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Magnolia Pictures and Amazon Studios
Velvet Film, Inc., Velvet Film, Artémis Productions, Close Up Films
In coproduction with ARTE France, Independent Television Service (ITVS) with funding provided by Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB), RTS Radio Télévision Suisse, RTBF (Télévision belge), Shelter Prod
With the support of Centre National du Cinéma et de l’Image Animée, MEDIA Programme of the European Union, Sundance Institute Documentary Film Program, National Black Programming Consortium (NBPC), Cinereach, PROCIREP – Société des Producteurs, ANGOA,, ING, Tax Shelter Incentive of the Federal Government of Belgium, Cinéforom, Loterie Romande
A film by Raoul Peck
From the writings of James Baldwin

Cast: Samuel L. Jackson
93 minutes
Winner Best Documentary – Los Angeles Film Critics Association

Best Writing - IDA Creative Recognition Award

Four Festival Audience AwardsToronto, Hamptons, Philadelphia, Chicago

Two IDA Documentary Awards Nominations – Including Best Feature

Five Cinema Eye Honors Award Nominations – Including Outstanding

Achievement in Nonfiction Feature Filmmaking and Direction

Best Documentary Nomination – Film Independent Spirit Awards

Best Documentary Nomination – Gotham Awards

Distributor Contact:

Press Contact NY/Nat’l:

Press Contact LA/Nat’l:

Arianne Ayers

Ryan Werner

Rene Ridinger

George Nicholis

Emilie Spiegel

Shelby Kimlick

Magnolia Pictures

Cinetic Media 

MPRM Communications

(212) 924-6701 phone


In 1979, James Baldwin wrote a letter to his literary agent describing his next project, Remember This House. 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.

At the time of Baldwin’s death in 1987, he left behind only thirty completed pages of his manuscript.

Now, in his incendiary new documentary, master filmmaker Raoul Peck envisions the book James Baldwin never finished. The result is a radical, up-to-the-minute examination of race in America, using Baldwin’s original words and flood of rich archival 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. 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.

I started reading James Baldwin when I was a 15-year-old boy searching for rational explanations to the contradictions I was confronting in my already nomadic life, which took me from Haiti to Congo to France to Germany and to the United States of America. Together with Aimée Césaire, Jacques Stéphane Alexis, Richard Wright, Gabriel García Márquez and Alejo Carpentier, James Baldwin was one of the few authors that I could call “my own.” Authors who were speaking of a world I knew, in which I was not just a footnote. They were telling stories describing history and defining structure and human relationships which matched what I was seeing around me. I could relate to them. You always need a Baldwin book by your side.
I came from a country which had a strong idea of itself, which had fought and won against the most powerful army of the world (Napoleon's) and which had, in a unique historical manner, stopped slavery in its tracks, creating the first successful slave revolution in the history of the world, in 1804.

I am talking about Haiti, the first free country of the Americas. Haitians always knew the real story. And they also knew that the dominant story was not the real story.

The successful Haitian Revolution was ignored by history (as Baldwin would put it: because of the bad niggers we were) because it was imposing a totally different narrative, which would have rendered the dominant slave narrative of the day untenable. The colonial conquests of the late nineteenth century would have been ideologically impossible if deprived of their civilizational justification. And this justification would have no longer been needed if the whole world knew that these “savage” Africans had already annihilated their powerful armies (especially French and British) less than a century ago.
So what the four superpowers of the time did in an unusually peaceful consensus, was to shut down Haiti, the very first black Republic, put it under strict economical embargo and strangle it to its knees into oblivion and poverty.
And then they rewrote the whole story.
Flash forward. I remember my years in New York as a child. A more civilized time, I thought. It was the sixties. In the kitchen of this huge middle-class apartment in the former Jewish neighborhoods of Brooklyn, where we lived with several other families, there was a kind of large oriental rug with effigies of John Kennedy and Martin Luther King hanging on the wall, the two martyrs, both legends of the time.
Except the tapestry was not telling the whole truth. It naively ignored the hierarchy between the two figures, the imbalance of power that existed between them. And thereby it nullified any ability to understand these two parallel stories that had crossed path for a short time, and left in their wake the foggy miasma of misunderstanding.

