Free pop-up screening set for Oscar-nominated documentary 'I Am Not Your Negro'

Last Updated by Chip Chandler on
James Baldwin is seen at the 1963 March on Washington.
Courtesy of © Dan Budnik

By Chip Chandler — Digital Content Producer

An acclaimed documentary exploring 50-plus years of the battle for racial equality will get a special free screening Tuesday.

Raoul Peck’s acclaimed documentary I Am Not Your Negro, which was nominated for a 2016 Academy Award for best documentary, will screen at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday in an Indie Lens Pop-Up screening hosted by Panhandle PBS, the Amarillo branch of the NAACP and the Amarillo Public Library.

The event begins at 6 p.m. Tuesday at the downtown library, 413 S.E. Fourth Ave., with a panel discussion following the screening. Panelists will be James Allen, Alphonso Vaughn, Elisha Demerson and David Lovejoy, led by moderator Claudia Stuart.

I Am Not Your Negro — which will make its on-air debut at 8 p.m. Jan. 15 on Independent Lens on Panhandle PBS — is based on an unfinished manuscript left behind after Baldwin’s death in 1987. The book was to be a revolutionary, personal account of the lives and successive assassinations of three of his close friends — Medgar Evers, Malcolm X and Martin Luther King Jr.

Peck envisions the book Baldwin might have made, a radical examination of race in America, material. I Am Not Your Negro is a journey into black history that connects the past of the Civil Rights movement to the present of #BlackLivesMatter.

"(Baldwin) wasn't lecturing to 'white America' or passing instructions to 'black America'; he truly wanted everyone to confront the same narrative together, to stop hiding behind fictions and make some sense of the country," writes NPR's Andrew Lapin. "Did he succeed? Well, when confronted with such pressing, vibrantly cinematic power built entirely from decades-old words, we must ask ourselves exactly why, in 2017, these words may as well have been written for the first time."

The film will be available for online viewing beginning Jan. 16.



Chip Chandler is a digital content producer for Panhandle PBS. He can be contacted at, at @chipchandler1 on Twitter and on Facebook.

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