3 September 2012

Dear White People | Controversy & Overdue Dialogue

Dear White People is a satire about being a black face in a white place. The film follows the stories of four black students at an Ivy League college where a riot breaks out over a popular "African American" themed party thrown by white students. The satirical film explores racial identity in "post-racial" America while weaving a universal story of forging one's unique path in the world.
It is understandable that the film and its title are causing a stir in both Black and White communities. In an article for the Huffington Post, film director Justin Simien explains that the film is not about "white racism" or racism at all. Instead, its about the difference between how the mass culture responds to a person because of their race and who they understand themselves to truly be. The film has also gained attention from the mainstream media. In a CNN interview with Carol Costello, Justin Simien explained that the film aims to offer a different narrative of the black experience which is not available to the public. He continued with a reference to films by Tyler Perry which are viewed by many Blacks as an inaccurate portrayal of Black Americans today. It seems that many agree with Simien. The film's kickstarter campaign to raise $25,000 was surpassed to over $41,000. 

Overdue Dialogue
Why does this film matter? Regardless of whether one may like or dislike the film, Dear White People  matters because it sets the much-needed conversation going about what the Black experience really is. It serves as a platform for Blacks to share their individual stories and to be recognized separately from the stereotypes presented in the media. The film covers experiences that are shared by many Black people yet still not discussed in the media today. As a result, Dear White People has caused much relief particularly for people who relate to the film. The stir caused by the film is great because it serves as the momentum for creating a much more racially informed public.

Watch the trailer here:

What are your thoughts on the film? Do you intend to see it once it is released?  
Do share in the comments below.

Read Justin Simien's post about the film on The Huffington Post here.

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