Dear White People, a new movie by Justin Simien, has been making waves ever since a concept trailer for the film went viral back in 2012. Two years, a failed deal, a million YouTube views, a successful Kickstarter and a new deal later, the highly anticipated film is currently showing at Sundance and will hopefully be in theaters everywhere, or at least the really important places, in the very near future.
DWP is a satire about a bunch of black hipsters at a predominately white Ivy League university. So, it’s basically my exact college experience!
Here’s the IMDB blurb:
At prestigious Winchester University, biracial student Samantha White begins her radio show, “Dear White People, the amount of black friends required not to seem racist has just been raised to two. Sorry, your weed man, Tyrone, doesn’t count.” Sam becomes president of the all-black residential hall Parker/Armstrong, whose existence is facing extinction in the name of diversification. TV reality show “Black Face/White Place” smells gold in Sam’s story and decides to follow it, rejecting the proposal of fellow black student Coco Conners, who pitched her show “Doing Time at an Ivy League”. The clamor over Sam’s rise also becomes a career-defining opportunity for black misfit Lionel Higgins when he is asked to join the school’s lily-white newspaper staff to cover the controversy, even though he secretly knows little about black culture.
Man oh man, I can’t wait for this thing to get released. I don’t know about you but I’m tired of literally begging for black and POC characters on television and in film, and I’m over seeing depictions of black people in Tyler Perry movies and as monsters and thugs and drug dealers and sassy one-note characters. Finally a movie by black people and other people of color, featuring people of color as the writers, producers, and talent, that reflects, however satirical, the experience and anxieties of being a fly in the upper crust buttermilk. The power of satire is that no matter how far it goes, there is always an element of truth.
So before anyone rushes to the comments to say how racist this film is or says that we should judge each other by the content of our character and not the color of our skin, or asks if we would we stand up for a Dear Black People, just note that, as Sam White does in the film, we don’t even need a Dear Black People because police arrests, black face editorials, ratchet ethnic-themed parties you are having at your colleges, and news networks tell us that every day. Check that email.