James Baldwin was a great novelist and playwright. In one of the best films of the year, this documentary, I AM NOT YOUR NEGRO, reacquaints audiences with one of the overlooked, yet influential voices of the civil rights era. His early training as a Pentecostal minister honed his eloquence and oratorical skills. His attraction to men was at cross hairs with the ministry, and he left it three years later. His later prominence as a writer allowed him to frequently address civil rights issues, refusing to accept his ‘place’ in this republic. His friendship with Martin Luther King, Malcolm X and Medgar Evers put him in the forefront of the movement. The director, Raoul Peck, grew up reading Baldwin and wanted to bring Baldwin’s insights, in his own words, to the screen. Mr. Baldwin’s writings have lost none of their relevance or sting today. Never joining The Nation of Islam, the NAACP or any Christian congregation, Mr. Baldwin would go on to blaze his own path. Join us for this 2017 Academy Award nominee for Best Documentary, as we hear James Baldwin’s words again as they continue to bridge generations.
President, Kalamazoo Film Society