Local James Baldwin Scholar to Introduce ‘I Am Not Your Negro’ at Nightlight

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Hyper-aware of the extent to which James Baldwin's unfinished manuscript Remember This House remains relevant, veteran director Raoul Peck creates a compelling documentary with his latest film, I Am Not Your Negro. A personal account of the lives and successive assassinations of three Civil Rights-era activists — Medgar Evers, Malcolm X and Martin Luther King Jr. — Baldwin's book as well as the resulting film feature his complex observations about racism.

The Nightlight Cinema in Akron has just announced that Dr. Philathia Bolton, an Associate Professor of English at the University of Akron whose research on 20th century African American literature, black women writers and race studies make her a Baldwin scholar, will deliver a pre-film introduction and post-film Q&A at the theater when the film screens there on March 3.

“I’ve been so impressed with the demand Akron has demonstrated over this movie,” says Nightlight Executive Director Kurtiss Hare in a press release announcing the special event. “People, mostly white, have been asking whether we’d show the movie, and these have not been easy topics for white people to discuss traditionally. Baldwin once said, ‘White is a way to describe power,’ and I can’t think of any more concise way to frame the discussion that we need to be having as a city.”

"I cannot name a writer or activist whose work is more relevant or important [than James Baldwin's] at this particular political juncture we have reached," adds Casey Shevlin, co-producer of the Dr. Bolton speaking event. "We need Baldwin's perspective and courage now more than ever."


I Am Not Your Negro will begin its run at the Nightlight on Feb. 24 and will continue through Dr. Bolton’s visit on March 3. The run may be extended until March 9 or later, depending on turnout throughout the week.

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