Get a glimpse into the show that dives into race, culture and struggles for minorities in predominantly white institutions.
By: Chase Congleton
Oklahoma State University student and filmmaker Destinee Adams spent the past year writing and developing a web series.
Titled “The Last Hopes,” the show discusses what minorities go through as students in a predominately white institution, or PWI for short.
She said all of the events in the episode are based on true events she has experienced or heard from friends at OSU. However, many of her friends were scared to share their experiences with racism and discrimination to people who don’t look like them.
“Many of my peers that I talk to that don’t fit the majority, which is white at OSU, feel that they don’t have a voice at school,” Adams said. “I noticed that we were telling these stories amongst ourselves… but nobody was wanting to make their voices be heard.”
On January 3, the first episode premiered on YouTube and generated more than 1,000 views. The debut sparked conversations and created a buzz on social media within one week of its release.
Destinee Adams spent her childhood interested in art and writing, and, with film combining those two elements, she always wished to one day create something of her own. It wasn’t until she took OSU professor Shane Hoffman’s class that she decided that she could make her dreams into reality.
“My dream as a kid was to write a book and then make a film,” Adams said. “After I took Shane Hoffman’s class, I was just like, ‘Why not do it now?’”
Adams came up with the idea for “The Last Hopes” her freshman year and wrote the script for the first episode in her sophomore year.
Destinee Adams recruited fellow student Larry Magee to help edit and produce the project, and she found students on-campus who were more than willing to act and portray the story. The cast and crew filmed the scenes last semester inside campus buildings.
Although Adams hasn’t received any formal training in film, she doesn’t let that hinder her; her motivation alone drives her to learn the medium and tell untold stories. Instead, she used the resources and people around her to create something great.
Directors such as Spike Lee and Jordan Peele have inspired Adams, but no other director has been more of an influence for her than Issa Rae.
Issa Rae writes, produces and acts. She experienced breakthrough success in the last decade. Adams said she also hopes to dive into all of those avenues, but she wants to get more experience first before doing so.
On what’s next for the show, Adams said that audiences can expect to hear from Latinx and LGBTQ experiences from the perspectives of the main character Desiree’s best friends in future episodes. However, Adams said the show is not just for minority students.
“It [The show] is for everyone to learn a little bit about themselves, and if you don’t relate to any of the characters inside ‘The Last Hopes,’ maybe it can relate to one of your friends, one of your family members or one of your classmates,” Adams said. “There’s something for everyone.”
For more information on “The Last Hopes,” you can follow @thelasthopesseries on Instagram or search “The Last Hopes” on YouTube.