I Am Not Your Negro

I Am Not Your Negro

About the Film

I Am Not Your Negro envisions the book James Baldwin never finished, a radical narration about race in America, using the writer’s original words, as read by actor Samuel L. Jackson. Alongside a flood of rich archival material, the film draws upon Baldwin’s notes on the lives and assassinations of Medgar Evers, Malcolm X, and Martin Luther King Jr. to explore and bring a fresh and radical perspective to the current racial narrative in America. MORE

Raoul Peck's Oscar-nominated documentary is a journey into black history that connects the past of the Civil Rights movement to the present of #BlackLivesMatter. It is a film that questions black representation in Hollywood and beyond. And, ultimately, by confronting the deeper connections between the lives and assassination of these three leaders, Baldwin and Peck have produced a work that challenges the very definition of what America stands for.

The Filmmakers

Raoul Peck’s complex body of work includes feature narrative films like The Man by the Shore (Competition Cannes 1993), Lumumba (Director’s Fortnight, Cannes 2000, bought and aired by HBO), Sometimes in April (HBO, Berlinale 2005), Moloch Tropical (Toronto 2009, Berlin 2010) and Murder in Pacot (Toronto 2014, Berlin 2015).

His documentaries include Lumumba, Death of a Prophet (1990), Desounen (1994, BBC) and Fatal Assistance (Berlinale, Hot Docs 2013), which was supported by the Sundance Institute and Britdoc Foundation (UK) and broadcast on major TV channels (Canal+, ARTE, etc.)

He has served as jury member at the 2012 Cannes Film Festival and at the Berlinale, is presently chairman of the board of the national French film school La Fémis, and has been the subject of numerous retrospectives worldwide. In 2001, the Human Rights Watch organization awarded him the Irene Diamond Lifetime Achievement Award. He recently completed his latest feature film, The Young Karl Marx, a European co-production, shot in Germany and Belgium (produced by Velvet Film, in co-production with Agat Films) that will be released in the U.S. in the coming months. LESS

Film Credits

Velvet Film presents
in coproduction with Artémis Productions and Close Up Films
in coproduction with ARTE France, RTS Radio Télévision Suisse, RTBF (Télévision Belge), Shelter Prod

Written by
James Baldwin

Directed by
Raoul Peck

With the Voice of
Samuel L. Jackson

Edited by
Alexandra Strauss

Archival Research
Marie-Hélène Barbéris
Prudence Arndt

Archival Research Assistant
Nolwenn Gouault

Animation and Graphics
Michel Blustein

Director of Photography
Henry Adebonojo
Bill and Turner Ross

Music Composed by
Alexei Aigui

Sound Design
Valérie Le Docte
David Gillain

Produced by
Rémi Grellety
Raoul Peck
Hébert Peck

Co-Produced by
Patrick Quinet
Joëlle Bertossa

With the full support and collaboration of the James Baldwin Estate
Gloria Karefa-Smart and Eileen Ahearn

James Baldwin Material Compiled and Edited by
Raoul Peck

Consulting Editor
Sam Pollard

Consulting Producer
Audrey Rosenberg

Legal Counsel
Nina Shaw
Karen Shatzkin

New York Production Team
Production Manager
Desiree Jellerette

Production Assistants
Kenneth Snyder
Jahi Nielsen
Dustin Bamberg

Casting Assistant
Kinyarda Wright

Jacen Bowman

1st Assistants Camera
Leroy Chen
Pierce Robinson

Trevor Cohen

Matthew Radican

John Guillen

Sergio Da Costa

Boadil Alequin
Whitney Benjamin
Sifu Cecil
Avia Hicks-Chapman
Stacey Daniels
Tristao Darius Azor
Aigner Davis
Betty Ethredge
Yared Glicksman
Shumeria Harris
Candice Jean-Jacques
Ashley Johnson
Gary McNeil
Stephanie McRae
Roni Mejio Cruz
Nercido Mota
Jahi Nielsen
Ronald Odom
Terriann Peters
Macc Plaise
Darrell Pope
Taylor Rankin
Valluru B Rao
Celester Rich
Burl Rogers
Cathy Salvodon
Gerri Shaw
David Taylor
Jada Toro
Florie-Laur Zadigue Dube
Antonio Vizcarrondo

