Peck Speaks Baldwin, Race & Reconciliation
A Screening and Discussion of the 2017 OSCAR-NOMINATED FILM I Am Not Your Negro
We are not living in a post-racial society. Racism is real and alive and intertwined in the very fabric of America. The Fire of Next Time, Notes of A Native Son, Nobody Knows My Name, are all prolific books by James Baldwin packed with powerful words and necessary truths that maintain there importance in today’s society. “Go back to Baldwin is key” his words are so powerful today,” affirms internationally renowned filmmaker Raoul Peck. What prolific writer/activist/public witness James Baldwin wrote 50 years ago is timeless and remains relevant and important today.
Peck’s Oscar nominated documentary on Baldwin entitled, “I Am Not Your Negro” is a visual moving memoir that gives audiences a historical perspective of identity, injustice, deconstruction of white privilege, and race in America, while reflecting on the lives of human rights giants: Malcolm X, Martin Luther King, Jr. and Meager Evers, three African American leaders who were murdered in their prime. Speaking engagements include a screening of his Baldwin documentary with post-discussion on Baldwin, race, and reconciliation.
Peck insists that Baldwin’s works are still impactful, universal and strong “if you take any books of Baldwin and start reading, you’re not reading about the past your reading about today, and it resonates as if he’s reacting to current news items.” There are many correlations that tie in the Black lives matter, Pecks film on Baldwin and his subject empowering each of us to question, analyze, think, learn to be comfortable with ourselves and be better than other’s perceptions of us.
“As artists we are subjective people, we have a point of view; it doesn’t mean that we are right, but we confront the audience with a point of view.
“I don’t know what the way will be or how we will get there. I think we will never get it from the industry, unless we take it. The result for me is to be able to be in a room with an executive to whom I pitch my project, I have a half hour and where I don’t need to spend 25 minutes of that half-hour to explain who James Baldwin is and why he is important.
Studying James Baldwin addresses literary, artistic and political realities and teaches us who we are and how to find our way to humanity in a very complicated world. Through his moving documentary, and impactful speaking engagements, Peck gives audiences what Baldwin gave to him, “the very instruments I needed to understand and to even deconstruct the world around me.”
Student Learning Outcomes:
- Students will understand and appreciate the human differences and cultural competency as well as their social responsibility in the world.
- Audiences will understand the need to question definitions that society places on them, and understand the importance of accepting who they are in relationship to their identity, self-esteem, and confidence in a world that challenges personal images, culture and sexual orientation.
- Students will choose to review, read and explore the life works of James Baldwin as well as learn more about three revolutionary leaders: Malcolm X, Martin Luther King and Megar Evers, who fought for justice, human rights and equality.
This topic is ideal for: Multi-Culturalism, Cultural Celebration, Afro-American Studies, Literature, Servant Leadership, and Current Affairs events.