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James Baldwin Documentary 'I Am Not Your Negro' Headed To DVD

James Baldwin Documentary 'I Am Not Your Negro' Headed To DVD

A Personal Archive Of James Baldwin's Work Is Returning To Harlem

Photo via YouTube

I Am Not Your Negro is making its way to Blu-Ray, DVD and Digital HD soon.

The Raoul Peck-directed documentary on acclaimed and iconic writer James Baldwin will be available to purchase on May 2. Special features will include an interview and Q&A session with Peck who further discusses the film; a Q&A session with Samuel L. Jackson (who narrates the words of Baldwin); and a video photo gallery of notable photographs featured in the Oscar-nominated documentary.

I Am Not Your Negro is based on an unfinished book Baldwin was writing on assassinated civil rights heroes Martin Luther King Jr., Malcolm X and Medgar Evers.

“…It was a huge risk, because you’re making a film not only about the man, but about his thinking, and you try to make it from the inside of his head,” Peck said in an Okayplayer interview. “…So I had to modestly put myself or my ego in the background and make sure every single decision is Baldwin…I say sometimes the film project was 10 years, but in fact it was longer than that. It’s my own biography, my own confrontation with the images of Hollywood.”

The Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture in Harlem had recently acquired Baldwin’s personal archive, which included 30 linear feet of handwritten letters and manuscripts; handwritten and typed drafts of essays, novels and short stories; unpublished and published creative works in their nascent and final stages; and much more. The archive was on display from April 13-17.

Highlights from the archive included the playscript of The Amen Corner, one of two plays that Baldwin wrote that addressed the Black church, poverty and Harlem; an essay on Martin Luther King Jr., where Baldwin describes receiving the phone call that notified him of King’s death as he was working on an unreleased screen adaptation of The Autobiography of Malcolm X with actor Billy Dee Williams; and a letter to Angela Davis, which he wrote to her just one month after her arrest in New York City by FBI agents.


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