Fresh off the heels of an exciting awards season, Janelle Monáe has teamed up with Magnolia Pictures and Mic.com to release “Know Your Baldwin“- a powerful, socially conscious visual presentation that not only extends the conversation of the Oscar-nominated documentary, I Am Not Your Negro, but also inspires audiences to get familiar with the genius of James Baldwin and engages a “woke” generation to act and make sense of this moment in history.
Spearheaded by Monáe, who called on some of her very influential friends to lend their voices, “Know Your Baldwin” features the perfect mix of Hollywood celebs, music artists and well known social activists. The conscious collective includes: Chris Rock, Jidenna, Common, Alexe Belle, Isis Valentino, Jurnee Smollett-Bell, Aldis Hodge, Baron Vaughn, Lupita Nyong’o, Michael Eric Dyson, Yara Shahidi, Janaya Khan, Patrisse Cullors, Open Mike Eagle, Esperanza Spalding and Ashton Sanders as well as I Am Not Your Negro director, Raoul Peck and Samuel L. Jackson who narrated the actual documentary!
As the video reports, “these artists and activists are echoing the past to contextualize the present,” and just like the documentary, it does its job to parallel the experiences of our forefathers with the realities of today and the fears of our future.
In its final words, “Study your Baldwin! Read James Baldwin! Know Your Baldwin!” the voices give a call-to-action to educate ourselves and suggest that through the power of knowledge, we can work, both individually and collectively, to make change in our society.
I Am Not Your Negro is in theaters now!
Click here for a list of participating theaters in your area and show times.