I Am Not Your Negro


“I Am Not Your Negro” (2017), by Haitian film-maker Raoul Peck, sets the words of James Baldwin to images and videos of that “glittering republic”, the US, in the 1960s and the 2010s.

It is an excellent introductionto James Baldwin if you have never read him. And even if you have, there is probably stuff you have never seen or heard.

Medgar, Malcolm and Martin: It is based in part on a book that Baldwin could not finish: about Medgar Evers, Malcolm X and Martin Luther King Jr. They were his friends and one after another they were gunned down before the age of 40: 1963, 1965, 1968. The linchpins of the film.

Lorraine Hansberry, another friend, also appears – and then is taken from us too soon. Also dead before 40.

The film cannot match the power or depth of his essays, but it hits the main…

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