So I finally saw Dear White People.
Geeked. It was a good film.
Took me back to college. Maybe because I kept to myself so much, I didn’t have a similar experience at UCLA. BUUUUUUUTTTTTTTT…. that is not to say that shit didn’t happen. My hair was a point of conversation at many, many, many, many points, so many points that it was uncomfortable. Dear White People, we are not basic animals at the zoo. Don’t touch us. Not our hair, or back, or even our hearts. Just don’t.
Outside of the racial elements, it also touched a lot of other human nerves. Particularly with identity.
I’m concerned with my identity. It could be due to ego. It could be due to a genuine curiosity and an anthropological mindset, if that’s the discipline I’m looking for.
Point is, identity politics were at play. Sam, juggling a biracial identity. White father, black mother, almost, ALMOST, a rarity in this county as far as I interracial relationships go. She adopts black militancy, to the point of being more in tune with the white guy she regulated to a FWB, even though she really really liked him.
Lionel, went through high school being known as the black gay dude. Nobody knew his other identities writer, black man, man, etc. He may have been indentity-less up until the climax of the film. He’s looking for a place, an identity. That’s my interpretation at least.
Of course, the one I related to the most was Troy Fairbanks. The Dean’s son, house president, poster boy of black professional excellence. His father had high expectations for him. All he wanted to do was smoke weed and write jokes. I can understand being torn between desires. Doing what you want versus what your family wants for you. The real you versus the pretend you. Looking for somewhere you belong. Your parents. Your background. So many, identities, and yet we are expected to be one thing at a time.
Most of the time though, you cannot be one thing at a time. Eventually, everyone has to reconcile the multiple identities into a cohesive whole.
A work in progress, as usual.
Go see this film.