Showing of ‘I Am Not Your Negro’ Open to All

Donald Lierman, Writer

UM-Flint will present the film “I Am Not Your Negro” on Tuesday, Nov. 13 at 5:30 p.m. in French Hall room 310. 

 “‘I Am Not Your Negro’ is Raoul Peck’s cinematic adaptation of a never-finished book by James Baldwin,” said UM-Flint Assistant Professor of Anthropology Daniel Birchok. “It tells the stories of the lives and assassinations of the civil rights leaders Medgar Evers, Malcolm X and Martin Luther King, Jr. through the eyes of Baldwin, who knew them all.” 

A Google film synopsis states that Baldwin planned as a project a book entitled “Remember This House.” His goal was to present the lives and deaths of the three who were friends of Baldwin. However, he died after completing 30 pages of his manuscript. 

Peck attempts to construct a film around Baldwin’s unfinished work, speculating as to what his finished product would have entailed.

We are screening it as part of a film forum that is part of my class, ‘The Anthropology of Political Violence’, as a way to think about the intersection of race and violence in U.S. history and, more broadly, the different ways in which violence affects human meaning and experience,” said Birchok. “Previously, we screened ‘Maeve’, a 1981 film about the troubles in Northern Ireland, and on November 27 we will screen ‘The Look of Silence’, a film about the aftermath of the 1965-1966 mass killings of the political left in Indonesia.” 

This film is the second in a series co-sponsored by the school’s Anthropology Program, the Department of Political Science, the Intercultural Center, as well as the International and Global Studies Program.

“These screenings and discussions are open to the public, in part because I feel strongly that anthropological approaches to violence help us to think about the complicated ways in which all different kinds of violence affect our social worlds. Anthropologists think a lot about how people make sense of their lives and experiences, and we tend to refuse simple moralist or politically reductionist readings of phenomena like political violence,” said Birchok. 

Admission is free; popcorn is included.