I am Not Your Negro: Extra Credit

Pedro Bonilla

Professor Gieseking

Extra Credit

02 May 2017

Director Raoul Peck filmed I am Not Your Negro. This documentary signified James Baldwin’s focus on racial justice providing viewers with Baldwin’s theory on racism, and also the racial activisms perpetrated by Malcolm X, Martin Luther King Jr., and Medgar Evan, who were all killed for going against racial oppression. The documentary first gives viewers a summation of Baldwin’s life in which he was mentored by a white teacher and was exposed to real life oppression through literature. He then moved to France to escape the racial injustice but returned back to the US to fight against oppression through words. In relations to race, Baldwin explains that Malcolm X’s activism included a separate nation, while Martin Luther King Jr.’s activism included a nation among whites and blacks. Also, Medgar Evan’s was a civil rights activist who joined the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People and fought for black individuals against the white institution. Significantly, Baldwin believed in a “brotherhood” of all Americans in which both blacks and whites would identify their core morals and leave their differences aside to integrate a society.

Except for Baldwin, I knew these black figureheads who fought against racial oppression. I studied the historical contexts in which I believe are justifiable to their forms of activism. On the contrary, I did not understand Baldwin’s activism under the guise of both races having to put their differences aside when the white race was what perpetrated racism. I think that Baldwin was trying to have both parties develop peace by setting the concept that both races admit into their flaws and compromise so that there is no one to be held accountable. Thus, I disagree with Baldwin’s sayings because the notion of setting aside their differences is ridiculous when the white race frequently uses its privilege to oppress colored individuals.

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