Film Analysis Of Racism In Dear White People

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Racism. A word that is still ever present in our modern society. One might hope that our culture would have moved away hearing this word so often in the news. Often times, the first thing one thinks about when the word racism is heard is the Ferguson shooting or the Baltimore riots. It is these events and these racist problems that aroused the creation of Dear White People, a movie set on an Ivy league campus that attacks racism and its complexities in the twenty-first century. The movie was simply created for box office hits, but “for the sake of something beyond itself” (Bitzer 3). The movie is plotted around racial ideas and how the black students respond to the situations. One method that the movie utilizes to attack racism is unique; it…show more content…
From the opening scenes of the film, CoCo’s desire to be a part of the white community is clearly defined. In the first scene, we are introduced to CoCo and a reality television producer named Helmut West. Helmut is interviewing CoCo for a potential new television series. In this interview, we learn that CoCo would rather live with the “rich white kids” in Tisch than with the blacks in Armstrong-Parker; the traditional black housing. This yearning to be associated with the whites instead of the blacks is only the first example of CoCo’s characterization. Later in the interview, after Helmut comments that CoCo is from the hood of Chicago, CoCo again quickly denies her association with her black background and snarls, “Ain’t nothing hood about me.” These two back-to-back dialogue comments quickly and efficiently characterize CoCo as a person who extremely desires to be defined as white. CoCo’s characterization shows the one extreme of black identities because in spite of her skin color, she strongly wishes to be white and be with the whites. CoCo’s dissatisfaction with her living assignments demonstrates her desire to be integrated with the whites. In addition to CoCo’s desires, she also denies her personal connections to her black background. It is through these two moments in the film that we can see CoCo’s attraction to being
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