The thing about TV is you kind of have an endless canvas. You can always keep going.
I think we are aware that post-racialism isn't real, right? I mean, I hope so. I kind of joke that we're post-post-racial.
Any time a black person has the audacity to tell everybody else that they're also human beings, they are confronted with all kinds of malice and violence and ill will. It's been that way since black people were brought to this country.
The downside of doing a multi-protagonist movie is that you don't get to service each character as you would if they were the central protagonist of the movie.
I'm a lover of film and storytelling. I believe that I was put on earth to tell stories, and I'm not interested in telling the same stories over and over and over again.
Everyone is very aware that, not only do we have a race problem, but it's so pervasive that it affects national and global politics on a scale that I don't think a lot of people imagined.
'Color-blind' comes up - people say 'Oh, I'm color-blind and therefore can't be accused of racism,' but I think that if we are going to have an honest dialogue about racism, we have to admit that people of color are having a different experience.
It occurred to me that by naming the film itself 'Dear White People,' I could tap into the burgeoning meme culture as well as make a meta-commentary about the controversies within the film.
I remember the first time that I realized that being black meant that I wasn't allowed certain things. It was in the fourth grade, and it was who I thought was my best friend not inviting me to his birthday party because I would be the only black kid there. It was the first time I ever felt restricted, and it certainly wasn't the last time.
I'm not a big fan of shooting something that looks like it could belong in any movie. I'm not a fan of, okay, 'wide shot, wide shot, medium shot, close-up, close-up - we'll figure it out in post.' I hate that.
I want to make movies in every genre.
I think unless we have an honest conversation about race and identity in this country, we're never going to get anywhere.
There are a plethora of ways of being black, just like there's many ways to being white.
I tend to take on too many projects at the same time, but as I've always done, I will continue to shift my focus onto whatever feels most urgent in the moment.
I think we all have identity crises throughout our lives.
Here's the thing: I come from a filmmaking background, so this concept of sort of overseeing a television show but not directing was, in general, not weird, but I had to get used to what that felt like. My initial instinct was, 'I want to direct as much of this as possible.' But the logistics of making of TV, that's just not possible.
Everybody else was quoting 2Pac, and I was running around with Green Day in my Walkman. Racially speaking, I wasn't cool or appropriate for any group.
Self-doubt is a constant companion for a chubby, gay, black boy born in the South.
We like to think of the '60s as Martin Luther King, Jr. and Malcolm X and a little bit of friction - no, there were all of these different groups. There was the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC), the Black Panthers, Martin and Malcolm, but also the Whitney Youngs of the world, the Bayard Rustins of the world.
Daring to make films of any kind and thus invite the possibility of ridicule was an internal battle of mine for many years as I worked on the screenplay for what would become 'Dear White People' beginning at the end of George W. Bush's second term.
Racism is systemic: It's oppression that's built into the laws, legislation, into the way neighborhoods are policed, and into job opportunities and health care and education.