Things to Consider Before Watching I Am Not Your Negro
What is the American Dream?
What is race?
Things to Consider After Watching I Am Not Your Negro
Media Literacy/ Film Studies
What did you notice about the title treatments throughout? How does the art direction in the titles mirror the message of the film?
The Civil Rights Movement and Race Relations in America
The film touches multiple times on the idea that African-Americans are not entitled to claim part of the society that they helped build. At one point Baldwin is quoted “I am not a ward of America. I am not an object of missionary charity. I’m one of the people who built this country.” Consider this statement and evaluate in within the context of the civil rights movement – then and now.
Literature, Art and Culture
How does contemporary Hollywood culture affect the attitudes and behaviors of society at large?
Questions for Further Discussion
What does it mean to be a witness? How is the role of witness in history different from the roles of others – such as perpetrators, victims, bystanders or allies? What are the responsibilities of a witness, and why is it important that there be witnesses?
Extension Activities Black Lives Matter has become one of the most respected voices in what is now known as the “new civil rights movement.” Go to www.blacklivesmatter.com/find-chapters/, find a local Black Lives Matter chapter, and get involved in the movement.
After exploring the website, reflect on what you learned or discovered. What is the organization’s mission statement? What is their history/background? What role does the organization play in working toward freedom and justice for people of Afrikan descent?
Formatting: MLA, 12pt font, minimum 2.5 to 3 pages, Word doc only. Responses should be organized into the sections outlined above, with each section clearly labeled and all questions from each section typed so that it’s clear which questions you’re responding to.
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