‘Dear White People’ tackles racism

Film screening to open a discussion in the GBC community

The Student Association of George Brown College (SA) will be screening the film, Dear White People, as part of a calendar of activities to commemorate Black History Month 2019. The Dialog is funded by the SA.

Dear White People, the film, was released by writer and director Justin Simien in 2014, which was followed up with a television series by the same name in 2018, with racism as a central topic of discussion.

The film contributed to ongoing international conversations such as the Black Lives Matter and Me Too movements.

It opens up with a reporter talking about an “African-American themed party organized by predominantly white students.”

Although films are dramatized, Dear White People accurately represents the challenges many Black students deal with today.

A scene in a cafeteria depicts a white man accusing affirmative action of being an unfair system, in hopes of getting a reaction from the Black Student Union (BSU), who are sitting at the next table.

“It’s something that a lot of students can relate to, regardless of colour or gender,” said Russ Adade, clubs and student involvement co-ordinator at the SA.

The Black History Month committee decided to screen this film in hopes of starting a conversation among students said Adade.

The film includes experiences of oppression, debates, and discusses problems commonly faced by members of the Black community.

“Once you step into the world of post-secondary you’re faced with different challenges and obstacles,” said Adade. “Sometimes you’re dealing with things that are out of your hands.”

Adade said another reason for the film being selected is it’s relevance to the GBC community.

Dear White People is not only set at a university but it also follows the storylines of several members of the school’s Black Student Union. While GBC has an active Black Student Success Network (BSSN).

The BSSN advocate for students’ rights and provide support through tutoring and counselling.

“You can definitely see parallels between the BSSN here at GBC and the Black student groups that are showcased in the film,” he said.

It should be noted that the movie cannot hold as a point of reference for the BSSN’s methods of action. They are two separate organizations dealing with similar conflicts.

The screenings are set for Feb. 5 at the Casa Loma Student Centre, Feb. 6, in the Lower Concourse of the Waterfront campus and Feb. 7 at Kings Lounge at the St. James A Building.

Each screening will last from noon to 1 p.m.

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‘Dear White People’ tackles racism