Tuesday, February 07, 2017


History of the World

In Journeying with James Baldwin, Raoul Peck--director of I Am Not Your Negro--reflects on how he came to make the film. Born in Haiti, Peck notes, "I came from a country that had a strong idea of itself, that had fought and beaten the most powerful army of the world (Napoleon’s), and that had, in a unique historical manner, stopped slavery in its tracks, achieving in 1804 the first suc­cessful slave revolution in the history of the world."

Peck goes on to say that, "What the four superpowers of the time did, in an unusu­ally peaceful consensus, was shut down Haiti, the very first black republic, put it under strict economic and diplomatic embargo, and strangle it with poverty and irrelevance. And then they rewrote the whole story."

Baldwin, Peck observes, saw through the system, and "knew how to deconstruct stories and put them back in their fundamental right order and context."


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