Assistant to Mr. Peck
Helena Goncalves

Production Assistants
Cécile Vernant
Erica Richardson

Post-Production Manager
Julien Melebeck

Color Grading
Veerle Zeelmaekers
Peter Bernaers

Online Editing
Aldo Mulone
Dominique Marcel
Sofiane Mehelleb

Colorization and Restoration
Samuel François-Steininger

Assistant Editors
Karim-Daniel Clesca
Pauline Archange
Jean Decré
Natalie James
Cécile Gianfrotta
Brendan Jenkins

Text by James Baldwin
Courtesy of the James Baldwin Estate
“Notes Towards Remember This House” by James Baldwin (October 28, 1980)
Letter from James Baldwin to Jay Acton on June 30, 1979
“No Name In The Street” Copyright 1972 by James Baldwin
“The Devil Finds Work” Copyright 1976 by James Baldwin
“Mass Culture and the Creative Artist: Some Personal Notes”
Originally published in Culture for the Millions: Mass Media in Modern Society, edited by Norman Jacobs. Princeton: Van Nostrand, 1959
“From Nationalism, Colonialism, and the United States: One minute to twelve – A Forum”
Originally published in Liberation Committee for Africa, first-anniversary celebration, June 2, 1961. New York: Photo-Offset Press, 1961
“The White Problem”
Originally published in 100 years of Emancipation, edited by Robert A. Goodwin. Chicago: Rand McNally, 1964
“The News from All the Northern Cities Is, to Understate It, Grim; the State of the Union Is Catastrophic”
Originally published in Op-ed, The New York Times, April 5, 1978
“Lorraine Hansberry at the Summit”
Originally published in Freedomways, Fourth Quarter, 1979
“Black English: A Dishonest Argument”
Originally published in Black English and The Education of Black Children and Youth, a symposium at Wayne State University, Detroit, Michigan, 1980
“Sidney Poitier”
Originally published in Look, July 23, 1968
“As Much Truth As One Can Bear”
Originally published in The New York Times Book Review, January 14, 1962
“The Cross Of Redemption”
Copyright 2010 by The Estate of James Baldwin
Introduction by Randall Kenan (Pantheon Books)

Film Excerpts
“A Raisin in the Sun”
Directed by Daniel Petrie, 1961
Copyright Sony Pictures
From the play by Lorraine Hansberry, “A Raisin in the Sun”, 1959

“Baldwin’s Nigger”
Directed by Horace Ové, Infilms Production
Used by permission of Indra Ové, Copyright 1969

Directed by Horace Ové, BFI Production Board
Used by permission of Indra Ové, Copyright 1975

“Dance, Fools, Dance”
Directed by Harry Beaumont, 1931
Copyright Warner Bros.

“The Monster Walks”
Directed by Frank R. Strayer, 1932
Commonwealth Pictures Corp.

“They Won’t Forget”
Directed by Mervyn LeRoy, 1937
Copyright Warner Bros.

“Uncle Tom’s Cabin”
Directed by Harry A. Pollard, 1937
Copyright David Pierce

“The Stagecoach”
Directed by John Ford, 1939
Copyright Twentieth Century Fox

“Dont Look Back”
Directed by D.A. Pennebaker, 1967
Copyright Pennebaker Hegedus Films, Inc.

