Monday, February 06, 2017


"Oscar-nominated film brings the prophecy of James Baldwin into today's world" PBS NewsHour 2/3/2017


SUMMARY:  James Baldwin was one of the nation's most prominent novelists, social critics and civil rights activists of the 20th century.  Now his critiques of racism and segregation are the subject of a new Oscar-nominated documentary titled, “I Am Not Your Negro.”  Jeffrey Brown sits down with director Raoul Peck to discuss his tribute to a man he sees as a civil rights prophet.

JUDY WOODRUFF (NewsHour):  Next, James Baldwin was one of the nation's most prominent authors, public speakers, social critics and civil rights activists.

A new Oscar-nominated documentary opening today explores his life and legacy.

Jeffrey Brown has our look.  It's part of our series Beyond the Red Carpet.

And a warning:  It contains offensive language.

JAMES BALDWIN, Author/Civil Rights Activist:  There are days — this is one of them — when you wonder what your role is in this country and what your future is in it.

JEFFREY BROWN (NewsHour):  His words never really went away, but the writer James Baldwin, speaking here on public television in 1963, feels as relevant as ever.

JAMES BALDWIN:  I'm terrified at the moral apathy, the death of the heart, which is happening in my country.  These people have deluded themselves for so long, that they really don't think I'm human.

NARRATOR:  “The story of the Negro in America is the story of America.  It is not a pretty story.”

JEFFREY BROWN:  The clip is from a new documentary that draws a portrait of the artist, though not as a traditional film biography, and of the fractured and racially divided world he shone a searing light on.

NARRATOR:  “I was free only in battle, but never free to rest.”

JEFFREY BROWN:  It's called “I Am Not Your Negro.”

RAOUL PECK, Director, “I Am Not Your Negro”:  James Baldwin is probably, for me and for many other people, one of the most extraordinary authors in this country, black or white.  And he is somebody who changed my life.

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