I will say that compared to others’ reviews on Twitter, I wasn’t as emotionally provoked by the first half of the film. Not to say that this topic doesn’t make me angry, because it definitely does. I was mostly shocked at the images from the funerals of Baldwin’s three slain friends. That close perspective on all three deaths was the one thing that was new to me. It wasn’t until the clip of Baldwin’s television appearance with philosopher Paul Weiss, in which Baldwin rebuts Weiss’ argument that Baldwin talks about race too much, that I felt the most passionate (I was sitting in my seat like “YES THANK YOU! LET THEM KNOW JAMES!!!). This moment accurately represents the conversation between Black people and the majority of America that still exists today. In general, I liked how the film brings up how deeply rooted racism is ingrained in American culture, and how people are more willing to maintain power than confront what has become blatantly obvious again with this past presidential election. Something Baldwin said that stuck with me is "I can only conclude what they feel through their institutions." I feel as though this is the biggest part of why racism in America is still so pertinent today, it has more so to do with the institution rather than people's feelings alone. I also agree with Rolling Stone in that Peck’s, use of Jackson’s narration brought Baldwin’s words to life in a really interesting way.
Click to view my interactive cheat sheet for I Am Not Your Negro. Click the photos and quote for sources and to see articles that explain each topic further.