Very few times have I taken in a documentary in a movie theatre, usually the norm has been as a documentary film festival or other event. When the trailer caught my eye for James Baldwin’s I Am Not Your Negro, I was intrigued immediately. In to way is this film less than cutting deep and sharply into the history of the struggle, fight, and biased notion of equality for American relations on race. Taken from Baldwin’s project, Remember This House, this insight into the history of denying rights to such a contributing part of the American historical story, so much discussion, examination, and introspection can be made every step of the way in this film.
I personally feel this is a film that everyone should view, if not for anything else, but for the fact that issues are important to be discussed and not admired or thought if in a picture book. With so much at stake in the middle of a shakeup in politics, social issues, violence, and so much more, as much conversation is needed now as existed during an election like no one has ever seen before. I like the fact that Martin Luther King, Medgar Evers, and Malcolm X are initiators of this topic and then tied to the historical legacy of civil rights and the lack of through the years.
What a powerful set of contexts presented by James Baldwin, and so relevant to Baldwin’s life as well as to each of our own, and raising a powerful set of questions posed continually. I think the only way to advance in society as a whole, both in the United States and abroad, is to continually set up opportunities for reflection on how to improve, continually, and not periodically. As a result, there can always be a forum for change and the possibility of a better future if those opportunities are opened, whether you agree with the message or not, we all need those opportunities to grow as a country, despite the country we reside in. The ability to apply these same issues in other countries as well, remains a powerful, powerful resource.