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