Dear White People Movie

These notes are from a few weeks ago. I keep trying to make time to finish the post, reread it, yadda yadda. Anyway, I give up on that. This is the raw notes. Well, half of them anyway…

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Yesterday, Delta Sigma Theta sponsored a viewing of “Dear White People” at the Jackie Robinson Community Center. It was an interesting movie that left me with a lot of question. After the movie, they had a panel for some Q and A time.

The panel after the movie.

The panel after the movie.

I figured they’d have a lot of interesting things to say. So, I took notes…

What are everyone’s initial thoughts after the film:

Andre Coleman liked how every character had an arc. He wasn’t rooting for or against any one of them. They all had strengths and flaws. (I have to admit I noticed the same thing about the movie. I really liked that.)

Anthony Samad said something interesting about the introduction of the wealth/class dynamic, but Siri autocorrected and I can’t figure out what I typed. He started with something about a 21st century prism. And then I have “splash was that this is critique of white price ledge most people don’t want to deal with.” I think “price ledge” is supposed to be privilege. Mr. Samad talked about how he thought the film was brave because it tackled not only the race issue, but the wealth and class discrepancy intrinsic to racial inequality.

Derrick Garland Coy liked that the movie was about intelligent college kids. No gang bangers or “‘hos” or other typical stereotypes. Intelligent, educated, young black people are struggling to find their identities, and how “we as Americans” (I think he meant black Americans, not American people as a whole) struggle with identity, especially when others mistakenly think we are in a post-racial period.

(I thought Mr. Coy made a really good point. I noticed a lot of assumptions (mistaken sometimes) about motivations. And that’s hard right now because some people do date a black guy to make their parents mad, but others date a young black man because he’s handsome and smart and funny. How is that poor kid supposed to learn the difference?)

Barbara Avery wanted to note the age of the movie’s creator, Justin Simien. And all the panelists agreed that the movie could not have been made as well by a creator of any other age. Ms. Avery was pleased to see the biracial and gender stories, and she noted that they are different from what we saw twenty years ago.

Lloyd Ferguson complained about often hearing people declare that we are living in a post-racial society. He noted the disparity in quality of life clearly indicates that we are not. The movie touched on this idea lightly. Mr. Ferguson added that it is important subject matter for discussion.

Is there a shift between generations in subject matter of discussions?

Samad said there is the same dynamic of wanting to push the next generation forward. He said the Civil Rights Generation “was so much more intense.”

— This statement made me bristle a little. And a little later, Avery commented on it.–

Avery called the current situation for college kids “death by a thousand cuts.”

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