Date(s) - 09/02/2018
6:00 pm - 8:15 pm
Tel Hi Neighborhood Center
Sid keeps the classic films coming!
I Am Not Your Negro Raoul Peck US 2017 1hr 33 min (June 20, 2017)
Wednesday, June 20, 6:15pm.
Telegraph Hill Neighborhood Center, 660 Lombard St.
I Am Not Your Negro ––
When James Baldwin died of cancer in 1987, he left behind some 30 pages of his last work, Remember This House. After years of wanting to make a film about Baldwin, Raoul Peck, born in Haiti, received a gift of these pages from Baldwin’s sister, and realized that they could be the skeleton of a film about the great American writer. The unfinished work focused on three of Baldwin’s friends and colleagues in the struggle for Negro equality: Martin Luther King, Medgar Evers, and Malcolm X, all murdered at the peak of their maturity as men and leaders. In Baldwin’s view, King and Malcolm X, were murdered because, in spite of their disagreements, they were publicly making it clear that the fundamental source of the Negros plight was the economic inequality that people of color, and all the poor, suffered from in this country. Their coming together on this point made the establishment very, very nervous.
Peck uses footage from throughout the 20th century to illustrate the Negro struggle and the brutal violence used against it. The commentary, read by Samuel L. Jackson, is all Baldwin’s and suggests that in spite of some gains, much for Negroes has remained unchanged. One can argue with that, but the case for such a point of view is conveyed convincingly in everything from a live 1968 TV interview with Dick Cavett to images of lynchings from the early 20th century to photos of the many young Negro men whose recent deaths at the hands of the police have spurred the birth of the Black Lives Matter movement. Baldwin’s words, spoken throughout several decades of his difficult life in places as varied as community meetings in Harlem, churches, and international forums, are eloquent, angry, powerful and, though often sad, even slightly hopeful. It is a voice we need to hear and heed––still.
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