Independent Lens "I Am Not Your Negro"

Independent Lens "I Am Not Your Negro"

Mon, 01/15/2018 - 9:00pm

Pictured: James Baldwin in the crowd. March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom, 28 August 1963, Washington

Credit: Courtesy of © Dan Budnik - All Rights Reserved

One of the most acclaimed films of the year, a box office hit and a nominee for the Academy Award for Best Documentary, Raoul Peck’s I Am Not Your Negro premieres on Independent Lens Monday, January 15, 2018 at 9 p.m. on WXXI-TV. In 1979, James Baldwin wrote a letter to his literary agent describing his next project, to be called Remember This House. The book was to be a revolutionary, personal account of the lives and successive assassinations of three of his close friends — Medgar Evers, Malcolm X and Martin Luther King, Jr. But at the time of Baldwin’s death in 1987, he left behind only 30 completed pages of his manuscript.

Now, in his incendiary documentary, master filmmaker Raoul Peck envisions the book James Baldwin never finished. The result is a radical, up-to-the-minute examination of race in America, using Baldwin’s original words, spoken by Samuel L. Jackson, and a flood of rich archival material. I Am Not Your Negro is a journey into black history that connects the past of the Civil Rights movement to the present of #BlackLivesMatter. It is a film that questions black representation in Hollywood and beyond. And, ultimately, by confronting the deeper connections between the lives and assassination of these three leaders, Baldwin and Peck have produced a work that challenges the very definition of what America stands for.