“Imitation of Life”
Directed by John M. Stahl, 1934
Copyright Universal Pictures

“No Way Out”
Directed by Joseph L. Mankiewicz, 1950
Copyright Twentieth Century Fox

“The Defiant Ones”
Directed by Stanley Kramer, 1958
Copyright Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer

“Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner”
Directed by Stanley Kramer, 1967
Copyright Sony Pictures Entertainment

“In the Heat of the Night”
Directed by Norman Jewison, 1967
Copyright Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer

“Pajama Game”
Directed by George Abbott & Stanley Donen, 1957
Copyright Warner Bros.

“Custer in the West”
Directed by Robert Siodmak, 1967
Copyright Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer

“Little Big Man”
Directed by Arthur Penn, 1970
Copyright CBS Television

“Soldier Blue”
Directed by Ralph Nelson, 1970
Copyright Studio Canal

Directed by Gus Van Sant, 2003
Copyright HBO Films

“Love in the Afternoon”
Directed by Billy Wilder, 1957
Copyright Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer

“Lullaby of Broadway”
Directed by David Butler, 1951
Copyright Warner Bros.

“Lover Come Back”
Directed by Delbert Mann, 1961
Copyright Universal Pictures

“Take This Hammer” – Director’s Cut
Directed by Richard O. Moore, 1963
Copyright Thirteen Productions LLC - WNET

“King Kong”
Directed by Ernest B. Schoedsack & Merian C. Cooper, 1933
Copyright RKO Radio Pictures Production
Lobster Distribution

“Richard’s Answer”
Directed by W. Forest Crunch, 1947
Astor Pictures Corporation
Walter De Mohrenschildt Collection, FRB 6818

“The Big T.N.T. Show”
Directed by Larry Peerce, 1966
Copyright American International Pictures

"The Dick Cavett Show"
Courtesy of Daphne Productions/Global ImageWorks

“Cinq colonnes à la une”
Institut National de l’Audiovisuel (INA)

“Courrier International”
RTS Radio Télévision Suisse

“Let’s Make a Deal”
CBS Television Distribution

“The Price is Right”
CBS Television Distribution

“Deal or No Deal”
NBCUniversal Television

“The Jerry Springer Show”
NBCUniversal Television

“The Maury Show”
NBCUniversal Television

“The Steve Milkos Show”
NBCUniversal Television

“The Trisha Goddard Show”
NBCUniversal Television

“The Gong Show”
Sony Pictures Television

“The Nixon Interviews”, 05/05/1977
David Paradine Productions

“The CNN Newsroom”, 09/01/2007

TV News report, 12/09/2015

“NBC News”, 10/02/2003
NBC Television

“Segment 7 Live”, 01/09/2004

“Bill Clinton press Conference”, 08/17/1998

“Ronald Regan on Iran-Contra”, 03/04/1987
Reagan Library

“Todd Akin public statement”, 2014
Todd Akin

“Segment 7 live”, 01/09/2004

“Fox News Sunday with Chris Wallace”, 12/13/2015
Fox News

“ABC News”, 06/16/2009
“Anthony Weiner Press conference”, 06/16/2011

“NBC News”, 03/23/2016
NBC Television

“Thomas Jackson public statement”, 09/25/2014

TV News report, 05/11/2016

“Fox report”, 10/08/2005
Fox News

“Anderson Cooper 360°”, 01/01/2009

RT America, 2011

Archival Materials
AP Archives
AP Archives/British Movietone
L’Atelier des Archives
Anthony Blackburn
Film Images
Gaumont Pathé Archives
Getty Images
Getty Images/BBC Motion Gallery
George Holliday
Johnson Publishing Company
Maverick Media Group, LLC - Christopher Phillips
National Archives and Records Administration
NBCUniversal Archives
Ramsey Orta
Prelinger Collection
Producer’s Library
Reagan Library/Miller Center
Streamline Films, Inc
Travel Film Archives
Vanderbilt Television News Archive
Wolfson Archives