I grew up in a myth in which I was both enforcer and actor. The myth of a single and unique America. The script was well written, the soundtrack allowed no ambiguity, the actors of this utopia, black or white, were convincing. The production means of this Blockbuster-Hollywood picture were phenomenal. With rare episodic setbacks, the myth was strong, better; the myth was life, was reality. I remember the Kennedys, Bobby and John, Elvis, Ed Sullivan, Jackie Gleason, Dr. Richard Kimble, and Mary Tyler Moore very well. On the other hand, Otis Redding, Paul Robeson, and Willie Mays are only vague reminiscences. Faint stories "tolerated" in my memorial hard disk. Of course there was "Soul Train" on television, but it was much later, and on Saturday morning, where it wouldn't offend any advertisers.

Medgar Evers died on June 12, 1963.

Malcolm X died on February 21, 1965.

And Martin Luther King Jr. died on April 4, 1968.

In the course of five years, these three men were assassinated.

These three men were black, but it is not the color of their skin that connected them. They fought on quite different battlefields. And quite differently. But in the end, all three were deemed dangerous. They were unveiling the haze of racial confusion.
James Baldwin also saw through the system. And he loved these men. These assassinations broke him down.
He was determined to expose the complex links and similarities among these three individuals. He was going to write about them. He was going to write his ultimate book, Remember This House, about them.
I came upon these three men and their assassination much later. These three facts, these elements of history, from the starting point, the "evidence" you might say, form a deep and intimate personal reflection on my own political and cultural mythology, my own experiences of racism and intellectual violence.
This is exactly the point where I really needed James Baldwin. Baldwin knew how to deconstruct stories. He helped me in connecting the story of a liberated slave in its own nation, Haiti, and the story of modern United States of America and its own painful and bloody legacy of slavery. I could connect the dots.
I looked to the films of Haile Gerima. Of Charles Burnett. These were my elders when I was a youth.
Baldwin gave me a voice, gave me the words, gave me the rhetoric. All I knew through instinct or through experience, Baldwin gave it a name and a shape. I had all the intellectual weapons I needed.

For sure, we will have strong winds against us. The present time of discord and confusion is an unavoidable element. I am not naive to think that the road ahead will be easy or that the attacks will not be at time vicious. My commitment to make sure that this film will not be buried or sideline is uncompromising.

We are in it for the long run. Whatever time and effort it takes.


For a project like this one, a lot of patience, time and risks are involved. And at the early stage it’s almost impossible to convince anyone about the film to come. And than after a lot of research, writing and editing, in that order, there comes a time when what you really, really need and above all is: trust. In this case, it was ITVS and executive producer of Independent Lens, Lois Vossen who came at the right time, with courage and conviction. This is rare today among funders.”

—Raoul Peck 

When Raoul Peck first met Gloria Karefa-Smart, James Baldwin's sister and executor of the Estate, one of the first items she gave him was a letter written by her brother to his literary agent Jay Acton, in which he informs him of his decision to write, as his next book, and possibly his last: Remember This House. For the next ten years, he would have the rights to Baldwin’s entire body of work. He knew that he wanted to bring Baldwin to the screen, even if it would be a painful and complex endeavor.

Initially, he planned to create, as with his project Lumumba, a narrative film and a documentary. After several unsuccessful runs in Hollywood to get the project into development, he decided to concentrate on producing the documentary first. But he wasn’t sure how to go about this.

Then one day, Gloria, gave him a pile of neatly (and partly crossed out) typewritten pages and a letter. “You’ll know what to do with this,” she said. That was it, the film to be: To assume that the book did exist. It was buried everywhere in Baldwin’s body of work and public presentations. Our job was to find it and recreate it from all the pieces.

Peck’s intent with I Am Not Your Negro is to lead viewers along the complex political road of the “memorable” lives of Malcom, Medgar and Martin, using only Baldwin's own words, and leaning heavily on the text of Remember This House.

I Am Not Your Negro exists at the intersection of films like Celluloid Closet and Concerning Violence. It pulls still and moving images from a variety of sources to weave an immersive audiovisual tapestry. From young black Dorothy Counts confronting a large, aggressive, white mob by herself on her way to attend her first day of school, to Peck’s peculiar filmic analysis of Guess Who's Coming to Dinner and Sidney Poitier's role in Hollywood cinema, I Am Not Your Negro immerses itself in the fabrication of the black image in news reports, reality TV, music videos, and Hollywood legends.
I Am Not Your Negro is an essay about images, their origins, discourse and ultimately their impact on our collective consciousness.

