continued.

As allies in the Black Lives Matter movement try to figure out the next appropriate steps to take in their activism, it’s paramount that people become as educated as possible about issues regarding race. While it’s important to understand that nothing can take the place of a good, informative book, there are still many redeeming qualities in viewing the right films. 

As curators of classic cinema, the Criterion Channel's decision to lift its paywall gives anyone the opportunity to expand their horizons and become enlightened by the works of Maya Angelou, Julie Dash, and Cheryl Dunye at no cost. If you don’t know where to begin, keep scrolling down.

Check out some of these suggestions below.

In other news, the 2019 film Just Mercy, which stars Michael B. Jordan and Jamie Foxx, was made free to stream by Warner Bros. in response to the renewed attention on the Black Lives Matter movement. You can also now watch Selma, Ava DuVernay’s 2014 movie about Martin Luther King Jr. starring David Oyelowo, for free.

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