We are screening three films that explore and bring a fresh and radical perspective to the current racial narrative in America. Two of these were shown in our series when they were originally released – I Am Not Your Negro and Toni Morrison: The Pieces I Am. They are both well worth a second look. The third, Whose Streets? , is one that we overlooked when it was released in 2017. We are donating our portion of the ticket sales (just under 50%) to causes and organizations addressing longstanding injustices: police reform initiatives, The Bail Project, The Movement for Black Lives and Black Lives Matter.
We will also be screening the upcoming documentary John Lewis: Good Trouble when it is released on July 4th.
I Am Not Your Negro: Director Raoul Peck envisions the book James Baldwin never finished – a radical narration about race in America, using the writer’s original words. He draws upon James Baldwin’s notes on the lives and assassinations of Medgar Evers, Malcolm X, and Martin Luther King Jr. (95 min) To call “I Am Not Your Negro” a movie about James Baldwin would be to understate Mr. Peck’s achievement. It’s more of a posthumous collaboration, an uncanny and thrilling communion between the filmmaker and his subject. It’s a remedial course in American history, and an advanced seminar in racial politics — a concise, roughly 90-minute movie with the scope and impact of a 10-hour mini-series. Whatever you think about the past and future of what used to be called “race relations” — white supremacy and the resistance to it, in plainer English — this movie will make you think again, and may even change your mind. — A.O.Scott, The New York Times
Watch I Am Not Your Negro right here, right now
Toni Morrison: The Pieces I Am: With the peerless style and rich perspective on Black America she brought to such acclaimed novels as Beloved, The Bluest Eye, and Song of Solomon, Toni Morrison earned a reputation as one of America’s greatest living writers.
She wrote her books from a vital, underrepresented point of view. Inspired to write because no one took a “little black girl” seriously, Morrison was one of the few who wrote for an African American audience, and she understood the way language could operate as an oppressive or uplifting force—she refused to let her words be marginalized. After years of fighting to be heard, Morrison was awarded a Nobel Prize for her writing, and her novels are now taught in schools around the world.
Through a trove of archival material, evocative works of contemporary art, and interviews with Oprah Winfrey, Angela Davis, and Morrison herself, we revisit her famed books and learn about the inspiration for her writing. Throughout, Morrison is effortlessly graceful, insightful, and candid, making this intimate, comprehensive portrait of her life and works an exploration of what it means to be a writer whose stories are so deeply intertwined with often-unrealized national truths.
Watch Toni Morrison: The Pieces I Am right here, right now
Whose Streets?: Told by the activists and leaders who live and breathe this movement for justice, Whose Streets? is an unflinching look at the Ferguson uprising. When unarmed teenager Michael Brown is killed by police and left lying in the street for hours, it marks a breaking point for the residents of St. Louis, Missouri. Grief, long-standing racial tensions and renewed anger bring residents together to hold vigil and protest this latest tragedy. Empowered parents, artists, and teachers from around the country come together as freedom fighters. As the national guard descends on Ferguson with military grade weaponry, these young community members become the torchbearers of a new resistance.
Watch Whose Streets? right here, right now