Graduation Year

2021

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Runner Up, 2017-2018, Best Gateway Essay Contest

Gateway Professor: Professor James Simone, Political Science

Abstract

One of the tactics the director Raoul Peck employed to make the I Am Not Your Negro documentary so powerful is the juxtaposition of violence against the black population in the 1960s and the brutalities taking place right now. He reveals on a more profound level the wretchedness of the current racial situation and the lack of real change. Peck’s film is built on James Baldwin’s unfinished manuscript Remember This House. Baldwin’s treatment of the racial issue is uniquely interrogative, demanding a clear picture of the reality of both the environment and individuals’ identities. This principle of digging for the truth is always relevant to efforts towards racial reconciliation. Was he alive today, Baldwin would agree with this Peck’s notion of failure to change, precisely because the American people still fail to candidly answer the question regarding their own identity and psychology.

Disciplines

English Language and Literature | Rhetoric and Composition

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