BLACK VOICES

If 'Save The Last Dance' Was Released In 2016

Today marks the 15th year anniversary of the film's release.

It's been 15 years since the first time audiences watched the interracial love story of Sara (Julia Stiles) and Derek (Sean Patrick Thomas) unfold through dance and high school drama in "Save The Last Dance." 

Although the 2001 film likely had fans rehearsing its most memorable dance scenes in front of a TV, it also touched on important issues of race and race relations that still impact us today. 

That's not to say things haven't changed in society since the film, directed by Thomas Carter, was released to theaters. It certainly has. Here's a look at what "Save The Last Dance" might've looked like if it was filmed and released in 2016.

1. Derek would be a vocal supporter of the Black Lives Matter movement. 

Derek was a conscious high school student who memorably put his soon-to-be love interest in place during class when he argued about the lack of recognition of black authors like Richard Wright and James Baldwin. 

2. The gun and gang-related violence in Chicago and the fatal shootings of Tamir Rice and Laquan Mcdonald, among others, would be a part of the film's plot. 

The film's storyline is centered around Sara, a white midwestern teenage ballet dancer who moves to Chicago after her mother's fatal car crash.

And although gang, police and gun-related violence isn't a new issue in Chicago, movements like the Black Lives Matter movement has helped push these issues to public platforms and has been an influence in films like "Chi-Raq."

3. Sara wouldn't get away with certain hairstyles. 

Sara didn't exactly sport straight back cornrows, but some of her twists and braids meant to help her "fit in" in the predominately black Chicago high school and parties may have crossed boundaries on cultural appropriation.

Thanks to social media, celebrities like reality star Kylie Jenner, who has been called out for appropriating black culture, the issue is an ongoing hot topic. Today, there's a good chance the filmmakers would avoid the backlash altogether. 

4. Kerry Washington's character would teach Sara different slang.

It's "slamming."

To be fair, new phrases and dances come out nearly every day and it's hard to keep up. So we forgive Chenille (Washington) in 2001 for telling Sara that the cool phrase was "slamming." It's "lit" now -- not slamming. 

5. The idea of their interracial relationship wouldn't be as taboo. 

Studies have shown that interracial marriages have been on the rise in recent years, making it less stigmatized than a decade ago. 

According to the Pew Research center, 63 percent of Americans surveyed said they "would be fine" if a family member married outside of their race in 2013. 

6. Social media would be a key element throughout the film.

Sara's unforgettable fight with Derek's ex Nikki (Bianca Lawson) would have been filmed by iPhone and posted on YouTube. In the film, Derek found out about the fight by word of mouth. In 2016, he would've seen the clip for himself. 

Oh, the memories. 

Check out the scene where Chenille takes Sara to the club "Steps" for the first time: 

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