Why James Baldwin?

James Baldwin (1924-1987) was one of the greatest North-American writers of the second half of the twentieth century. He was raised in Harlem and, at age 24, frustrated by the state of race relations in America and regular incidences of harassment, left the U.S. for France where he would live for most of the rest of his life.

A prolific writer and brilliant social critic, he foreshadowed the destructive trends happening today in the western world and beyond, while always maintaining a sense of humanistic hope and dignity. He explored palpable yet unspoken intricacies of racial, sexual, and class distinctions in Western societies and the inevitable if unnamable tensions with personal identity, assumptions, uncertainties, yearning, and questing. He had an unrivaled understanding of politics and history, and above all, the human condition.

He worked across many genres: essays, novels, autobiography, plays. His major works include Go Tell It on the Mountain, Notes of a Native Son, The Fire Next Time and If Beale Street Could Talk. His output was massive. For Peck, “His prose is laser sharp. His onslaught is massive and leaves no room for response. Every sentence is an immediate cocked grenade. You pick it up, then realize that it is too late. It just blows up in your face. And yet he still managed to stay human, tender, accessible.

Why Now?
Today James Baldwin’s words still catch us unprepared and with the same violent truth. There will hardly ever be anything as precise, as just, as subtle, as more percussive, than the writing of this man. He understood all: politics, history, and most of all, the human factor.
Baldwin survived the magicians, the gurus and the smooth talkers of his time, black or whites. His thoughts are as effective today as when they were first expressed. His analysis, his judgment, his verdicts are even more percussive today than when originally written.
There has been an evolution, but within today's context of extreme violence in America, especially against blacks, I Am Not Your Negro attempts to analyze and understand the deeper structural explanation. Peck again: “Despite progress, Martin seems quite lonely on the mountain top.”
The cycles of violence and confusion condemned by Baldwin continue, trivialized and distorted by the influence of the press, television, Hollywood, and angry partisan politics.

How do we break these cycles when we never touch the real issues themselves? How do we address the fundamental problems of America? Never before has Baldwin's voice been so needed, so powerful, so radical, so visionary.

Dramatic Construction
I Am Not Your Negro reclaims James Baldwin's quest. Through this quest, Peck also re-appropriates his own story. It is James Baldwin's words that viewers hear, but it is Peck’s experience that provides the foundation, structure, rhythm, and turning points of the film. It is the director’s own emotional syntax.

By documenting these three 'memorable' lives (Evers, King, Malcolm), Peck aims to dissect Obama's America and revisit the central argument of a so-called "Negro problem in America." Obama unfortunately did not erase the dominant storyline. The brief euphoria of Obama's emergence, did not suddenly heal all wounds of a country built on blood (especially the blood of others).

Against Obama’s undeniable presence, Peck sets the reality, no less essential, of decades of myths and one-sided storytelling. For Peck, “Despite any real or perceived ‘progress,’ we cannot avoid questioning the accuracy of the new symbols of change.”
A Subjective Filmic Approach
Inspired by other filmmakers such as Chris Marker, Alexander Kluge, and even Jean-Luc Godard, Peck wanted to return to his roots as a filmmaker (i.e. Lumumba, death of a prophet). For him it was a time when innocence allowed him to take risks, when political and aesthetic experimentation had no limits, when there was no model, no margin, no mark, and no dogma that couldn't be pulverized. His goal was to, “question everything again and reclaim my freedom and my subjectivity.”
The result is a rare experiment with words, form, images, music, humor, poetry and drama that is up to the task of capturing the harsh reality of violence, rape, racism, exploitation, abuse, massacre and injustice.
The narrator of the film is Baldwin himself, with his violent, inescapable, insurmountable prose. Every word in this film is Baldwin's, from his books, essays, interviews, broadcasts, speeches, films (with only very limited “technical” adjustments). They are words which come from another era, but which still resonate deeply today.
To speak these words, Peck needed a “personality,” a familiar voice and presence that would not distract from the essential. He chose Samuel L. Jackson who wholeheartedly embraced the film and its approach.


