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Dear White People (2014)

2:32 | Trailer

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The lives of four black students at an Ivy League college.


Justin Simien


Justin Simien (screenplay)
14 wins & 27 nominations. See more awards »





Cast overview, first billed only:
Tyler James Williams ... Lionel Higgins
Tessa Thompson ... Samantha White
Kyle Gallner ... Kurt Fletcher
Teyonah Parris ... Colandrea 'Coco' Conners
Brandon P Bell ... Troy Fairbanks (as Brandon Bell)
Brittany Curran ... Sofia Fletcher
Justin Dobies ... Gabe
Marque Richardson ... Reggie
Malcolm Barrett ... Helmut West
Dennis Haysbert ... Dean Fairbanks
Peter Syvertsen ... President Fletcher
Brandon Alter ... George
Kate Gaulke ... Annie (as Katie Gaulke)
Brian James Brian James ... Martin
Keith Myers ... Mitch


A social satire that follows the stories of four black students at an Ivy League college where controversy breaks out over a popular but offensive black-face party thrown by white students. With tongue planted firmly in cheek, the film explores racial identity in acutely-not-post-racial America while weaving a universal story of forging one's unique path in the world. Written by Anonymous

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


A satire about being a black face in a white place


Comedy | Drama | Romance

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for language, sexual content and drug use | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »


Official Sites:

Official site





Release Date:

4 December 2014 (Brazil) See more »

Also Known As:

Cara Gente Branca See more »

Filming Locations:

Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA See more »


Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$347,959, 17 October 2014, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$4,404,154, 25 January 2015
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:



See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


Producer Lena Waithe and writer-director Justin Simien met in a scriptwriter's group. Despite the fact that the script was over 200 pages long, Waithe was so impressed with Simien's writing that she told him if he could figure out a way to streamline the script she would produce it, despite having never produced a film before. See more »


The flame on the candle in Sam's room on Halloween night is static, revealing that it is fake. See more »


Gabe: So, Sam, how would you feel if someone started a "Dear Black People"?
Sam White: No need. Mass media from Fox News to reality TV on VH1 makes it clear what white people think of us.
See more »

Crazy Credits

The end credits include photographs of the real-life blackface (and brownface) college parties that inspired the film's climax. See more »


References The Answer (1980) See more »


The Drum
Performed by Dominique German and Deante Deese
Written by Dominique German
Courtesy of Dominique German
See more »

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User Reviews

Doesn't Deliver on Promising Trailer
31 March 2015 | by KetzelSee all my reviews

I am glad that this film addresses the important issue of racism on college campuses, and I have no disagreement with its political or social justice messages. Any sincere attempt by a filmmaker to make these experiences visible to the broader public is a good thing.

As a white educator who actually attended and later taught at top- tier colleges, I had been looking forward to experiencing a new sharp creative critique of American racism on college campuses as promised by the film's trailer.

This film utterly failed in its attempts to entertain or provoke. It did not provide me even with the typical pleasures of cinema, let alone fresh insight into its subject. It was little more than a leaden slow-moving soap opera with a contrived plot, oddly dressed characters and unconvincing dialogue. In my experience of elite campuses, it is the rare Ivy student (of any race) who routinely dresses like a junior business executive and uses this sort of pretentious speech pattern. Watching this film was like watching a Western in which all the characters had British accents and wore kimonos.

For readers who seek moving and insightful films on racism, I highly recommend Spike Lee "joints" which provide viewers with superior entertainment, dialogue, characters, plot, provocation and insight.

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