The Daily Tar Heel

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Thursday January 20th

Black Student Movement hosts viewing of "Dear White People"

Cipryana Mack, a sophomore EXSS major, leads a discussion following a screening of the film "Dear White People" hosted by the UNC Black Student Movement at Ram Village on Friday.
Buy Photos Cipryana Mack, a sophomore EXSS major, leads a discussion following a screening of the film "Dear White People" hosted by the UNC Black Student Movement at Ram Village on Friday.

BSM gathered together to watch the critically acclaimed movie “Dear White People” and to discuss various issues facing the black community at UNC.

“Dear White People,” directed by Justin Simien, is a satirical navigation of college life with emphasis on race relations.

The group discussed living on campus as a minority. Most agreed that the movie was exaggerated and even went as far as saying that stereotyping was much worse in high school than at UNC.

“There is a lot of controversy surrounding not a lot of blacks being nominated (for Oscars), so I felt like it was kind of like a timely discussion,” said Trey Mangum, president of BSM.

Attendees said it was important to show the student body that stereotypes on television and in movies are nothing more than entertainment.

“With a lot of the events going on dealing with institutional racism, and a lot of things with stereotypes dealing with police and everything going on in the news, I feel like it’s good to have these events to continue our discussions and not let (the events) lie dormant,” said Jeremy McKellar, executive assistant for BSM.

Cipryana Mack, the co-chairwoman for BSM’s Black History Month committee, led the discussion. She said that recent media events inspired her to watch the movie and discuss stereotypes with BSM. Mack said the goal for the event was to start a dialogue for events that had been weighing on many of the group members’ minds.

Mack asked the group if they felt that BSM should reach out to other groups on campus.

The opinion was unanimous — breaking stereotypes and starting a dialogue with other students requires reaching out to other groups on campus.

It also requires introspection and understanding that nobody is perfect, the group said. Students agreed that it would take a collective effort to break through stereotypes.

Both Mangum and McKellar said they thought the event went exceedingly well.

“It was good that we had a discussion following the movie and had people talk about it,” McKellar said.

Both also spoke about the future, hoping that the dialogue started by the movie could improve relations throughout campus and lead BSM into the future.

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