The Black Candle

For the controversial Emily Murphy book, see Emily Murphy § Drugs and race.
2008 film

The Black Candle

Directed by

M. K. Asante

Written by

M. K. Asante
Maya Angelou (poetry)

Produced by

M. K. Asante
Ben Haaz
Kenny Gamble
Walter Lomax


Maya Angelou
Chuck D
Dead Prez
Kiri Davis
Ursula Rucker
Jim Brown
Haki Madhubuti

Narrated by

Maya Angelou

Music by

Nnenna Freelon, Derrick Hodge, Robert Glasper, Chris Dave

Release date

November 2008 (2008-11)

Running time

71 minutes



The Black Candle is a documentary film about Kwanzaa directed by M. K. Asante and narrated by Maya Angelou. The film premiered on cable television on Starz on November, 2012.


The Black Candle uses Kwanzaa as a vehicle to explore and celebrate the African-American experience. Narrated by the poet Maya Angelou and directed by author and filmmaker M. K. Asante, The Black Candle is about the struggle and triumph of African-American family, community, and culture. The documentary traces the holiday\'s growth out of the Black Power Movement in the 1960s to its present-day reality.


Time magazine wrote \"The first film about Kwanzaa, The Black Candle, narrated by Maya Angelou is fit for a poet.\"

The Daily Voice wrote, \"I predict that viewing The Black Candle will become an annual family tradition in homes around the world.\"

The film won Best Full Length Documentary at the 2009 Africa World Documentary Film Festival.

In December 2020, the American Film Institute selected The Black Candle as a \"holiday classic\" and featured the film in AFI Movie Club Presents: Home for the Holidays, \"highlighting the very best of the holiday cinema\".


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