I saw I Am Not Your Negro, the civil rights documentary. The director, Raoul Peck, uses James Baldwin’s writings to illustrate what it’s like to be Black. It’s uncomfortable and enlightening. Baldwin takes on a Professor Weiss on the Dick Cavett show. The Professor says that Baldwin talks too much about being a Negro. How eloquently Baldwin runs through all the reasons he is made aware of his color. It made me reflect on how ignorant I am of the daily pain most Blacks experience. In my apartment building the black father of a big, black teenager would always precede his son into the elevator. The father greeted the people in the elevator and pasted a pleasant expression on his face. I think he was protecting his son from the looks of horror, fear flashing from Whites’ eyes.
A black, gay friend of mine said that when you are born Black, you have a permanent cloud over you. Thanks to this documentary and to the patience of Blacks I’m beginning to be dimly aware of how lucky I am and how stressful black lives can be. I’m sorry.
Graphic Lessons: Recent widow Millie Fitzgerald applies for a private school teaching job, faints on a stabbed and dying man, deals with the only witness to the stabbing – a troubled nine year old, develops a crush on a NYPD detective and her dog dies.
Graphic Lessons: NYPD Detective Steve Kulchek: something’s eating at him: a failed marriage? surviving a car bomb? his girlfriend marrying his corrupt boss? screwing up an important case?
Graphic Lessons: Nine year old Dana is the only witness who overhears three people fighting with George Lopez, the soon to be stabbed Windsor School kitchen worker. Who can she tell? Her mother who never listens or accuses her of lying? Her father who’s started a new family in Singapore?