I Am Not Your Negro  

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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.
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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.

I Am Not Your Negro is a 2016 documentary film directed by Raoul Peck, based on James Baldwin's unfinished manuscript, Remember This House. Narrated by actor Samuel L. Jackson, the film explores the history of racism in the United States through 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.

Synopsis

This 93-minute feature documentary is narrated by Samuel L. Jackson and is entirely inspired by James Baldwin's unfinished manuscript, Remember This House, a collection of notes and letters written by Baldwin in the mid-1970s. The memoir recounts the lives of his close friends and civil rights leaders Malcolm X, Martin Luther King Jr., and Medgar Evers.

Critical response

The documentary received critical acclaim. On Rotten Tomatoes, the film has an approval rating of 99% based on 134 reviews, with an average rating of 8.9/10. The site's critical consensus reads, "I Am Not Your Negro offers an incendiary snapshot of James Baldwin's crucial observations on American race relations—and a sobering reminder of how far we've yet to go." The film received low user-generated ratings upon its release on IMDb and Metacritic, leading to accusations of vote brigading.

Joe Morgenstern from the Wall Street Journal said, "the film is unsparing as history and enthralling as biography. It's an evocation of a passionate soul in a tumultuous era, a film that uses Baldwin’s spoken words, and his notes for an unfinished book, to illuminate the struggle for civil rights."




Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "I Am Not Your Negro" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on original research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

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