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Trailer Watch: Indie Satire ‘Dear White People’ Explores Black Life on a White College Campus

Trailer Watch: Indie Satire 'Dear White People' Explores Black Life on a White College Campus

If you’ve perused Twitter or Tumblr lately, you may have come across the rather provocative handle @DearWhitePeople, offering such quips as “What do you mean, you haven’t seen The Wiz?” and “Stop touching my hair.”

The voice of the posts belongs to Sam, a lead character in the forthcoming movie Dear White People, by first-time feature director Justin Simien.

Based on Justin’s own experiences at a predominately white university, the plot centers on “four black students at an Ivy League college where a riot breaks out over a popular ‘African American’ themed party thrown by white students. With tongue planted firmly in cheek, the film will explore racial identity in ‘post-racial’ America while weaving a universal story of forging one’s unique path in the world.”

Regarding the film’s potential to spark debate, Justin had this to say:

“Nobody wants to be called a racist, so I think when people hear the title ‘Dear White People,’ already they want to take a defensive posture. But my movie isn’t necessarily about racism. I think that racism is a fact of life and any movie dealing with black issues has to take place in a world where that’s reflected. But my movie is really about race identity – it’s about who you are, how the world sees you, and how that affects your potential.”

The project is in early stages and the team has launched a campaign to raise $25,000 to cover their pre-production costs.

Below, see the trailer shared exclusively with S&A, and if you feel so inclined, donate at their Indiegogo page HERE.

You can find more info on Dear White People at the film’s website,

You can also follow the film on Facebook HERE and Twitter HERE.

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Dear Black People…

Believe it or not, white people don't spend all day thinking about you. Please find some other way of defining yourself without using white people as a foil. It's not the 60's any more. It's ok, almost all white people I know of the younger generations aren't racist against black people. We have our own lives, and spend our time talking about whatever we personally find interesting. We're not sitting around thinking of how to take from black culture and make it "ours". I understand that as a black person is probably extremely difficult at times to create an identity for yourself due to the history of black people, including slavery, the civil rights movement, and everything else. That said – please stop using white people as tool for identity establishment by belittling them and saying that white people take from black culture. Even if they do, it's not out of any malign nature – it's the same natural process by which pop culture occurs. "White people" take things from other cultures as well, like how Jersey Shore style or sayings can spread across a nation – or like how we all drew that "S thing" the "stussy s" in middle school. There was no malice, culture just spreads and has a life of its own. White people aren't trying to subvert black culture or assert dominance. Let's just all just try to live our lives without labeling or name-calling. Making movies like this only increases racial tension between whites and blacks, and detracts from racial progress made in the last 50 years.


Satire? bahahaha this is real life.


transference – guess i should've stayed in school instead of hittin dat 7/11 knockin it ova.


it's called "transferrance" – search it up. looks like an interesting flick though but hardly in the leagues of animal house. unless animal house refers to the state of affairs in America these days.

only the strong conquer, survive and prosper.

abhishek s

Blacks are sooooo white.


What song is this at the trailer's end???? It's genius!!!

Vincent T Scott

Would you conisder a PRIVATE investor or PRIVATE financing for you 1mil production?

Marjory Stewart Baxter


-You weren't ever slaves and no one you ever knew could ever even tell you about it or were slaves.
-You ruin your own neighborhoods and blame whites.
-You say things are racist when you are too lazy to be responsible.
-You DO commit a lot more crime per capita.
-You reinforce your own stereotypes.
-You think you are so cool, but to white people knowing how to dance ghetto makes you look dumb.
-Swag for black people is air jordans and tattoos. Swag for white people is education and good jobs.
-You are the biggest babies out of all races and never shut up with complaining.
-You are very rude generally.
-You are always angry.
-You think the world owes you something.
-You love pretending to be victims.


We should make a Dear Black People movie about how much they complain and whine.


They are @ $26,693. They did it.

Charles Judson

Every time I watch this trailer I flashback to GA Tech 1992 and I can't help but laugh. I so hope this film sticks the landing.


June 13th @ 2:04 PM, DWP's indiegogo page fundraising page was at $275 of $25,000 with 31 days to go; Today, June 16th, they have since hit the $24,328. ….. These kids are on fire.


Looks promising. I'll definitely lend my support.


Um, no. Although I do applaud their efforts! This looks more like an inspired YouTube series(that could actually be really good)than a theatrical release. I did love some of the lines used in the trailer though. And this is a really attractive cast of young Black actors that do show some talent.


