In the film "Higher Learning", racial tension is blatently portrayed. At Colombus College black's feel like they're being judged by every person they pass, and whites feel that they deserve some sort of special treatment. The first night on campus, security comes to break up the party hosted by black kids, ignoring the white kids' one. But there is far more depth to this movie, and it shall be explored through the two main characters.
Kristin, a white freshman, must battle several obstacles. She is raped at a party, causing her to feel very insecure. She turns to an anti-sexism group and makes friends with the leader of said group. She also becomes closer to her black roommate, overcoming the racial tension that is evident on this campus. Kristin also meets a boy, whom she develops feelings for. This leads to a scene which portrays sexual confusion. Lastly, she holds a 'peace fest' to celebrate campus diversity, as she feels that students need to be brought together. This is a lot for one freshman to handle, and I feel that it exhibits the most extreme case of what happens when you go to college. Although it does happen, not every girl is going to be raped, sexually experimental, AND feel responsible for a shooting in a short span of time at university.
Meleek is an all-star runner who is given a tough time by his political science teacher, Professor Phibs (which is something I'm sure many students can relate to). With a lot of effort, and some help from his teammate/girlfriend Deja, Meleek eventually impresses Phibs with a paper. Phibs definately holds the power over Meleek; not only does he have the granted authority that comes with being a teacher, he is constantly giving Meleek words of wisdom. Meleek is especially affected by the racism on campus. He states to Remy, a white boy who has found himself turning to Nazism, "It's not what you say, it's what you think." He feels that everyone is judging him for being black. When Remy starts to beat his roomate, a Jewish boy, Meleek steps in - only to have Remy point a gun at him. Obviously, Remy holds the power in this situation. Later, at the 'peace fest', Remy starts to shoot at the crowd. He ends up killing Deja, and Meleeks fury leads him to start beating Remy. When the security guards come, they automatically assume that Meleek is the criminal and haul him off, asking for ID. The (white) security guards have the power in this situatin; they can do whatever they like to whoever they think is deserving of it. Then they realize that Remy is the one with the gun. They try and coerce him into putting it down, but he takes his life instead. Again, this is a lot for college students to face and is definately not an everyday portrayl of college life, but in some ways I think it was necessary to go to extremes. Racial tension on campus' is often a problem, and this movie shows what can happen if it does escalate. People need to realize that it is a big deal.