“The story of the Negro in America is the story of America. It is not a pretty story.” Samuel L. Jackson recites that line in the new trailer for I Am Not Your Negro, in which director Raoul Peck envisions the book James Baldwin never finished: a radical narration about race in America, using the writer’s original words.
Peck draws upon Baldwin’s notes on the lives and assassinations of Medgar Evers, Malcolm X and Martin Luther King Jr. to explore and bring a fresh perspective to the current racial narrative in America.”There are days,” Baldwin says in an on-camera interview, “when you wonder what your role is in this country and what your future is in it.”
The film from Magnolia Pictures and Magnet Releasing, which tied with O.J.: Made in America for a leading five Cinema Eye nonfiction awards, got a one-week qualifying run beginning December 9 in New York and Los Angeles and will see a nationwide theatrical rollout in 25 markets on February 3. Amazon Studios has acquired exclusive streaming rights to the film, which Independent Lens co-funded. It also will air on PBS late this year.
Have a look at the trailer above and tell us what you think. If you’re watching at the office or in public, note that the N-word is spoken multiple times.