Name the movie 'Dear White Liberals' and the title would be even more relevant and to the point. They're the ones typically trying to appropriate black culture and forcefully weave into their own lives as if its naturally who they are. All in the effort to seem "cool" due to the stereotypes and portrayals of African-Americans. I'd say the majority of the rest of us approach you as human beings.

julius hollingsworth

Can we put some names to some of the actors in the trailer ?I have a project I might like to you'se a few of them in!

Morgan F*ckin' Freeman

How are we going to get rid of Racism?
Stop talking about it.


I think it looks interesting and I would be interested in seeing it.

-A white person


Yesterday @ 2:04 PM, DWP's indiegogo page fundraising page was at $275 of $25,000 with 31 days to go; They have since hit the $16,133.


production value looks good…
I'm just over this conversation.
Good luck to the filmmakers.


hmmmm… cheese


I agree with Nadine. Don't need "stars" for this project. The message overshadows the talent. I thought the actors used were good. It would be great if the filmmakers could take this movie on a college tour. Bring the film to your targeted audience: college age kids of all races. It's also an additional fund raising opportunity. Not every film needs to be in a theater to have impact. Look what Awkward Black Girl accomplished and that didn't see not a single theater. Food for thought.


"With your help will be able to attach A-List Talent, throw a star studded table read, hire legal representation, and prepare for production so that we are a VIABLE investment for potential financiers." – snippet from DWP's Indiegogo UPDATE page (… continued luck, guys, but I honesty don't see why you would need A-List talent or a star-studded table read when people are supporting those beautiful kids up there in your still and in your trailer (the central girl and boy with the glasses are killing me…adorable). You all seem to already have all of the ingredients… celebrity is distracting. My two cents, but do your thangs…


"white people are not obsessed with black people..if you polled most of them they DONT CARE..this conversation is old and i agree with The Black Police, why don't you try telling a story thats different. Change the conversation. It's 2012 not 1960 we have a BLACK president.. this can't be all there is to talk about…"

LOL. white people aren't obsessed with black people? did you not see the republicans primaries? Are you not familiar with Fox news? Or with the general swathes of white right wingers in the states? George Zimmerman saga? Have you only just recently discovered the internet? Type in black girl into youtube and educate yourself.
White people are just as obsessed with black people as black people are of them. Think about some of the most iconic black characters we have: Omar, Luther, Jackie Brown,
all of those characters were created by white people. Black folks and White folks are both artistically invested in the deep freudian bond between the two races. That relationship is deeply interesting and I think black police and some others on this thread are being very reductive in their reading of this trailer. I'll be blunt i think you guys have your heads in the sand.
It makes sense for black people to respond to the hegemonic culture we are enveloped in.


I just want this to be good. Looks like some good filmmaking/storytelling here. It's got a lot of potential. THIS IS A SATIRE. I LOVE SATIRE. I LOVE GOOD DIALOGUE. THIS SEEMS TO HAVE BOTH IN ACES. I'M IN.


I say Bravo. And as usual some black folks will never be satisfied with any damn thing. Focus isn't on white perception but on how to navigate in a so-called post racial society as a black person and keep your sanity. Perhaps they should just keep their angst to themselves and pretend that everything's a-okay. Total complacency is a much better solution.


@AccidentalVistor and @TheBlackPolice…Please SHUT UP for once! Damn. If you don't like it, keep it movin'. It's obvious this film is targeted for those of THIS generation. Did you miss the part saying "In the tradition of: Rushmore, Higher Learning and School Daze"? Based on the facebook "likes," it's obvious this film resonates with many. The "cliches" of the film still take place today, whether you like it or not. So please, STFU!!! Some of us really don't want to be bothered with your damn analysis on every post from this blog.