The film is primarily visual and musical. I Am Not Your Negro uses archival images from private and public photos; film clips, Hollywood classics, documentaries, film and TV interviews, popular TV shows, TV debates, public debates and contemporary images. It is a kaleidoscope, featuring a frantic and poetic assemblage (a medley), all in Baldwin's very own, peculiar style.

The images punctuate the words and the music and vice versa. By revisiting the traditional “Black” iconography, with its clichés, the unspoken, the fundamental errors of interpretation and even, at times, the paternalistic prudery, I Am Not Your Negro redefines their meaning and impact.
Peck changed not only the framing of his images, but their traditional use and their “editing” as well. He changed the backgrounds, detached portions, enlarged a smile, scratched out a tear. The goal was to deconstruct original intentions and thus expose a new meaning to accepted iconography, unveil buried secrets or unknown truths of the time. Familiar B&W images were colored, actual current images were transferred to B&W.

Raoul Peck (Director/Producer/Writer)

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 with the Irene Diamond Lifetime Achievement Award.


He recently completed shooting his latest feature film, The Young Karl Marx, a European coproduction, shot in Germany and Belgium (produced by Velvet Film, in coproduction with Agat Films).



Feature Films

1988Haitian Corner Locarno, Forum - Berlin
1993The Man by the Shore Official Competition Cannes Film Festival

2000 - Lumumba Director’s Fortnight, Cannes  

2005Sometimes in April (HBO) Official Competition Berlin
2009Moloch Tropical (ARTE) Toronto, Dubai, Berlin, Tribeca
2014Murder in Pacot Toronto, Berlin

2017The Young Karl Marx (Canal+, France Télévisions, SWR, RTBF) Script by Pascal Bonitzer and Raoul Peck. Velvet Film, Agat Films (France), RohFilm (Gerrmany), Artémis Productions (Belgium)


1991Lumumba - Death of a Prophet Award for Best Documentary, Festival de Fribourg, New York Film Festival, Cinéma du Réel
1994 - Desounen, Dialogue with Death (BBC, ARTE) 

1994 - Haiti, Silence of the Dogs (ARTE)

2001 - Profit and nothing but! (ARTE, RTBF) 

2013Fatal Assistance (ARTE, Canal+ Overseas, RTBF, RTS, Sundance Documentary Film program, Channel 4 BritDoc Foundation) Berlin, San Francisco, Hot Docs 

2016I Am Not Your Negro (ARTE, Independent Lens, RTS, RTBF) TIFF

TV Drama

1997 - It’s all about love Festival de Montréal

2006LAffaire Villemin (6x60’, ARTE, France 3) Price of the Union of French Critics 

2008L’école du Pouvoir (4x60’, CANAL+, ARTE) Festival Européen des 4 Ecrans

Samuel L. Jackson (Narration)

Appearing in well over 100 films, Samuel L. Jackson is one of the most respected actors in Hollywood. Jackson’s portrayal of ‘Jules’, the philosopher hitman, in Quentin Tarantino’s “Pulp Fiction” made an indelible mark on American cinema. In addition to unanimous critical acclaim, he received Academy Award and Golden Globe nominations as well as a Best Supporting Actor award from the British Academy of Film and Television Arts.

Jackson recently appeared in Quentin Tarantino’s highly anticipated Western “The Hateful Eight.” He starred as Major Marquis Warren, alongside Bruce Dern, Walton Goggins, Jennifer Jason Leigh, Channing Tatum and Kurt Russell. In addition, Jackson appeared in Spike Lee’s newest film “Chiraq,” which released in December 2015. This summer, Jackson was seen in David Yates’ “The Legend of Tarzan,” starring alongside Alexander Skarsgård, Margot Robbie and Christoph Waltz and was most recently seen in Tim Burton’s “Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children,” which was released in September. Jackson completed production on the Warner Bros. and Legendary Pictures film “Kong: Skull Island” which will release in March 2017 and just wrapped production on Lionsgate’s “The Hitman’s Bodyguard” with Ryan Reynolds and Gary Oldman.    
In 2012, he co-starred in Quentin Tarantino’s “Django Unchained” as ‘Stephen,’ with Christoph Waltz, Jamie Foxx and Leonardo DiCaprio. He also starred in “The Avengers,” which is part of his 9-picture deal with Marvel Studios. The highly anticipated film opened on May 4, 2012 to a record breaking $200 million opening weekend.

