this movie was presented like a book, or a play with an epilogue and scenes. there was a general setting – winchester university – which i assume is a made-up university that references an actual university, i just don’t know which one. there were four main characters in which the movie was based around:
samantha white (tessa thompson) = the mixed black with identity issues
colandrea conners (teyonah parris) = the non-mixed black chick with identity issues
troy (brandon bell) = the “privileged” black kid with identity issues who lives to please his father
everybody hates chris lionel higgins (tyler james williams) = the gay black kid with identity issues
i didn’t even mean to flood this review with conceptual waves of “identity,” but as i typed the description of the characters, this is what came to mind first. and i’m going to roll with it. keep in mind, the characters’ depth runs deeper than my brief analyses above. it’s really the best way i could sum up the protagonists.
moving along, there were a gazillion themes in the film. at least i thought so. i’d have to see the movie again to capture them all. i’m sure that i will as i can see dear white people on the top shelf of my DVD collection. i digress. the obvious movie themes related to: politics, racism, prejudice, social class, family and that almighty dollar. in bullet form, dear white people spoke to the following issues:
the gay community in black america
living for your parents
the competitive world of youtube
the competitive world of high education
the misconceptions of reality TV
i sat in my seat confused once the movie ended. not because of the ending, or because there was some unexplainable cliffhanger, or because it sucked. that’s just the opposite. it was a great ending to a great movie with a great story and a great group of lessons. it was well-casted, well-directed and satire at its best. i was just in awe because, well, it was/is an example of real life. that’s frightening. but in lighter news, i am excited for the possibilities with this original indie film – that is now in theaters nationwide.
before i dive into the blog, i just want to say that i crossed multiple bridges multiple times last week. i overcame a fear. that’s major.
now, let us begin:
i felt special this past weekend, like a movie star who moved away to shoot a major film. although i am only in the bay area as an intern until december, i had family come to visit me and that made me feel important. yeah, i know it’s not that big of a change because i relocated from southern calfornia (los angeles), but i felt like i moved to another state. i guess 5.5 hours up north makes that much of a difference.
anywho, a million things happened over the past few days and instead of writing my life away, i am going to take the easy way out and use bullet points to highlight the important things:
attended the lecrae & andy mineo concert in san francisco. AWESOME!!!
walked along fisherman’s wharf
toured stanford college w/ my cousin
walked around berkeley
shopped in the haight district in san francisco (SF)
crossed the bay bridge at least 8 times in 4 days
crossed the golden gate bridge and didn’t cry
toured the very scenic bay area city that is “sausalito”
ate at “mama’s” in SF, but after a 2-hour wait (of course)
had shrimp & grits at “brenda’s french soul food” in SF
ate soul food at “gussie’s chicken & waffles” in SF w/ my parents
(according to the previous 3 bullets, it’s safe to say that i’ve cheated on my diet)
visited niketown at union square in san francisco
uggggh, my computer decided to bug out and i couldn’t upload more cool pictures. #sadface
this past weekend was pretty eventful. i’ve done some things that i’ve never done before, like pass out in subway. but before we get to the good stuff, let’s talk about “thecall berkeley.”
born and raised in southern california – specifically los angeles – i never knew the beauty and uniqueness of the city, berkeley, in northern california. that is, until i started living here. i moved to berkeley, september 21st 2014, for a 3-month internship. as soon as i arrived, i noticed the differences between socal and norcal. it’s not a bad difference, per say, but a difference nonetheless. berkeley is a little more free-spirited than what i am used to. quite frankly, this city seems to be REBELLIOUS!!! i don’t feel like rules matter here. of course, los angeles is a liberal and easy-going city, but i guess we put on more of a show to be glamorous. maybe it’s due to hollywood and the fact that everyone in L.A. claims to be an artist of some type. i’m being a bit sarcastic, but i’m also being truthful. L.A. is more luxurious-looking than berkeley because lots of people in this bay area city are comfortable with floral maxi dresses, sandals, woven backpacks, north face jackets, antique buildings, mom & pop shops, bikes and graffiti. don’t get me wrong, we have all of this in L.A. but not as collectively and obvious. berkeley’s vibe is…is…is outlandishly unique. you can tell academia is valued and so is comfort, freedom of expression (in all areas). i don’t know how to explain it, but i know it’s different.
