The official trailer for Justin Simien’s Dear White People has been released, and the teaser paints the picture of a film that has the potential to be both comedically entertaining and thought-provoking.
The cast of Dear White People is an ensemble of relatively unknown up-and-comers who tell the story of a predominately white college campus and the struggle of black students trying to figure out where they fit in among their peers. The tagline of the film is, “A satire about being a black face in a white place,” according to its official website.
The trailer introduces Tessa Thompson (For Colored Girls, Heroes) as Samantha White, a student who has taken over an on-campus radio show that seeks to outline the new parameters for what it is to be a non-racist white person. “Dear white people: The minimum requirement of black friends needed to not seem racist has just been raised to two,” Samantha says as the trailer opens. “Sorry, but your weed man, Tyrone, does not count.”
More of Samantha’s rules featured in the trailer include, “Dear white people: Please stop touching my hair. Does this look like a petting zoo to you?” and “This just in: Dating a black person to p*** off your parents is a form of racism.”
Samantha’s show sparks issues among both black and white people on campus, students and faculty alike. “Your show is racist,” says the dean, played by Dennis Haysbert aka the man who comes into your living room on the daily via Allstate commercials, as he confronts Samantha.
The trailer shows Samantha facing backlash and highlights several black students saying they don’t understand the point of “blaming white folks for everything” because “they’ve never run into any issues.” But it also shows the struggle of one of the same students, played by Mad Men‘s Teyonah Parris, to fit in without losing herself.
With the zingy one-liners mixed with the heavy topic of prejudice in our changing world, Dear White People is tasked with casting light on an important point: Just because racism in our society is beginning to look different that doesn’t mean it no longer exists.