Dear White People Director Justin Simien Visits Campus

Director of the popular satire about “being a black face in a white place,” Justin Simien was on campus in February for a film-screening and discussion followed by a full-day meeting with students in cultural anthropology and film and media studies classes.

Simien, who wrote and directed Dear White People, was named to Variety’s annual “10 Directors to Watch.” The film won the 2014 Sundance Film Festival’s Special Jury Award for Breakthrough Talent.

His visit was part of Black Heritage Month activities with the theme “Black Bodies, Black Lives.”

The keynote, “Chasing After the Real Ghosts of Mississippi,” was given by Jerry Mitchell, investigative reporter with the Clarion-Ledger. Other talks and speakers included “Doubly Marked in the American Empire” by Rev. Shanell T. Smith of Hartford Seminary, and “Intelligence Is Not Enough: Martin Luther King Jr. and the Legacy of a Moral Education” by Harrison Bailey III ’95.

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