“I Am Not Your Negro” (2016) is a documentary based on James Baldwin’s narration of the Negro struggle and sacrifices of three great Black revolutionists Medgar Evers, Malcolm X, and Martin Luther. He unravels the deep-rooted racism in the institutions of the American state in the forms of strict segregation in public and personal spheres of life. He also mentions the issues of segregated educational institutions and difficulties faced by students. He narrates a scene of 15 years old Dorothy Counts who one of the first Black students to be admitted to an all-white high school in North Carolina. She was harassed and spat upon by a white mob while making her way to school on her first day. She even mentioned later that adults aggravated the bullying or stayed quiet. The radical change of admitting black children to all-white schools happened after Brown v. Board of Education case's landmark judgment of Supreme Court in 1954 which ruled that racial segregation of children in public schools was unconstitutional. It is such a powerful and my most favorite case which always gives me happy chills. This documentary also made me think about the African American community's struggle to get their right to quality education that was given to white children in all-white schools. These struggles started in the form of non-violent protests by the black community but state-sanctioned violence was used against black revolutionary leaders. The leaders were murdered in cold blood, hundreds of black people were also killed in protests and retaliation by the black community. One of Baldwin dialogue stuck with me in which he recalls a negros’ place in America by saying, “I am the most despised child of the house and it is because the American people are unable to face the fact that I am flesh of their flesh, bone of their bone, created by them” (I Am Not Your Negro). Instead of accepting the shackles of racism, the privileged white expressed their remarks as, “Why aren't negros optimistic? It’s getting so much better” (I Am Not Your Negro). It shows that despite losing their loved ones and continuously living in fear and conflict, the spoonful of rights that the black community got were also despised by the whites. It is similar to what most men and even women say about the Aurat march and women's rights that they have got enough, what do they need more?
ps: pls read the summary or watch the Brown v Board of Education videos on youtube. It's sooo good, makes me cry happy tears every time.