Today, I watched the movie "I Am Not Your Negro" . "I Am Not Your Negro" is a documentary film by Raoul Peck, based on the unfinished manuscript "Remember This House" by Black American author and civil rights activist James Baldwin.
After watching the movie, I can know understand why it was released in 2016 with rave reviews and success. From the movie, I learned so many things. One major learning is that, in 1965, Robert Francis "Bobby" Kennedy, then the United States junior senator from New York, predicted that in about 40 years, the United States will have a Black president. Well, he was only off by 3 years. The United States had the first Black President 43 years after, in 2008. I was also reminded of the critical roles played by Harry Belafonte, Lorraine Vivian Hansberry, Sidney Poitiers, and others in the Civil Rights movement.
The documentary reflected on how, despite their early wide disagreements on how to approach the struggle of Blacks against oppression and racial discrimination, Martin Luther King, Jr and Malcom X came together and become more effective. As James Baldwin put it: "Martin Luther King, Jr met Malcom X at the mountain top".
I learned, or better, was reassured with an important lesson: how, despite racial issues, tensions, and divides, Americans, Blacks, Whites, Native Americans, Hispanics, and others have a more existential reasons to build a united country.
"I Am not Your Negro" documentary, narrated by actor Samuel L. Jackson, explores the life of Blacks in the United States and the history of racism they have endured. With the documentary, Raoul Peck envisions the book James Baldwin could have finished, with a critical view on race in America, through the civil rights movement and the lives and assassinations of three of his friends: Martin Luther King Jr., Medgar Evers, and Malcolm X. using only the writer's own words.
"I Am Not Your Negro" traces the journey of black history from the Civil Rights movement to the present of #BlackLivesMatter. James Baldwin was a visionary.
The film is a true masterpiece. Anyone would benefit from James Baldwin's teachings and inspirational words, though at the time of his death in 1987, he had completed thirty pages of the manuscript "Remember This House" , which is the basis of the documentary. Those who will watch the movie will be inspired by James Baldwin's vision for America.