Jackson reprised his role as ‘Nick Fury’ in both Marvel’s “Captain America: The Winter Soldier,” which was released in April 2014, and the 2015 sequel “The Avengers: Age of Ultron.” In February 2015, he starred alongside Colin Firth and Taron Egerton in Matthew Vaughn’s “Kingsman: The Secret Service.”

Jackson made his Broadway debut in 2011 at the Bernard B. Jacobs Theater in “The Mountaintop,” where he portrayed Martin Luther King Jr. The play also starred Angela Bassett and was directed by Kenny Leon.
Jackson’s career began onstage upon his graduation from Morehouse College in Atlanta with a degree in dramatic arts. Among the plays were Home, A Soldier’s Play, Sally/Prince and The District Line. He also originated roles in two of August Wilson’s plays at Yale Repertory Theatre. For the New York Shakespeare Festival, Jackson appeared in Mother Courage and Her Children, Spell #7, and The Mighty Gents.

Past film credits also include: “RoboCop,” “Oldboy,” “Mother and Child,” “Iron Man 2,” HBO’s “The Sunset Limited,” “Lakeview Terrace,” “Soul Men,” “The Spirit,” “Jumper,” “Resurrecting the Champ,” “1408,” “Black Snake Moan,” “Snakes on a Plane,” “Freedomland,” “Coach Carter,” “Star Wars: Episode III: The Revenge of the Sith,” “The Incredibles,” “S.W.A.T,” “Changing Lanes,” “Formula 51,” “Stars Wars Episode II: Attack of the Clones,” “Caveman’s Valentine,” “Eve’s Bayou,” “Unbreakable,” “Rules of Engagement,” “Shaft,” “Deep Blue Sea,” “Star Wars Episode One: The Phantom Menace,” “The Negotiator,” “The Red Violin,” “Jackie Brown,” “187,” “A Time to Kill,” “Die Hard with a Vengeance,” “Jungle Fever”, “Sphere,” “The Long Kiss Goodnight,” “Ragtime,” “Sea of Love,” “Coming to America,” “Do the Right Thing,” “School Daze,” “Mo’ Better Blues,” “Goodfellas,” “ Patriot Games,” and “True Romance.”

On the small screen, Jackson served as Executive Producer for the Spike TV animated series, “Afro Samurai” which premiered in 2007. The series received an Emmy Award nomination for Outstanding Animated Program from the Television Academy of Arts and Sciences. The first edition of the “Afro Samurai” video game launched in February 2009.

On television, in addition to “The Sunset Limited,” Jackson starred in John Frankenheimer’s Emmy Award-winning “Against the Wall” for HBO. His performance earned him a Cable Ace nomination as Best Supporting Actor in a Movie or Miniseries, as well as a Golden Globe nomination.

Alexandra Strauss (Editor)

Editor for 20 years, Alexandra Strauss started as the assistant to veteran editor, Martine Barraque (editor of most of François Truffaut’s films). Strauss has also worked with internationally renowned filmmakers Philippe Garrel, Roy Andersson (including his latest film, winner of the 2014 Venice Golden Lion) and with Raoul Peck on his last four films. She also wrote two books on painting: Les démons de Jérôme Bosch (Gallimard, 2010), Odilon Redon, Les attaches invisibles (SW Télémaque, 2011).

Alexei Aigui (Composer)

A Russian composer and violinist, Aigui works between Russia and Europe where he often tours with is band Ensemble 4’33". Known for accompanying live masterpieces of Russian silent cinema, he also composes film scores in Russia and France. He composed the score of Raoul Peck’s six last films.

Sam Pollard (Consulting Editor)

Sam Pollard, has been in the film business for over thirty years.  His recent directorial effort Two Trains Runnin' opened at the 2016 New York Film Festival. Pollard is also the director of August Wilson: The Ground on Which I Stand, Marvin Gaye: What’s Going On and Zora Neale Hurston: Jump at the Sun. He has produced numerous other documentaries, including Spike Lee’s Academy Award-nominated 4 Little Girls. He won an Emmy for his work on the series Eyes on the Prize II

Henry Adebonojo (Director of Photography)

Henry’s career in film began in 1985 as a production assistant on a police training film for the NYPD. A good place to start for someone who had no prior background in the industry. It was with a keen interest in photography and knowledge of his interest in cinematography that he was drawn to the industry.

