By Bonnie DeShong, Gary Crusader
In the seventies, anything by James Baldwin was a must read among Black students. We held major discussions based around his books Another Country, The Fire Next Time, and Go Tell it on the Mountain, just to name a few. We all thought we knew all there was to know about Baldwin and his thoughts and feelings. After watching the documentary “I Am Not Your Negro” by Raoul Peck and voiced by Samuel L. Jackson, I realized most of us didn’t know the true depth of Baldwin at all.
The film is based on a book Baldwin was beginning to write in 1979 called “Remember This House.” This film is about the history of racism in America and its effect on not only the past, but the future of relationships.
Baldwin speaks on his relationship with leaders Malcolm X, Martin Luther King, Jr. and Med-gar Evers. It was so interesting to see that he was so close to all three of these iconic men whose views were at times so different, yet Baldwin understood the purpose and struggle of all of them. Through his speeches, lectures, and observations we hear and see the dedication he had to the movement.
Raoul Peck does a fabulous job in merging the past and present together in such a seamless way that I at times had to look twice to see what era we were in. It is so relevant today and reminds us that the more things appear to change the more things stay the same.
For me the film was a reminder and to many it will be an eye opener of what our country was, is and will be.
SPEND THE MONEY and see I AM NOT YOUR NEGRO in the theaters. Take your teenage and college age children and then have a real discussion afterwards.
Until next time keep your EYE to the sky!