The Blue Banner

The Student Voice of UNC Asheville

The Blue Banner

The Student Voice of UNC Asheville

The Blue Banner

‘Dear White People” sparks discussion

By Timbi Shepherd – [email protected] – Asst. A & F Editor | Feb. 18, 2015 |
Lipinsky Auditorium buzzed with anticipation Thursday evening as UNC Asheville community members filled the seats for a screening of Dear White People.
The film, Justin Simien’s directorial debut, is one of two major 2014 releases addressing the subject of race in America. Whereas Ava DuVernay’s Selma gives an account of Martin Luther King, Jr.’s leadership in the 1965 voting rights march from Selma to Montgomery, Alabama, Dear White People provides a cross-sectional study of race issues in present-day, Obama-era college life.
Simien explicitly references the films of Spike Lee and Robert Altman, and, as David Fincher did in The Social Network, he sets the scene for spirited conversation and contention within the marketplace of ideas of an Ivy League campus. Like the films of Lee, Altman and Fincher, Dear White People weaves a tapestry of the social and identity dynamics of its day.
Introducing the film, Preston Keith, assistant director of the Intercultural Center and Multicultural Student Programs, said, “Dear White People is described as a satirical look at the experiences of four African-American students at a predominantly white institution.”
Although the film is billed as satire, its incorporation of prickly comedic elements into the fabric of everyday life is uncanny, Keith said.
Dear White People examines aspects of race relations, diversity and activism from a humorous, but often all too real, perspective,” he said.
As the action unfolded on screen, the atmosphere of the room alternated between moments of laughter at many of the movie’s light-hearted jokes and moments of silence in more serious situations. Characters face humiliation, hatred and other hardships, even in a context – or pretext – of banter among peers.
“Wow, that was a lot. The movie is filled with microagressions that students of color have to constantly endure,” said Robin Hamilton, Mills Hall community director, as she led the audience in a critical discussion following the screening. “It pulls from actual events happening at college campuses nationwide.”
Two panelists, Mia Black and Que Reynolds, senior psychology students, fielded questions from Hamilton and audience members about their reactions to the film and their own experiences as black students at a predominantly white university.
Black and Reynolds agreed the film is strikingly, and at times painfully, true-to-life.
“I felt the filmmakers turned off the satire whenever they had a moment where someone would be able to look at the movie and be like, ‘Oh, I shared that moment before, and that’s extremely awkward,’” Reynolds said.
The film reaches its climax at a blackface Halloween party, and ends with a montage of photographs of actual college blackface parties. Black noted how this juxtaposition serves to ground the narrative in an unsettling reality.
“When the filmmakers show these pictures, you see that people aren’t really thoughtful about race or about what they say,” Black said.
She added there are many subtle moments in the film that draw attention to how small comments, which someone may intend as compliments, can actually offend the other person without the speaker’s knowledge. For example, one white character in the film tells her black friend she loves her hair, and asks whether she has a weave.
“First, you’re like, ‘She asked her friend if she has a weave, ha ha,’” Black said. “You then go, ‘Oh, I’ve asked someone if they have a weave. Shit, I was being microaggressive, and I insulted someone.’”
Hamilton followed up Black’s statement by describing the “pile-on principle” – how microaggressions tend to have a cumulative effect over time.
“You hear these things over and over,” Hamilton said, “and you get to the point where you just lose it because these things are always in the back of your mind.”
Hamilton and the panelists said these kinds of mistakes are not necessarily about intent, but impact. They warned racism is more prevalent than many white people think, as offenders are too often ignorant of the ramifications of their words and actions.
Hamilton then asked Black and Reynolds how they felt the film confronts the perception that the election and re-election of President Barack Obama signal the emergence of a post-racial America.
“I think it’s very obvious that we don’t live in a post-racial society. The fact that there’s a movie called Dear White People makes that pretty evident,” Black said. “Also, the fact that there have been protests in Ferguson and issues with the police and black men makes it evident that race is still an issue and will probably always be an issue until people educate themselves.”
To that end, Black and Reynolds encouraged audience members to practice empathy and to think before speaking.
“Ultimately, we have a long way to go, but we’ve seen progress,” Hamilton said to close the discussion. “It’s all about listening to others, hearing their stories, agreeing to disagree. This conversation cannot end after we leave here tonight.”
Instead of calling others out on their mistakes, she urged audience members to call others in – to share perspectives and to learn from these interactions.

Leave a Comment
More to Discover

Comments (0)

All The Blue Banner Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

  • J

    jaimedf1May 29, 2018 at 5:49 pm

    Updated contrive sheet:

  • I

    IgorGaurfMay 10, 2017 at 6:44 pm

    Стан сварной двутавровой балки Стан изготовление сварной двутавровой балки. Монтаж Обучение. Не дорого! Новинский ЗМК

  • G

    GirlxXxkakMay 1, 2017 at 5:16 pm

    Anyone who’s attempting to find a sense to meet people can achieve this after they appearance for grownup personals on-line. In addition to gaining knowledge of photos and information, they can also take component in adult chat on these adult oriented relationship websites. Adult chat is the excellent way to interrupt the ice if you’re on an grownup courting web site. If you’re searching for grownup personals in order that you could meet a unusual for a fling, you ought to get started off by shopping on the adult personals after which with grownup chat. This will make it less complicated and extra relaxed for you. Many adults from around the globe are dating on-line this existing day. There are a whole lot of courting websites that are for each type of group. Some people, even if, aren’t are looking for relationship. They look via grownup personals as a trend to discover any person for an informal fling that is a little for fun. Many parents enjoy attractive in grownup chat proper at domestic so that they may be capable to rejoice. ome folks are too slowed down with careers and various commitments that keep them from building a fate courting with a consumer else. But this would not mean that they could not have a bit bit of human consolation on every event they’re succesful of. Adult personals are a decent way to meet any user. You can have a appearance at their photos and spot inside the experience that they are an distinguished with whom you may like to chat and even meet. You can start adult chat with them and notice in the event that they like the identical issues that you simply just take pleasure in. You can interact in adult chat with as many humans as you’re keen on there aren’t any regulation on courting web sites that cater to the loose spirited paperwork who are only are searching for a piece of fun. Just as is the case with grownup personals on different courting websites, if you’re planning on becoming a member of a web site, be certain you submit a fresh picture of your self. If you plan to fulfill a consumer off line and publish a photograph of your self from twenty years ago or not even of you, they is likely to be Sexcam very upset while assembly you and this may permanently ruin your bump into. Adult personals will additionally be anonymous but so much individuals love to see a picture of whoever they are talking to or assembly sooner than time. Those who’re neatly-nigh the main successful at making adult contacts and endeavor adult chat are the ones who have footage of themselves on their profile. You should not put down any deepest proof which consists of in which you stay or your real call in case you use grownup personals. You can use a username in order that others gets to understand you by this call in the event you go on grownup chat. You nonetheless are taking a look to stay safe, even when finishing up casual encounters. You can rejoice with a user who you meet on adult personals but you nonetheless are looking to be sure which you readily conserve your identification and protection. Start out with adult chat and spot where it takes you. Chances are that there might additionally be many grownup personals which can attraction to you. You may make casual pals and a catalogue of sex contacts by turning into a member of sites which are for adults and encourage grownup chat.

  • D

    DonaldLalApr 29, 2017 at 6:07 am

    Свежие приколы с утра до вечера на портале – Свежие приколы
    Ценителям эротика, sex обои, лучшая эротика фото на сайте – Свежая эротика