As Black History Month ends at City College, the city university decided to end the annual celebration with the premiere of a movie that touches on a subject close to home: Dear White People.
Director Justin Simien took to this film to give women of color a new role, portraying college students at a prestigious private school with remarkable concentration. Lead actor Tessa Thompson, known for her role in the Tyler Perry film version of For Colored Girls, takes on the persona of a sassy film journalism major who tries to expose her university of its underlying racisms, while dealing with her own internal conflicts relating to her identity and race.
The protagonist, Tessa, (Sam White) becomes a leader figure for a predominantly black group of activists on campus. The film effectively gives different perspectives of the racial insensitivity issues present in the higher ends of the socioeconomic strata, such as those at a rich and mostly white university. Ultimately, this film is trying to give the public a universal view of how to handle the issue of race when happening to come across it. It succeeds in doing so.
Dear White People touches on subjects such as racial issues in top-tier universities and separation that occurs on campuses due to race and sexuality, pointing out how white America can be racially insensitive without realizing it. This is a recipient of the 2014 Sundance Film Festival’s Special Jury Award for Breakthrough Talent, and rightly so, given the importance of its message.