with all that said, i was excited to be a part of this movement called, “thecall berkeley”on saturday, october 4th 2014. although i think freedom of expression is cool (to a certain degree), i don’t think rebellion is cool. it’s just not a good look no matter which angle you view it from. knowingly, the city of berkeley needed a revival. they/we needed to see the beauty in being creative AND obedient. obedient to who? to God. YES, i know i just got deep on you, but here me out. i am a writer, a freelance artist, a teacher, a music lover blah blah blah. but above all, i am a Christian. what am i saying? i’m saying that i know what it feels like to want to be free and live according to feeling, creativity and momentum, but we have to remember that this is not our life. it’s God’s life! at the end of the day, we are servants of the Lord and we live for Him. because God is the bomb, He gives us the desires of our hearts and allows us to be expressive individuals. however, if the freedom comes at the price of neglecting God and saving souls, then it’s not really OF Him. i’m just saying!
so, “thecall berkeley” was/is a movement to “to turn the hearts of the rebellious to the wisdom of the righteous.” i’ve never attended such an event before saturday. there were lots of people, lots of vulnerable souls, lots of spirits, lots of preaching, lots of testimonies and lots of praying. we met at sproul hall on the campus of UC Berkeley because it was there that the free speech movement occurred. a minister from thecall website stated, “in this place there was a student revolution that shook the nation and spawned an era of rebellion and protest, but I declare to you that in this place there is coming a greater revolution, a Jesus revolution that will be stronger than the rebellion, and thousands from this place will come to know the Man Christ Jesus.”
like-minded believers came together to restore the city withing music, praise and prayer for 12 hours. it was amazing! i didn’t even mind that it was hot, and i was in the sun standing up for a while without eating. but i think my body didn’t like that too much because it gave up on me. i felt myself getting a little woozy so i walked to walgreens. the entrance was on the other side of the block, so i walked to subway right next door. i sat down and put my head on the table to rest and i thought i went to sleep. in my “dreams” i heard a bid thump and thought someone dropped something. then i heard, “ma’am, are you okay?” and once i came back to consciousness, i realized that they were talking to me. i was on the floor, weak and confused. “water” i whispered. the kind strangers got me water and a subway employee even made me a tuna sandwich. it was so scary. i’ve never been dehydrated before and, if i can help it, that will never happen again. i went home after the dramatic stint and took a nap.
after getting some rest, i got dressed and drove to sacramento. one of my L.A. buddies had a 30th bday bash with her family in her hometown. i didn’t know that i would have to cross a bridge and pay a toll fee on the way up there, but after shaking from nervousness and getting a ticket because i didn’t have the toll fee in cash, the rest of the drive was smooth.
on the way to sacramento, i visited the UC Davis campus. i have this obsession with UC’s. maybe it’s because i am a UC Riverside alumna. hmmm.
on october 5th 2013, my buddy, avery atkinson invited me to be a part of her vision. we hosted a 3-city tour sharing educational, cultural and spiritual resources to our communities. the first stop was my hood: los angeles by way of compton, california. with christ as our PLUS ONE, we spread the gospel in an unconventional, yet relatable way. the “plus 1 tour” theme also came from the ever so popular bible scripture, “i can do all things through christ who strengthens me.” (phil 4:13). we encouraged people to live life to the fullest by walking in purpose.
i still remember this moment like it was yesterday. i was nervous and anxious because i didn’t know if people would show up. not only was it a full house, but folks walked in from the streets and a couple of people traveled all the way from san diego. mind you, the event was in compton, california…that’s a long way from san diego. two hours or so. nevertheless, God was glorified and we had a good time.
the mood of the tour was talk show-esque. avery asked guests questions about school, religion, health, spirituality, culture, traveling overseas, etc. there were two guests for this show: myself and youtube star, charlycheer. i spoke more on the obstacles of (my) collegiate success and how my church upbringing positively impacted my career goals. charly captivated the crowd with her expertise on health and wholeness. all three of us discussed our experiences living, traveling and working overseas as women of color.
thank you avery for making this a reality, and thank you charly for sharing this experience with us.
academy award winning actress, lupita nyong’o appeared on sesame street and talked about the beauty of skin. i’m so glad we have women of color sending positive messages to the world about the awesomeness of brown skin!
this #throwbackthursday has me feeling all kinds of nostalgia. i’m thinking of everything from old childhood pictures to old TV shows. did anyone used to watch the “wayans bros” with shawn and marlon wayans? if so, do you remember that episode when shawn’s teacher, mr. gibbs died? remember how marlon reacted? remember how funny that was? LOL hahahahaha…..if you don’t remember, i have the clip below to refresh your memory!