The Sam Houston State University Global Center for Journalism and Democracy hosted a movie screening of the satirically provocative film “Dear White People.” The film explores several controversial topics such as, racial identity in a new aged “post-racial” America and racial politics at a predominately white University.
The characters in the film attend a fictional Ivy League university called Winchester University and follows the lives of several black students who are trying to discover their true identities at an institution that not only misrepresents them but also misunderstands them.
The climax occurs when a highly offensive black-face party is thrown by privileged white students at the university. I do not want to give too much of the movie away but I will state that “Dear White People” definitely did not miss the mark in the truth displayed behind many of the stereotypes presented.
The proverbial theme of race displayed through the film strikes up the battle between internal and external identity. The external struggle is amongst their peers on whether or not they are “afro centric” enough for their black friends yet still not too black to ward off their white friends. On the other hand, the internal struggle is whether they actually fit in at the primarily white university.
As a black child growing up in white suburbia, I often times struggled with this internal and external acceptance when it comes to race. In fact, I still face the same fight today. When I hang out with my non-black friends I feel as if I am treated as their “token black friend” and when I am with my black friends I feel as if I am not “down” enough to keep up with “my people”.
I know that many people will be rubbed the wrong way by “Dear White People,” but this is something that needs to be talked about openly. However, as with anything of this nature, there is always going to be someone who disagrees and will find fault in an issue the do not completely understand.
After contemplating on the film for some time, I find that it made me think about many issues that are either hushed or not talked about in the open. I am glad that the film makers took the opportunity to create a movie that takes these kinds of racial issues into account and brings them into the forefront of Hollywood cinema.