Reflections on a film: I Am Not Your Negro

Written By Natalie Zwerger

Watching this film

Was like a rainy day

But one when you are inside

Looking at the drops hitting your window.

 

You are left dry

But somber

Somber but hopeful

That once the sky clears

And you venture outside

You know what to do.

You’ve processed and planned.

You’ve stared at the clouds long enough.

 

This sky is familiar.

These showers reminiscent

Of the downpour of whiteness

That leaves its shadow

That drowns so many

Voices, feelings, people

That persists

Whether we know or not

Whether we say or not

The myth that persists

That we are a part of sustaining.

 

We feed the whiteness

We feed the myth

Like water nourishes grass.

We might say otherwise

We might believe otherwise

But we use this myth

As the standard

As the norm

To which we compare

Black and brown bodies

Our own bodies

To which we require our kids

Our children

Our youth

Conform.

 

By policing their speech, their dress

Their behavior

Their minds.

We sustain it.

This rain.

 

But it doesn’t rain whiteness everyday.

Some of us won’t let it

Some of us prevent it

Some of us fight.

 

Fighting to stay dry

Requires we first see

The clouds and the rain

And know we are somber

And know we want something different

And know we want something changed.

 

Watching this film was like a rainy day

But one where I was inside

Processing and planning

Waiting for the precise moment

When the drops stop falling

When the clouds part

So I can step outside

And find the others

Because we know where we are going

We know what it takes to get there

We walk together.

 

Watching this film reiterated the direction

Solidified the path

And reinforced my why.