What “Dear White People” Taught Me

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Last night, I  went to the DC premiere of  Dear White People, one of the most anticipated films of the year. I wanted to see this movie since the mock trailer came out and luckily, I wasn’t the only one. The theater was packed as the first and second showing were sold out.

What can I say without spoiling it for you? I’ll be very vague. It was funny, smart and really thought-provoking. Besides the main theme being race, it also covered topics about intersectionality, sexuality and identity.

The last topic really stuck to me as all the characters were facing identity challenges. Where do they fit in? How much queerness can be shown? Can blackness be a spectrum or is it a rigid box?

As a 21-year-old, black bisexual vegan female, I too, am struggling with my identity. I connected with the characters who did as well. Especially, the ones who were leaders and the face of a movement. I think of myself as a leader. I inherited the trait from my mother and as I got older I went on my own way. I’m known as the spiritual vegan chick on my campus. Many people on and off campus come to me for advice and lessons.

When I admit that sometimes I mess up or express opinion, I’m seen as a fraud. I feel like folks can forget that leaders are human. We are humans with a lot of pressure coming from all sides. We have to take that into consideration.

And why does it have to be all or nothing with people? Or the fact that only a part of you can be tolerated? It’s crazy because as I was watching the film, I saw characters reject, hide or dumb down parts of their identity to be accepted by the groups that they were either leading or following.I saw myself in every character, including the judgmental ones.

This film made me realize that we have a lot of work to do and the conversations about race, sex, intersectionality, and identity must be had.

There’s  two cents, watch the film and share yours next.

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