I have to admit the execution looks pretty good. And there are a few lines that have bite (and bring the laughs too). But I will concur with Black Police. To an extent. I don't know too much about Black Police's usual stance on issues of race, but I too believe blacks tend to be more "obsessed" over whites than whites are regarding black people. Or how about this….black people are more out in the open about it. Here's an example. White American authors can write books that touch upon topics such as race relations. But in those books the white characters may not be interacting with black characters. Instead they could be dealing with Asians, Native Americans, non-black/non-white Hispanics, etc. But if you get a book written by an African American that deals with race relations there is a 90% chance it will deal strictly with black characters interacting with white ones. It doesn't matter if the book takes places in the past or the present. That is a sign of obsession, when you don't pay attention to other racial and ethnic groups when confronting such topics, you have tunnel vision with white faces looking straight at you at the tunnel's end. Also when we pay so much attention to and spend so much time arguing about mainstream movies and TV shows that are dominated by white characters (often complaining about our absence in such movies or on such shows) we are definitely being more obsessed about whites far more than they are obsessing over our work. All of us on this site are guilty of this from time to time. Those are just two examples but there are many more we can add if we are being honest. Also BP did bring up a solid point that if a white filmmaker did such a movie like this in which the blatant targets were black, we would find it insulting. It doesn't matter that there is such a heavy unbalance between white movies made and black movies that are made, there will be people out there of all races who will find the subject matter (or at least how it is handled) offensive. Beyond that as good as the film looks it is also seems to be filled with the same cliches that you find in storytelling about black people who are confronting America's racist society. You have the militant character who is knowledge personified and is trying to "wake up" the masses. You have the nerdy, white-talking black folk who have a hard time "getting down" like the rest of the brothas and sistas. You have the two-dimensional….no….make it one dimensional white characters who fill the roles of antagonists. You have the confused, possibly self-hating, turncoat black person who comes from the suburbs and is in a romantic relationship with a white person; a relationship that will be revealed, with little subtlety, as being misguided and lacking in true love/warmth. Yeah, that's the familiar playbook. Did I forget that, at least based upon the trailer/promo, the black characters seem to spend too much time worrying, complaing and addressing how white society is affecting them and their own relationships with each other. Don't know about some of you but I certainly don't waste most of my time focusing on white folk when hanging out with my black friends. Didn't do that when I was going to school either. To be honest the topic of this film would seem to be more amusing as a 10 minute rant on YouTube than as an actual movie. So I think I get where BP is coming from. No, I don't think the issue of race should be ignored; we haven't explored racism enough in movies IMO. But subtlety and evenhandedness should no go out the windown when doing so. Can we make such topical films without painting with such broad strokes? I will say this though that at least the filmmaker is aware of the possible scrutiny of such a subject matter based upon the clips of white characters pondering if what their black classmates can get away with saying is a double standard.


While I agree that racism is still rampant in this country and many Whites stay clueless about their privilege, this just feels stale to me. The trailer is beautifully done and looks great aesthetically. But is the audience actually White people (the ones who won't start screaming about reverse racism, because their lives will surely be threatened by this one webisode series). Or is it just for Blacks so we can sit around and kvetch about all the crap that legitamately annoys us? All that to say, I just don't get giving whitefolks that much power over my thought process. But I understand the objective is telling a story about creating one's path and they are young students, so good luck to them and their project.


They went from $275 to $4,645 in a little over 7 hours… beautiful.


Someone has to tell me that beat/song at the end of the video! PLEASE!


Looks really good, well cut trailer. The composition of shots was well done too, had a Wes Anderson feel at times. I'm definitely gonna donate and contribute to this project.


The filmmakers are building and engaging audience, using social media and have created a great trailer that let's the audience know that there is craft behind what is an eye-catching/thought provoking title and subject. And its hella funny too. Their strategy speaks to Tambay's June 8th article –


Looks lol hilarious. I want to see it.


white people are not obsessed with black people..if you polled most of them they DONT CARE..this conversation is old and i agree with The Black Police, why don't you try telling a story thats different. Change the conversation. It's 2012 not 1960 we have a BLACK president..
this can't be all there is to talk about…

posted on #VannDigital

Arron Day

Looks solid.


Looks fun! And like everyone, even our pseudomilitant Tracy Flick, will learn a valuable lesson. I hope the film lives up to the trailer!


They are at $275 right now and need to get to $25,000 – There are 31 days left (




woah.Didn't expect a movie this candid and seemingly nuanced to come out ever. Or maybe not till i was a lot older.

preach on justin. preach


No real complexion variations huh

the black police

Also, what does "pre-production" mean?

the black police

Let a group of white people do a movie called "Dear Black People" (or "Black Chicks" while we are on the subject) and lets watch the uproar thatll ensue. Why are American Blacks so obsessed with White people. I swear some Blacks spend every waking second thinking about how White people perceive them. Give it a rest. Can we use our talents for something uplifting, inspiring, CREATIVE, thought-provoking. To think all these resources could have been used for something different… something better…

Lavetta Cannon

I love it! Can't wait to see it:-)


I need this now


This looks good!

Adam Scott Thompson

High for this.

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