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Mayor William Bell to host screening of “I Am Not Your Negro” for students

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Still of James Baldwin in the documentary 'I Am Not Your Negro.'

Special to The Times

Still of James Baldwin in the documentary 'I Am Not Your Negro.'
Still of James Baldwin in the documentary ‘I Am Not Your Negro.’

Mayor William Bell will host young men at the Carver Theatre to watch the documentary, “I Am Not Your Negro,” March 31, 3 p.m.-5 p.m. Following the movie, Bell will lead the young men in a discussion about how the film connects the past of the Civil Rights movement to today’s events.

In 1979, James Baldwin wrote a letter to his literary agent describing his next project, “Remember This House.” The book was to be a personal account of the lives and successive assassinations of three of his close friends—Medgar Evers, Malcolm X and Martin Luther King, Jr. At the time of Baldwin’s death in 1987, he left behind only 30 completed pages of his manuscript. Now, in his new documentary, filmmaker Raoul Peck envisions the book James Baldwin never finished. The result is a radical, up-to-the-minute examination of race in America, using Baldwin’s original words and flood of rich archival material.

“We hosted young women for multiple screenings of ‘Hidden Figures’ and we wanted to do the same with our young men,” Bell said. “This documentary, much like ‘Hidden Figures,’ focuses on the struggle so many had just to build a life. It touches on the works of civil rights leaders Medgar Evers, Malcolm X and Martin Luther King, Jr., through the eyes of Mr. Baldwin, as well as his personal observations.”

“I Am Not Your Negro” questions black representation in Hollywood and beyond. And, ultimately, by confronting the deeper connections between the lives and assassination of these three leaders. The film challenges the very definition of what America stands for.

“I Am Not Your Negro” is showing at the Birmingham Historic Carver Theatre March 16-April 2, 2017.  For those interested in attending, please email tanilya.jackson@birminghamal.gov or call 205-254-2823.

Other upcoming events for City School students include:

The Birmingham Police Department and Bethel Baptist Church in Pratt City will present “Parent Summit 2017” on Sat., April 1 at Bethel Baptist Church in Pratt City, 1708 Spencer Ave. It will be held from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. Dr. Kecia Ashley will serve as the moderator for panel discussions on domestic violence, bullying, child abuse, peer pressure, sexual assault, gun violence, drugs, gangs and social media. Several speakers will be on hand, including Mayor William Bell, Deputy Chief Henry Irby and Jefferson County Interim District Attorney Danny Carr. For more information, call Capt. Janice Blackwell at 297-8410 or the church at 798-0371.

The Junior League of Birmingham will host its Readers Theatre Workshop on Sat. April 1 at 2:30 p.m. at the Southside and West End libraries and on Sun. April 2 at 2:30 p.m. at the Springville Road Library. The event is part of the organization’s “Page to Stage” program. Students, ages 5 to 12, attending the event will receive two free (one child and one adult) tickets to attend the Birmingham Children’s Theatre production of Roald Dahl’s “James and Giant Peach,” April 7-29. Workshop space is limited, so advance registration at one of the listed libraries is suggested.