Last night I went to the historic Little Theater in Rochester, NY to see I Am Not Your Negro and it was fantastic! If you haven't heard about it, it's a powerful film following the thoughts of James Baldwin as he discusses how racism developed in America and interrogates why it is still running rampant in our country. The film follows the narrative line of Baldwin connecting him to 3 famous civil rights activist; Martin Luther King Jr., Malcom X, and Medgar Evans.
The film's form is a lot like a video essay; it marries still images, text, found footage, and original video. The film is split up into several chapters, and the reason I call this form a video essay is because each chapter acts independently. While the film is framed in chronological order, each segment could be stand alone and I think this added to the film's strength and its crisp lines.
This is a film I highly recommend because along with being an aesthetically beautiful film it focuses on a conversation that we're ignoring with alternative facts, or any kind of BS people use to avoid serious conversations. The conversation about race relations is not an easy one to have I get it. But it's even more difficult living in a country that erases your identity and portrays you to be less than human because of the color of your skin, your gender, sexuality, class, and any kind of label used to divide.
The MVP of the night is my mentor, Associate Dean of Student Life, Dr. Stacey Pierce! Not only did she haul all our asses throw the snow, but she paid for the tickets, and still got us dinner! It was such a good night being back with my Posse because as we advance in college we're becoming so busy.
Along with the bonding this event brought, I also got some great shots for my own film "Hood Bitch Turned Bougie: How to be Petty Not Poor" which is currently being written! I cannot say if I will ever actually make this into a film, but for sure I want a memoir out of this!
I need people to say, "Oh my gosh! Is that William the sophomore from L.A.?!" And I just want to scurry away hiding under a hood and glasses saying, "I'm just like everybody else!"
I'm often asked, "Why do you think you're a star Will?" The answer is simple, if I believe I'm a star someone is bound to as well. I think self love comes in all forms. My kind of self love includes commanding the crowd and letting the people know I am here.
You gotta be late to the party and be the last one to leave. I am unapologetically the most LIT in the room at 2:30am, but I will still make it home brush my teeth and take out my contacts. More is coming on my story so stay tuned.
Author William Samayoa
Marketer by profession and storyteller by passion. L.A. raised, proud Latino, and pop culture enthusiast.