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2010s in Film: Why I Love #20 “Dear White People”

Counting down my top 25 favorite films of the last decade and just why I love them. Black Lives Matter.

#20 Dear White People (2014)

Writer / Director: Justin Simien | DP: Topher Osborn | Music By: Kathryn Bostic. Starring: Tyler James Williams, Tessa Thompson, Kyle Gallner.

Well 👏🏾 Written 👏🏾

In Dear White People, we follow Sam, via the platform of her titular college radio show, and three of her colleagues as they unmask dark truths of their Ivy League experience.

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When this came out, it hit me like an anvil. Finally, someone from our generation is tired and said it

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This film gives each featured black experience a full voice, understanding, and a much needed and nourishing why.

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Simien explores how Coco experiences colorism,

Tyler James Williams Movie List GIF - Find & Share on GIPHY

which drives her to blend in to crowds where she both stands out and fits in.

The Wire's Movie Trailer Power Rankings: 'Dear White People ...

What’s harder, being black enough for the black kids or black enough for the white ones? Being neither.

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Yeah, it’s confusing as fuck. 

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And then, just…everything happening with Troy 😰

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By the time it’s over, what remains is weight of their exhaustion and an ultimatum to move.

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So yeah, to be continued…

Here’s a list anti-racism resources and education tools: https://linktr.ee/indiedigs

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.digs Activism ART culture Film

Black Lives Matter: 6 Recommend Indie Films to Watch Right Now that Explore Black Identity.

#1: Dear White People, dir. Justin Simien

What’s it About? “Four black students attend an Ivy League college where a riot breaks out over an “African-American” themed party thrown by white students. With tongue planted firmly in cheek, the film explores racial identity in ‘post-racial’ America while weaving a story about forging one’s unique path in the world.” – via Letterboxd.

#2: Girlhood, dir. Céline Sciamma

What’s it About? “Oppressed by her family setting, dead-end school prospects and the boys law in the neighborhood, Marieme starts a new life after meeting a group of three free-spirited girls. She changes her name, her dress code, and quits school to be accepted in the gang, hoping that this will be a way to freedom.” – via Letterboxd.

#3: The Last Black Man in San Francisco, dir. Joe Talbot

What’s it About? “Jimmie Fails dreams of reclaiming the Victorian home his grandfather built in the heart of San Francisco. Joined on his quest by his best friend Mont, Jimmie searches for belonging in a rapidly changing city that seems to have left them behind.” – via Letterboxd.

#4: Sorry to Bother You, dir. Boots Riley

What’s it About? “In an alternate present-day version of Oakland, black telemarketer Cassius Green discovers a magical key to professional success – which propels him into a macabre universe.” – via Letterboxd.

#5: Moonlight, dir. Barry Jenkins

What’s it About? “The tender, heartbreaking story of a young man’s struggle to find himself, told across three defining chapters in his life as he experiences the ecstasy, pain, and beauty of falling in love, while grappling with his own sexuality.” – via Letterboxd.

#6: Medicine for Melancholy, dir. Barry Jenkins

What’s it About? “Waking from a one-night stand that neither remembers, Micah and Joanne find themselves wandering the streets of San Francisco, sharing coffee and conversation and searching for a deeper connection.” – via Letterboxd.

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.digs Activism Book culture

Black Lives Matter: 6 Recommended Books to Read Right Now.

All of these are on my bookshelf and they’ve all made a positive impact on my life; be it opening my eyes to our history, finding greater representation of blackness in the pages, or finding myself represented in the stories. I hope that by passing these along it creates opportunity for greater understanding and encourages continued dialogue around race, feminism, visibility and history, among many other imperatives.

Here are six books to read right now:

#1: Americanah by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

What’s it About? “Ifemelu and Obinze are young and in love when they depart military-ruled Nigeria for the West. Beautiful, self-assured Ifemelu heads for America, where despite her academic success, she is forced to grapple with what it means to be black for the first time.” – via GoodReads

# 2: The New Mind of the South by Tracy Thompson

What’s it About? “This ground-breaking, thought-provoking exploration upends stereotypes and fallacies to reveal the true heart of the South today—a region still misunderstood by outsiders and even by its own society.” – via Goodreads.

#3: The Souls of Black Folk by W.E.B. Du Bois

What’s it About? “This landmark book is a founding work in the literature of black protest. W. E. B. Du Bois (1868–1963) played a key role in developing the strategy and program that dominated early 20th-century black protest in America. In this collection of essays, first published together in 1903, he eloquently affirms that it is beneath the dignity of a human being to beg for those rights that belong inherently to all mankind. He also charges that the strategy of accommodation to white supremacy advanced by Booker T. Washington, then the most influential black leader in America, would only serve to perpetuate black oppression.” – via GoodReads.

#4: Who’s Afraid of Post-Blackness? by Touré

What’s it About? “Journalist Touré turns his ear to 100 prominent black Americans to create a provocative look at the state of race in America.” – via GoodReads.

#5: Year of Yes: How to Dance it Out, Stand in the Sun, and Be Your Own Person by Shonda Rhimes

What’s it About? “In this poignant, hilarious and deeply intimate call to arms, Hollywood’s most powerful woman, the mega-talented creator of Grey’s Anatomy and Scandal and executive producer of How to Get Away with Murder and Catch, reveals how saying YES changed her life – and how it can change yours too.” – via GoodReads.

#6: You Can’t Touch My Hair: And Other Things I Still Have To Explain by Phoebe Robinson

What’s it About? “A hilarious and affecting essay collection about race, gender, and pop culture from celebrated stand-up comedian and WNYC podcaster Phoebe Robinson.” – via GoodReads.

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