Academic Film: Dear White People


This is not a drill. I repeat. This is not a drill. There is a black academic film coming to theaters this fall.

The highly anticipated Dear White People is a satirical film about black students at an Ivy League university. It is the debut film of director Justin Simien and stars Tessa Thompson, Tyler Williams (aka that kid from Everybody Hates Chris), Teyonna Parris, Brandon P. Bell and Dennis Haysbert. The advance buzz for this sounds promising. Already people are comparing it favorably to Spike Lee’s School Daze. There certainly seems to be potential here to spark discussions about race and class in higher education, appropriation, authenticity, and intraracial black politics. The first full trailer for it was just released yesterday and it looks great. Zeba Blay’s review on the blog Shadow and Act from the film’s Sundance screening back in January is worth reading to get a glimpse of what’s ahead. Needless to say, I’ll probably end up writing a few more words about this one before it’s all over.

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