BIPOC Action item: Watch the documentary I Am Not Your Negro
- Where to watch: Netflix & Amazon Prime
- Time needed: 1 hour, 33 minutes
- What it's about: Narrated by actor Samuel L. Jackson, the film explores the history of racism in the United States through James Baldwin's reminiscences of civil rights leaders Medgar Evers, Malcolm X, and Martin Luther King Jr., as well as his personal observations of American history.
- Discussion questions:
- Were you familiar with James Baldwin’s literary work or civil rights activism before watching the film? If so, how? If not, what do you think of him now?
- Of the three men about whom Baldwin writes (Medgar Evers, Martin Luther King Jr., and Malcolm X), who did you learn about most? Did you already know a lot about one or more of these men? Were any of them new to you?
- During the film, there is an audio montage of voices saying "I’m sorry.” What do you believe was the purpose and impact of this moment in the film, on both the narrative arc, and on you as a viewer?
- In comparing archival footage from the 1950s and 1960s with footage of police violence shot contemporary with the film’s release some 60 years later, the film seems to argue that the quality of life for most Black Americans has not improved much since the dawn of the civil rights movement. How do you feel about this?
- What was your greatest takeaway from the film?