James Baldwin (1924-1987) was required reading in my house when I reached a certain age. His novels, plays and essays revealed an authoritative and distinctive African American intellectual life that was inspiring then and now. His book-length meditation on race in America, “The Fire Next Time,” seems written for today.
Baldwin’s oeuvre is experiencing a renaissance through the Oscar-nominated documentary film “I Am Not Your Negro,” scheduled to open Feb. 24 at the Tower.
Writer/director Raoul Peck used Baldwin’s notes and manuscripts about a planned book on his three assassinated friends, Medgar Evers, Malcolm X and Martin Luther King, and excerpted Baldwin’s incisive interviews and film clips illustrating his cogent media observations. “I Am Not Your Negro: A Companion Edition to the Documentary Film Directed by Raoul Peck” unpacks Baldwin and the film even more.
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