What Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that the musical Black Nativity is a modernization of Langston Hughes' 1961 play of the same name with a gospel twist. There's nothing particularly alarming for younger kids, but there are a couple of scenes when a young man has skirmishes with the law (he's mistakenly arrested for pickpocketing when he was just trying to return the wallet) and later tries to rob a pawnshop at gunpoint. Hughes' poetry is recited (or sung) throughout the movie, as are traditional gospel songs. The story of Jesus' birth becomes the driving force for an estranged family's reunion in this holiday musical.
- Families can talk about the movie's connection to famous American poet Langston Hughes. What does the movie teach about Hughes' poems and their setting in Harlem? What do his poems have to do with the nativity story?
- What did you think of this retelling of the nativity story in a contemporary setting? Did you appreciate the way the gospel music was integrated into the story?
- Do you prefer religious holiday movies or secular ones? Discuss why or why not your family celebrates the religious aspects of Christmas.