If you missed this film when it was released in theaters in 2017, do not overlook it now. Baldwin, writing more than sixty years ago is as incisive and right on as anything written today. Nothing is outdated. Samuel Jackson provides the voice over–all drawn from Baldwin’s work, accompanied by powerful documentary footage. It says a lot about the Academy Awards (and American audiences) when OJ:Made In America was chosen over the Raul Peck documentary I Am Not Your Negro. But I suppose one could argue that O.J.’s sensationalistic story is a pop culture companion piece to Baldwin’s intellectual analysis. Another film about Baldwin that I strongly recommend is The Price of a Ticket, released in 1989.(Kanopy) It, too, is an astonishing reminder of Baldwin’s brilliance and a perspective so current and so jarring in the realization that more than a half a century has passed with few substantial changes when it comes to race. Here are some uncomfortably prescient Baldwin quotes:
It is certain, in any case, that ignorance, allied with power, is the most ferocious enemy justice can have.
Not everything that is faced can be changed, but nothing can be changed until it is faced.
To be a Negro in this country and to be relatively conscious is to be in a rage almost all the time.