As a production assistant, Henry worked on a variety of projects that included commercials, feature films, music videos and documentaries. He gleaned the painstaking nature of creating photographic imagery primarily from working on commercials as well as the spontaneity require to tell a story in the documentary arena and everything in between. In making a career path toward cinematography he judged his best option to be joining the camera department in NABET LOCAL 15 in 1988 and is currently a member of IATSE Local 600 camera guild.

Around 1991, Henry found he was being asked to serve as a second or third camera operator on music video and music related projects and this eventually led to opportunities to serve as cinematographer full time in the music video and documentary arena by 1993. This was in an era when budgets for such job were miniscule compared to what one finds these days, consequently one was forced to do a lot with very little in the way of equipment or time. These, however, are the kinds of challenges that Henry thrives on.
Henry has always believed in keeping the range of work varied and feels he has benefited as a result, in as much as his work as a cinematographer has covered a wide variety of forms with a very diverse range of subjects and budgets. It does require a certain amount of flexibility in the creative approach and understanding to handle the visual challenges and accomplishment required on a commercial and turn around to do a documentary where one has to deal with the unknown or unexpected. The creative thought process for this myriad of projects differs radically and at the same time elements from each one can be used to nourish and refresh the other.

Much the same approach has been taken to determine which projects are to be shot on film and which ones are shot digitally.

Henry has enjoyed the challenge of shooting music videos, commercials, promos, documentaries and short films. The one challenge that has remained elusive is feature films.
In the music video arena, Henry has worked with the likes of Public Enemy, Naughty By Nature, Jay Z, X-Scape, Solo and Roy Jones Jr. to mention a few.
Commercial and Promo clients include McDonald’s, Crest, AT&T, HBO, BET, Showtime, Nickelodeon and a host of others. Other projects have included pilots for Court TV and The Style Network as well as a host of public service announcements and Black History Promos.

Henry’s work in documentaries over the years includes contributions to PBS docs including “Paul Robeson - Here I Stand” directed by St Clair Bourne, “Richard Wright - Black Boy” directed by Madison Davis Lacy, “Ralph Ellison – An American Journey” directed by Avon Kirkland, as well as independent releases like “Venus and Serena” directed by Maiken Baird and Michelle Major and “In A Perfect World” directed by Daphne McWilliams.

In 2001, Henry was nominated for an Emmy for his work on the documentary “Half Past Autumn - The Life and Works of Gordon Parks” for HBO directed by Craig Rice, and in the same year, the documentary “On Hallowed Ground – The Championships of the Rucker” a basketball documentary program directed by Kip and Kern Konwiser won a Sports Emmy for best documentary subject.

Bill and Turner Ross (Director of Photography)

The Ross Brothers are a documentary filmmaking team whose works have been featured at museums and festivals throughout the world, including the Museum of Modern Art, New York, the Centre Pompidou, Paris, and the British Film Institute, London. Their work has been supported by the Sundance Institute, the Rooftop Filmmaker’s Fund, Cinereach, The San Francisco Film Society and the late Roger Ebert. Their first feature film, 45365, was the winner of the 2009 SXSW Grand Jury Prize for Best Documentary Feature and the Independent Spirit Truer Than Fiction Award. They went on to receive numerous accolades, including nominations for Editing, Cinematography, and Debut Feature at the Cinema Eye Honors; the film was also broadcast as part of PBS’ Independent Lens. Their second feature, Tchoupitoulas, had its world premiere at SXSW in 2012 and premiered internationally at CPH:DOX, where it won Special Mention. It went on to receive awards at the Ashland Independent Film Festival (Best Documentary), the Dallas International Film Festival (Grand Jury Prize), and HotDocs (Emerging Artist Award). In 2015, they premiered Western at the Sundance Film Festival where it was presented the Jury Award for Verite Filmmaking. Western went on to receive a number of notable awards, including the SXSW Louis Black Lonestar Award, The AIFF Les Blank Award for Best Feature Length Documentary, and the San Francisco International Film Festival Golden Gate Award, among others. Their latest project, Contemporary Color, premiered as the Opening Film of the World Documentary Competition at the 2016 Tribeca Film Festival, where it also took the top prizes for Cinematography and Editing. In the fall of 2016 they were voted one of the Ten Documentary Filmmakers of the Decade by the Cinema Eye Honors.

