Festival of Ideas May 2017
Come the Revolution discussion: A Reply to the 'N' Question
I Am Not your Negro - the award-winning documentary based on an unfinished essay by writer/social critic James Baldwin - is a searing commentary on race in America. At its heart is the question that Baldwin said the white population of the country has to ask itself: "why was it necessary to have a nigger in the first place?" He added: "Because I'm not a nigger. I am a man. But if you think I'm a nigger, it means you need it and you got to find out why. And the future of the country depends on that.’ Baldwin's question is as relevant today as it has ever been, though now the term could be extended to include a range of people of colour who trouble US and European borders.
Using spoken word, prose, stills and moving images, Come the Revolution draws upon Baldwin's work, and that of a range of artists, to explore black representation and the function of the word ‘nigger' in the 'white’ imagination: is the term a tool for socio-economic oppression? A device for liberating white desires? Will demographic shifts in the US and the UK make the mythology upon which the word is based impossible to sustain?
Hosted by Edson Burton - with a response and provocation from DJ Psykhomantus.