Why did I name it “Dear White People?”
Justin Simien

I’ve been trying to figure out out to private message you, but I can’t.

Maybe you know how and you can respond back in a PM, or we can discuss it here, but I can’t stop thinking about this post. I read it yesterday (I live in China so our time differences are flopped) and that night watched it with my wife. We both thought the film was great — artistically and purposefully. And I think I understood it . . . or at least some of it.

As an AP Lit teacher with a class full of international kids from all around the world, I try and instill in my students that, “All art is an attempt to answer the question, ‘What is it all about?’” (Gene Roddenberry), and in order to find that answer, we the listener/reader/watcher need to give the appropriate respect and time to each piece of work, to ask questions, and to (as best as possible) lay down our filters, prejudices, stereotypes, etc.

I also believe and teach that the best pieces of art are the ones that hint or tease at the answer, but leave us beautifully unsatisfied and wanting more. “Dear White People” has done this and I find myself, like a dog under the table, begging and pleading and please-don’t-make-me-whimper for more. I want to wrestle with the characters, the possible message, and the perhaps unintentional consequences of the roles of some of these characters — namely Sam . . and Coco . . . and Sam’s white boyfriend (I forget his name).

If you are willing (or anyone is for that matter), I’d love to have an honest (yet fully respectful) discussion on this movie. To ask questions.

Because I loved it.

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