Bob Adelman
David Attie
Richard Avedon Foundation
Dan Budnik
Bill Eppridge
Declan Haun, Chicago History Museum
Matt Heron, Take Stock/The Image Works/Roger-Violet
James Karales
Kodak/photo – photos by John Hood, Lee Howick, Norman Kerr, John Abbot Studios,
and Charles O. Baker
John Launois
Builder Levi
Magnum Photos – photos by Bruce Davidson, Leonard Freed, Danny Lyon, Constantine
Manos, and Dennis Stock
Spider Martin
Sedat Pakay
Gordon Parks, The Gordon Parks Foundation
Ted Russell, Polaris
Flip Schulke
Don Sturkey, 1958, NC Collection, UNC-CH
George Tames, The New York Times/Redux
Richard Aloysius Twine, Courtesy of the State Archives of Florida
The Advertising Archives
AKG Images
Associated Press
Austin History Center, Austin Public Library
Birmingham, Ala. Public Library Archives
Charlotte Observer/Charlotte-Mecklenburg Library
DC Public Library, Washingtoniana Division
The Denver Public Library, Western History Collection
The Eastman House Museum
James Baldwin Estate
Harry Ransom Center, The University of Texas at Austin
Library of Congress
Archives and Records Services Division, Mississippi Department of Archives and History
National Archives and Records Administration
New York City Municipal Archives
The New Yorker
Rue des Archives
Temple University Libraries, Special Collections Research Center, Philadelphia, PA

“School shooting leaves 33 dead”, 04/17/2007
The Anniston Star

“33 die at Virginia Tech”, 04/17/2007
Arkansas Democrat Gazette

“Senseless”, 12/15/2012
The Anniston Star

“Innocents Lost”, 12/15/2012
Anchorage daily News

Additional Music
“The Ballad of Birmingham”
(Jerry Moore, Dudley Randall)
(c) Melody Trails
Performed by the Tennessee State University Students (2006)
Piano: Steve Conn
Vocals: Santayana Harris and Kameka Word
Courtesy of Dr. Robert R. Bradley

“Damn Right I’ve Got The Blues”
(Buddy Guy / Buddy Guy)
Mic Shau Music Company / BMG Bumblebee
Courtesy of BMG Rights Management (France)
Performed by Buddy Guy
(P) 1991. All rights reserved by Silvertone Records Ltd.

“The Jailhouse Blues”
(Sam Hopkins)
Tradition Music Co.
Courtesy of BMG Rights Management (France)
Performed by Sam Collins (1927)
Courtesy of Yazoo Records/Shanachie Entertainment, Inc.

“Just a Dream (On My Mind)”
(W. Broonzy)
© Universal Music Corp.
Performed by Big Bill Broonzy
Originally Released 1939.
All rights reserved by Sony Music Entertainment Inc.

“Big Road Blues”
(Tommy Johnson)
© Peer International Corporation
Courtesy of Société d’Editions Musicales Internationales (S.E.M.I.), Paris
Performed by Tommy Johnson
Originally Recorded at The Memphis Auditorium, Memphis, TN, USA , 1928.
1991 Remastered
Produced by Billy Altman
Digital Producer John Snyder At BMG Recording Studios
Digital Engineer Jay Newland At BMG Recording Studios/ Joe Lopes At BMG Recording Studios
Transferred to digital tape from metal parts by Be Bernardo Cosachev At BMG Recording Studios
All rights reserved by BMG Music

“Baby, Please Don’t Go”
(J. Williams)
© Universal Music Corp.
Performed by Lightnin’ Hopkins - 1949
Gold Star, SugarHill

“Route 66”
(Bobby Troup)
Published by Troup London Music
Under license from Music Asset Management, Inc.
© Bobby Troup, Edwin H. Morris & Co Inc.
Administrated bu Warner/Chappell Music Belgium N.V.
Performed by Nate King Cole - 1946
Capitol Studio, Universal Music

“Black, Brown and White”
(Big Bill (Williams) Broonzy)
Performed by Big Bill Broonzy - 1946
From the recording “Trouble in Mind”, SFW40131
Courtesy of Smithsonian Folkways Recordings. (p) 2000.

