“Dear White People” film about racism in America




Winner of the 2014 Sundance Film Festival’s Special Jury Award for Breakthrough Talent, Dear White People is a sly, provocative and often laugh-out-loud funny satire of race relations in the age of Obama.

At prestigious Winchester University, biracial student Samantha White begins her radio show, “Dear White People, the amount of black friends required not to seem racist has just been raised to two. Sorry, your weed man, Tyrone, doesn’t count.” Sam becomes president of the all-black residential hall Parker/Armstrong, whose existence is facing extinction in the name of diversification. TV reality show Black Face/White Place smells gold in Sam’s story and decides to follow it, rejecting the proposal of fellow black student Coco Conners, who pitched her show Doing Time at an Ivy League. The clamor over Sam’s rise also becomes a career-defining opportunity for black misfit Lionel Higgins when he is asked to join the school’s all-white newspaper staff to cover the controversy, even though he secretly knows little about black culture. With tongue planted firmly in cheek, writer/director Justin Simien makes an auspicious debut with Dear White People, a witty and whip-smart examination of black militancy, post-racial fantasies and the commodification of blackness. Nothing is black and white in this playful portrait of race in contemporary America. (Dir. by Justin Simien, 2014, USA, 108 mins., Rated R)

Coming to the Loft Cinema, 3233 E. Speedway on November 7, 2014.

At a recent Ward 6 forum about inclusion & equality in Tucson, several Black American audience members said that what happened in Ferguson, Missouri could happen here. Find out from this satiric film what it’s like to be a “black face in a white place.”




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Carolyn Classen
Carolyn Sugiyama Classen, a life long Democrat, was born & raised in the State of Hawaii, was a Legislative Aide for U.S. Senator Daniel K. Inouye on Capitol Hill, and practiced law for a while. In Tucson she worked as a tribal staff attorney for the Pascua Yaqui Tribe and later was the Interim Executive Director of the now defunct Domestic Violence Commission. In 2008 she became a “My Tucson” guest columnist for the Tucson Citizen newspaper, then continued blogging for Tucsoncitizen.com for over four and a half years. Her blogsite was entitled “Carolyn’s Community” about community events and some political news, until Gannett Publishing shut down the site on January 31, 2014. She started with Blog for Arizona on Feb. 11, 2014. Part time she has been sitting as a Hearing Officer in Pima County Consolidated Justice Courts Small Claims Division since April, 2005. She is married to University of Arizona Distinguished Professor Albrecht Classen, a native of Germany. They have one son, who lives in Seattle, WA with his wife and daughter. She is also the Editor of the Southern Arizona Japanese Cultural Coalition website, www.southernazjapan.org (since Jan. 2013).


  1. Dear white people: go see this powerful, funny movie that addresses bi-racialness, racism, “black face” Halloween parties, all black student dorms in a white college, the experience of “being a black face in a white place”. Witty lines abound in this movie (which I just saw along w/ 5 white people): “release your inner Negro”, “drowning in a sea of white”, etc. Coincidentally before the movie a white woman in the seat in front of me mistook me for another Asian woman she knew at TUSD, so I replied “We Asians all look alike”. But not all Blacks look (or act) alike in this film.One black actress even says in the film that white people are jealous of black people. Playing at the Loft till Thursday of next week.

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