The Academy Award nominated documentary "I Am Not Your Negro" opens in theaters this Friday. And there's one thing that narrator Samuel L. Jackson hopes certain viewers will take away from the movie that looks at writer James Baldwin's reflections on the Civil Rights movement and influential leaders like Martin Luther King Jr., Malcolm X and Medgar Evers.
Last week, the actor sat down with Jimmy Kimmel to discuss one the film's most thought-provoking moments. "[T]here's one shot of this girl who's integrating the school. And all these angry faces behind her, yelling and screaming stuff at her. And I wonder if those people who were teenagers when they were trying to do that...if those people looking at that film will recognize themselves and say, 'Wow, what an asshole I was.'"
But he's also worried they might say, "'I still feel that way.'" And given the racial tension in America right now, it's tempting to think the latter response is more likely.
But hopefully the film will change people's minds by confronting them with difficult issues. "The question the white population of this country has to ask itself is why it was necessary to have a nigger in the first place," Baldwin says in a clip featured in the film's trailer. "Because I'm not a nigger. I'm a man. But if you think I'm a nigger, it means you need it. And you've got to find out why. And the future of the country depends on that."