“Stormy Weather”
(Harold Arlen, Ted Koehler)
Published by EMI Mills Music Inc.
Courtesy of Sony ATV Music Publishing
Performed by Lena Horne
Recorded March 30, 1956.
(P) 2002, all rights reserved by BMG Music

“People Get Up And Drive Your Funky Soul”
(James Brown, St. Clair Pickney, Fred Wesley)
Published by Donna Dijon Music Publications/Sony/ATV Music Publishing.
Performed by James Brown
All rights reserved by MGM Records

“Take My Hand, Precious Lord”
Written by Dorcey A. Thomas
© Warner-Tamerlane Publishing Corp.
Administrated by Warner/Chappell Music Belgium N.V.
Performed by Blind Connie Williams – 1961
Courtesy of Filmimages

“The Blacker The Berry”
(Samuels, Kolatalo, Campbell, Lewis, Duckworth, Kozmeniuk, Epstein)
Published by WB Music Corp, OBO Itself , Hard Working Folks Inc ., Top Dawg Music (Lamar) Administrated by Warner/Chappell Music Belgium N.V.
1damentional Publishing LLC/Sony/ATV Tunes LLC
1daniable Publishing
24 Diamond Music, c/o Tenyor Music
Kenobi Songs Publishing / Whiskey Valentine Publishing / BMG Platinum Songs
Courtesy of BMG Rights Management (France)
Z Jewgurnaut Music
Performed by Kendrick Lamar
(P) 2015 Aftermath/Interscope (Top Dawg Entertainment)
Courtesy of Universal Music Vision

Original Score by
Alexei Aigui

Ensemble 4'33''
Andrey Gontcharov - Trumpet
Arkady Marto - Keyboards, Piano
Konstantin Kremnyov - e.guitar
Kirill Baykov - Contrabass, Bass
Sergey Nikolsky - Bass
Vladimir Zharko - Drums
Alexei Aigui - Violin
Sergey Kostylev - Violin
Veronika Lebedeva - Violin
Dmitry Usov - Viola
Denis Kalinsky - Cello

Recorded at Mosfilm Studio by Andrey Levin

Executive Producers
Sally Jo Fifer
Lois Vossen

Supervising Producer
Amy Shatsky

Executive Producer for NBPC
Leslie Fields-Cruz

Executive Producer (Belgium)
Stéphane Quinet

Thanks to James Baldwin, the visionary, poet and humanist, for his unconditional voice.

Fiscal Sponsor Scribe Video Center, Inc.

Funding Provided by
Centre National du Cinéma et de l’Image Animée
MEDIA Programme of the European Union
Sundance Institute Documentary Film Program
Wide House

I AM NOT YOUR NEGRO is a co-production of Velvet Film, Inc., Velvet Film S.A.S., Artémis Productions, Close Up Films, ARTE France, RTS, RTBF, Shelter Prod and the Independent Television Service (ITVS) presented in association with the National Black Programming Consortium (NBPC), with funding provided by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB).

This film was produced by VELVET FILM, INC., which is solely responsible for its content.


Do you agree with James Baldwin that "not everything that is faced can be changed, but nothing can be changed if it is not faced"? What in this film gives you hope we can find the answers to the questions on race that Baldwin posed?


    Outstanding Arts and Culture Documentary
  • Academy Award Nomination
    Best Documentary Feature
  • BAFTA Award (British Academy of Film and Television Arts)
    Best Documentary
  • Independent Spirit Awards Nomination
    Best Documentary
  • International Documentary Association
    Creative Recognition Award
  • César Award (France)
    Best Documentary
Please review our comment guidelines.
Do you agree with James Baldwin that "not everything that is faced can be changed, but nothing can be changed if it is not faced"? What in this film gives you hope we can find the answers to the questions on race that Baldwin posed?