ENGAGE Film Series Presents: I Am Not Your Negro

Join us Saturday April 1st at 10am for a free benefit screening (suggested donation $10), followed by a panel discussion anchored by Black Lives Matter, Hudson Valley, Showing Up for Racial Justice Ulster County, and the Million Hoodies Project of Bard College. This screening is presented by the ENGAGE Film Series (read more on the series below) and proceeds will benefit Black Lives Matter, Hudson Valley. “Not everything that is faced can be changed, but nothing can be changed until it is faced.” – James Baldwin.

James Baldwin was born in Harlem in 1924. The oldest of nine children, he grew up in poverty and had a troubled relationship with his strict, religious stepfather — all before becoming a preacher for 3 years and ultimately a celebrated writer (Go Tell It on A Mountain, The Fire Next Time) and activist. In 1979, he 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, 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 narrated by Samuel Jackson, and a flood of rich archival material. I Am Not Your Negro connects the past of the Civil Rights movement to the present of Black Lives Matter. In addition to questioning black representation in Hollywood and beyond, it confronts the deeper connections between the lives and assassination of these three leaders. Baldwin and Peck challenge the very definition of what America stands for.

(US / 2016 / Directed by Raoul Peck)
PG-13 / 91 mins.

ENGAGE: Learn, Build, Act
It’s near impossible to avoid the 24-hour news cycle and the onslaught of latest developments on social media, telling us how our country is divided and our people are hurting. The questions being asked over and over are: 1) What are these issues that everyone is talking about, their impact, and their origin? 2) What can be done and how?

Join the ENGAGE series as it presents selected social justice documentary screenings at Upstate Films. Each film in the series will touch upon an issue of our time. And each screening will be followed by a panel discussion where attendees will together have the opportunity to learn more and hear from people directly impacted by the issue.

Groups working locally on the ground are coming together to organize, underwrite, and present ENGAGE screenings each month. And every person will leave with some clear next steps for how to take action in their community.

ENGAGE is presenting these films for free, with a suggested $10 donation. All proceeds will go to different local groups working on the ground in the Hudson Valley.