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 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 30 completed pages of the manuscript. In I Am Not Your Negro, released in 2016, filmmaker Raoul Peck envisioned the book James Baldwin never finished.
Through Samuel L. Jackson’s familiar voice, Peck’s bold and brutally honest documentary animates the crisp and noble words of the African American writer, civil rights activist, poet, and thinker, James Baldwin. Expressing bitter truths while documenting centuries of covert or unapologetic racism, Baldwin’s uncompleted thirty-page manuscript, “Remember this House,” was meant to be the sadly veracious chronicle of the American history, through the intertwined stories of King, Evers, and Malcolm X.
Particularly moving are Baldwin’s eloquent and honest insight into the lives of the civil rights leaders, as well as his personal observations of American history. Baldwin’s words, “Not everything that can be faced can be changed. But nothing can be changed if it is not faced,” transcends time.