I received a phone call from a respected friend of mine, Malik Bankston. He had a sense of excitement in his voice as he said, “You must go see James Baldwin’s ‘I am Not Your Negro.’”
A week went by and he called me a second time asking me how I felt about the movie. I explained that I had been busy, but I was going the next day, and my wife and I did go. The movie was all that Malik had stated it was and I recommended it to a number of persons. James Baldwin once again did an excellent analysis of America. He demonstrated the divisions that still exist in America, not just Black and white, but the haves and have nots.
The movie opened with Baldwin living in Paris, and he was remarking that the time had come for him to cease writing about the civil rights movement in America, and to return home and become an active participant. As I watched the movie, it brought back memories of those who stood in the ranks of the civil rights movement. Of course there were an untold number of men and women that are deserving of recognition who must go nameless, but we know who they were. A vast number of persons, for whatever reason, were not photographed, but once again we know who you are.
However, at the height of the civil rights movement, there arose THREE GIANTS, who symbolized all of us; the known and the unknowns. All three are physically deceased, but their contributions will never die. All three had identically the same common denominators; young Black men, commitment, dedication, and one of the most significant – no ties to any political party in the present or the past. The lack of political involvement meant that they never were involved in tainted actions against Black people because of their demanded loyalty to the political party.