I’m almost embarrassed to say I’ve never read James Baldwin, but I know he’s a literary legend. I never watch an episode of the Oprah Show when it aired and I know she’s a legend, too.
After watching ‘I’m Not Your Negro’ today, I have a whole new regard for James Baldwin.
Seeing and hearing what he says in this movie makes it hard to believe he’s been gone for over 30 years. His comments along with the visuals made me think this was a story delivered from a guy living in the moment.
Usually, when a movie ends, people are either cheering, crying, laughing or silently leaving the theater. I’ve never experience a theater that jumped right into conversation.
The story of the Negro is the story of America, and it’s not pretty.
Baldwin makes it clear that he doesn’t dislike whites. He never agreed with the black Muslims that they’re devils. But he preached that white folks don’t know black folks as well as black folks know white folks.
The movie does an excellent job of detailing why race relations are the way they are in America thanks to politics, the arts, and just plain ole ignorance between the races.
It’s not a movie that you’ll walk away angry if you have an objective mind. Yet, you will gain an understanding of how much of our issues are based on deliberate ignorance.
I kept reaching for the remote trying to pause and rewind some of the gems of wisdom Baldwin was dropping in his lectures and interviews. I can’t wait to own the DVD when it comes out.
An instant classic.