Velvet Film, Inc. (USA)

Velvet Film (France)

in coproduction with

Artémis Productions

Close Up Films
in coproduction with

ARTE France

Independent Television Service (ITVS)

RTS Radio Télévision suisse

RTBF (Télévision belge)

Shelter Prod

with the support of

Centre National du Cinéma et de l’Image Animée

MEDIA Programme of the European Union

Sundance Institute Documentary Film Program

National Black Programming Consortium (NBPC)


PROCIREP – Société des Producteurs



Tax Shelter Incentive of the Federal Government of Belgium


Loterie Romande

a film by

Raoul Peck

written by

James Baldwin

with the voice of

Samuel L. Jackson

Edited by

Alexandra Strauss

Archival Research

Marie-Hélène Barbéris

Assisted by

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

Coproduced by

Patrick Quinet

Joëlle Bertossa
With the full support and collaboration of the James Baldwin Estate

Gloria Karefa-Smart

Eileen Ahearn

Raoul Peck


Consulting Editor

Sam Pollard

Consulting Producer

Audrey Rosenberg

Legal Counsel
Nina Shaw

Del Shaw Moonves Tanaka Finkelstein & Lezcano

Karen Shatzkin

Shatzkin & Mayer, P.C.

Additional Archival Footage Research

Prudence Arndt

Archival Research Intern

Bruna Martins

Copyright Searches

Elias Savada

Motion Picture Information Service
New York Production Team

Production Manager

Desiree Jellerette

Production Assistants

Kenneth Snyder

Jahi Nielsen

Dustin Bamberg

Casting Assistant

Kinyarda Wright


Taylor Rankin

Florie-Laure Zadigue Dube

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 the Director

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

Composite Films
Assistant Editors

Karim-Daniel Clesca

Pauline Archange

Jean Decré

Natalie James

Cécile Gianfrotta

Brendan Jenkins
Foley Artist

Philippe Van Leer

Assistant Sound Editor

Sabrina Calmeels

Voice-over recorders

Ivaylo (Ivo) Natzev

Jules Jasko

Simon Jamart

Vicki Lemar
Re-Recording Assistants

David Gérain

Simon Jamart

Pierre Furlan

Additional Translation

Joanna Dunis


David Jones

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
“Don’t 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

“Freedom Riders”

Directed by Stanley Nelson, 2011

Copyright WGBH
“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

John Abbot Studios, Kodak/photo

Bob Adelman

David Attie

Richard Avedon Foundation

Charles O. Baker, Kodak/photo

Dan Budnik

Bruce Davidson, Magnum Photos

Bill Eppridge

Leonard Freed, Magnum Photos

Declan Haun, Chicago History Museum

Matt Heron, Take Stock/The Image Works/Roger-Violet

John Hood, Kodak/photo

Lee Howick, Kodak/photo

James Karales

Norman Kerr, Kodak/photo

John Launois

Builder Levi

Danny Lyon, Magnum Photos

Constantine Manos, Magnum Photos

Spider Martin

Sedat Pakay

Gordon Parks, The Gordon Parks Foundation

Ted Russell, Polaris

Flip Schulke

Dennis Stock, Magnum Photos

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

Getty Images

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

Vocals: 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 / 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 by 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

End Credit Music

“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

Raoul Peck Wishes To Thank

Nina Shaw, Dawn Porter, Eileen Ahearn, Arthur Jaffa Fielder, Charles Ferraro, Rich Blint, Douglas Field, Dean Mary Schmidt Campbell (NYU), Chris Choy, John Betsch, Sam Pollard, Russell Banks, Martine Saada, Dick Fontaine

and especially

Gloria Karefa-Smart

For her total dedication to this project, her trust and her unfailing support

The Producers Thank

Joanna Dunis, Volney McFarlin, Jordan Rozansky, Tom Greenberg, Sandy Hart, Victoria Iossifova, Françoise Davideau, Paul M. Zukowsky, Sara Rastegar, Nathalie Geoffroy, Van Reeth, Maeyaert, Wilbur Leguebe, Audrey Rosenberg, Reg E. Cathey, Olivier Mille, Kirsten Johnson, Douglas Field, Jessica Lacy, Peter Van Steemburg, Anais Clanet, Aperitif Bistro, McCarren Hotel & Pool, Bronx Community College


