Simien’s use of characterization illuminates the varied intricacies of black identities by creating characters that fall along a continuum of possibilities. Each character can be placed on a scale of his or her connection to the white and black identities. Some characters are portrayed with a strong political and social connection to the black minority whereas others are shown to be akin to the white majority. It is through this spectrum that we can see the diversity of racial identities in the twenty-first century.
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...k communities. In the beginning of the movie, he leaves his residence hall when Kurt changes Lionel’s voicemail to a risqué and inappropriate message. This embarrassing situation is one instance where Lionel is demonstrated as homeless and rejected. Because of this situation, the viewer sees that Lionel is not associated with the white community. Later in the movie, when Lionel is sitting in the lunchroom of Armstrong-Parker, he is removed from the cafeteria because he is not a member of the all black dorm despite his skin color. Because both racial communities deny Lionel, he does not have a specific affinity for one over the other. This lack of affiliation clarifies that Lionel is in fact in the middle of the spectrum,meaning that the movie displays characters all along the spectrum of black identities to show that the blacks are not much different than the whites.
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