Review by a prisoner of the companion book to the documentary film “I Am Not Your Negro” on James Baldwin, whose title speaks to the liberation of New Afrikan people in Amerika. .
From a prisoner’s perspective, Faruq reviews “I Am Not Your Negro,” a documentary film and companion book produced by Raoul Peck that concentrates on the writings and life of James Baldwin.
On April 28, hundreds gathered outside Chicago Police Department headquarters, at 35th and Michigan, to show love and respect for Rekia Boyd, Freddie Gray, Michael Brown, and all the others whose Black lives matter. The crowd was largely young and multicultural. What is the truth about Freddie Gray’s death? The truth is that he was murdered by the notoriously racist and brutal Baltimore Police. Baltimore has exploded in anger because of the attempt to obscure this obvious fact, to pretend that the basic life experience of Black people over the last five decades, if not the entirety of U.S. history, can be dissolved into a social mystery. This generation serves notice: that shell game is over.
As a Black man, I asked myself: Why—through the dialectical crises of the social relations of production and the subsequent implosion of multiple outlived modes of production—has racism persisted? Why, despite the relations of property literally bursting asunder, does racism survive? How and why does racism, sexism, homophobia survive revolution after revolution? Will we again be left behind after the next revolution?