Reiff & Associates

Robert Taylor Insurance
Secrétariat social Christophe Dumortier
Laboratory Studio L’Equipe Brussels

Guy Manas

Pascal Heuillard

Dominique Marcel

Yves Dujardin
Titra TVS

Valérie Colin

Studio La Ruche

Sound Edit Facilities The Post Box

Re-Recording Studio Studio L’Equipe Brussels

Daniel Marques

Dominique Jochman
Foley Recording Studio L’Equipe Brussels

Voice-over recording

Nu Boyana Film JSC

Studio Orlando

Technicolor at Paramount

A United States of America – France – Belgium – Switzerland Coproduction
LOGO Velvet Film


Rémi Grellety

Raoul Peck

Hébert Peck
Assisted by

Helena Goncalves


Julien Zérubia - FEOC

Suzie Steingruber - ML Management, Inc.

Felix Agbessi - My Accounting Partner

LOGO Artémis Productions


Patrick Quinet
Assisted by

Sylvie van Ruymbeke


Bernard Vander Donckt


Sylvie Moris

LOGO Close Up Films


Joëlle Bertossa
Production Assistants

Flavia Zanon and Marion Chollet


Annick Kammacher

In coproduction with

Unité Société et Culture

Fabrice Puchault

Alex Szalat


Françoise Tsitsichvili

Postproduction Manager

Isabelle Zaborowski

LOGO Independent Television Service (ITVS)

Executive Producer for ITVS

Sally Jo Fifer

Lois Vossen

Supervising Producer

Amy Shatsky

Project Manager

Clare Chambers

Managing Director of Business Affairs

Isaac Hager

LOGO RTS Radio Télévision suisse

Department of Documentary Films

Irène Challand

Gaspard Lamunière


Sven Wälti

LOGO RTBF Télévision belge

Department of Documentary Films

Documentaries Coproduction Supervisor


Associate Producer


Production Manager

Philippe ANTOINE


Arlette CLAEYS

LOGO Shelter Prod

Managing Director

Sibylle Seys-Smets


Ives Swennen

Production Coordinator

Jasper Segers

With the support of
Centre National du Cinéma et de l’Image Animée

Valérie Bisiaux

MEDIA Programme of the European Union

Valérie Maurin

David Raffier

Sundance Institute Documentary Film Program

Director of the Documentary Film Program

Tabitha Jackson
Labs and Artist Support Director

Kristin Feeley

Film Fund Director

Rahdi Taylor

Film Fund Manager

Hajnal Molnar-Szakacs

Film Fund Assistant

Betsy Tsai

with support from

Open Society Foundations

Ford Foundation JustFilms

National Black Programming Consortium (NBPC)

Executive Producer for NBPC

Leslie Fields-Cruz
Director of Programs and Acquisitions

Kay Shaw
Legal Affairs

Fernando Ramirez

Executive Director

Philipp Engelhorn
Creative Director

Michael Raisler

Head of Creative Initiatives

Caroline Kaplan

Grants Manager

Leah Giblin

PROCIREP – Société des Producteurs


Elvira Kaurin-Lacour

Séverine Thuet


Alexandre Wittamer

Hubert Gendebien

Communication & Event Manager

Julie Maricq

Senior Account Manager

Sonia Moulinasse

Netty de Cocq
Commercial Assistant

Anne Vigneron


Taxshelter Federal


Loterie Romande

Executive Production in Belgium

Executive Producer

Stéphane Quinet

Business and Legal Affairs

Emmanuel Van Melkebeke

Assistant Accountant

Françoise Collignon

Post Production Assistant

Béatrice Laloy

Production Assistant

Jennifer Jeurissen

Anid Lobato de Faria

Fiscal Sponsor

Scribe Video Center, Inc.

Louis Massiah

Alexia Chororos

U.S. and Canada Sales Representative

ICM Partners

Foreign Sales Representative

Wide House

This project was presented in the Rough Cut Projects category of the 2015 IDFA Forum

(International Film Festival Amsterdam)

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)

Thanks to James Baldwin

The visionary, poet and humanist

For his unconditional voice.


49 west 27th street 7th floor new york, ny 10001

tel 212 924 6701 fax 212 924 6742

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