It’s Martin Luther King Jr. Day here in the United States, a day that marks the birthday of one of our greatest civil rights leaders. King was assassinated in 1968 at the age of 39, an incalculable loss, yet his legacy remains.
The issues Dr. King spoke on are once again at the forefront of discussion, and what better day to think and learn about them? One of the most powerful voices on racial relations during the 20th century belonged to James Baldwin, author of Notes of a Native Son, Go Tell It on the Mountain, and If Beale Street Could Talk.
At the time of his death in 1987, Baldwin was working on a book called Remember This House, which was to be a memoir of his own relationships with Martin Luther King Jr., Malcolm X, and Medgar Evers. This unfinished manuscript became the basis of an Oscar-nominated documentary by Raoul Peck.
Narrated by Samuel L. Jackson, I Am Not Your Negro examines Baldwin’s take on the role of racism in American history and his recollections of MLK and the other civil rights leaders he knew during his years of activism.