Soul Cinema Queen: 7 Angela Bassett “For the Culture” Films


Angela Bassett arrives at the 51st NAACP Image Awards at the Pasadena Civic Auditorium on Saturday, Feb. 22, 2020, in Pasadena, Calif. (Photo by Richard Shotwell/Invision/AP)
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Angele Bassett is sophisticated, powerful, and as beautiful as a Black Goddess whenever she’s onscreen. To quote a friend, “Angela Bassett is regal.” She has been the defined lover, the elegant mother, the enlightened aunt, and a supernatural soul sister whose roles connect to our hearts and make the audience cheer for her no matter if she is a hero or villain. Below are seven Angela Bassett films that have raised a generation.

7. Boyz N the Hood

It’s not uncommon for Black sons to hear “If-you-keep-acting-up-I’m going-to-send-you-to-live-with your-father threats; however, Tre’s mom, played by Angela, actually did it, making a tough decision to give up her full-time duties as a mother for her son’s future.

6. Vampire in Brooklyn

Yes, the film itself was barely ok, but Angela not only carried the movie on her back but made becoming a part-time sexy vampire dressed in Black look fun.

5. How Stella Got Her Groove Back

Love stories on an island like Jamaica are nothing new; however, Stella, the hard-working executive, became a pioneer for future aunties coming together in harmony on a spring cruise, looking for a Winston to take home.

4. Akeelah and the Bee

Growing up in the inner city is no easy task, especially if you happen to be a gifted kid. But with the support of a no-nonsense, yet supportive mother, there’s no fear of being able to spell even the most complex nine-symbol words.

3. Black Panther: Wakanda Forever

Queen Ramonda cussed out the United Nations with a Knuck-if-You-Buck warning, led a country and battled a super-powered winged mutant underwater King. Her royal presence made everyone in Wakanda and the real world feel protected.

2. Waiting to Exhale

The film begins with a gut punch that everyone feels when Bernadine’s husband shamelessly tells his wife that he’s leaving her for another woman (a white woman); Angela wears her victimhood for about five minutes before the next scene where she flicks her cigarette in the wind, while watching the car burn and later explode. The image of her walking away with her hair blowing in the wind was cemented in the audience’s brain for life.

1. What’s Love Got to Do with It

The rags-to-riches journey that includes love, betrayal, abuse, strength, pain, joy, and growth are displayed through every facial expression, eye turn, and stage performance, which will always be the gold standard that makes Angela Bassett the GOAT yesterday, today, and tomorrow. Let’s be clear, Angela didn’t play Tina Turner; she became Tina Turner. From her walk on stage, her voice, and her lip
curl, Angela became a legend on the screen.

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