James Baldwin’s writing is intensely relevant to contemporary politics and culture, and director Raoul Peck’s strategies for representing him and conveying his work in I Am Not Your Negro (2016) raise important questions about how documentary can bring the ideas of a complex thinker like Baldwin to a broader public. By combining five distinct perspectives on a single documentary film, this book offers different critical approaches to the same media object, acting both as an intensive scholarly treatment of a film and as a guide for how to analyze, theorize, and contextualize a documentary.
Undergraduate and graduate students as well as scholars of film and media studies, communication studies, African American Studies, and gender and sexuality studies will find this book extremely useful in understanding the significance of this film and the ways in which it offers insight into not only Baldwin and his writings but also wider historical and contemporary realities.
About the Author
Kristen Fuhs is Associate Professor of Media Studies in the Department of Communication at Woodbury University. She writes about documentary film, the American criminal justice system, and contemporary celebrity, and her work has appeared in journals such as Cultural Studies, The Historical Journal of Film, Radio, and Television, and the Journal of Sport & Social Issues. She is also the co-founder and editor of Docalogue, an online space to engage in conversations about contemporary documentary, as well as the related Docalogue book series.
Table of ContentsIntroduction: The Timeliness of I Am Not Your Negro
Chapter 1: I Am Not Your Negro’s Poetics of Identity and Omission
Courtney R. Baker
Chapter 2: James Baldwin’s Embodied Absence: I Am Not Your Negro and Filmic Corporeality
Chapter 3: "Some One of Us Should Have Been There with Her": Gender, Race, and Sexuality in I Am Not Your Negro and Contemporary Black Experimental Documentary
Ellen C. Scott
Chapter 4: James Baldwin: The Price of the Ticket (1989) and I Am Not Your Negro (2016) as Historicist Documentaries
Chapter 5: Techniques for Truth-Telling from Haitian Corner to I Am Not Your Negro