HBCU Buzz

5 Reasons Why HBCU Students Should Definitely Be Watching ‘Dear White People’

Have you ever wanted to express your feelings to a white person, who seems to misunderstand the idea of race in America? Well, Dear White People is your chance to see your thoughts unfold.

Originally released as a film in 2014, the new Netflix series Dear White People created by Justin Simien, chronicles the black experience at an Ivy League institution, while also focusing on the aftermath of a racially motivated Halloween party.

Throughout the series, Samantha White (Logan Browning) leads the school’s revolution against racial discrimination.

The series also uncovers the whispers of racially insensitive experiences, often discussed amongst African Americans. Even though Dear White People takes place on the campus of a predominately white institution, here are five reasons why HBCU students should watch the series:

The Evidence of Black Excellence 

As college students, you’ve already defied the negative stereotype that African Americans are uneducated and lazy. The amount of black scholarly excellence exemplified throughout Dear White People is breathtaking. Each character has their own unique genius; for example, Troy Banks (Brandon Bell) a charismatic future politician and second generation Ivy League student is a prized token amongst the campus (a rare image of a black man who doesn’t play sports). There’s also Samantha White, leader of the campus revolution and an extremely vocal activist.

The Black Hair Moments

Hair is extremely valuable to the black woman. Besides, the wonderful display of natural hair worn by several Dear White People characters, another highlight is the moment character CoCo Conners (Antoinette Robertson) decides to ditch her wig. Not only does CoCo value a straighter patterned hair, she values anything that doesn’t relate to the African American experience. As the series unfolds, CoCo’s twisted world view is unmasked and slowly cleaned once she receives a dose of reality. It is Troy who helps CoCo to embrace her own hair texture, but you’ll have to watch to see how a black man pushed a black woman towards her own excellence.

The White Friend that Doesn’t Understand

If you’ve ever been the minority in a majority environment, you’ve most likely experienced inappropriate gestures, actions and/or comments from your white counterpart. The black characters of Dear White People experience various forms of racism; from a white student petting Lionel Higgens (DeRon Horton) afro, to Troy being offensively addressed as “Trobama”, to the highly offensive “blackface” Halloween party. Dear White People doesn’t fail to show some of the most relatable displays of white ignorance.

The Black Issues of Today Matter

Chapter V brings chills. It’s no secret that black men are undervalued in the United States. Reggie Green (Marque Richardson) the charming black activist and one of Samantha’s greatest allies, finds himself staring down the barrel of a white policeman’s gun. The entire scene is game changing, not only for Reggie, but also for everyone attached to the movement. Dear White People allows art to imitate life and share’s a rare glimpse into one’s own grieving process. Historically, black men have carried the burden of not being allowed to show emotion, but Reggie’s reflections of himself and the incident prove to challenge that burden.

The Characters are Just like You

Although race is the focal point of the story, the Dear White People characters are also typical college students; looking for organizations to join, dealing with annoying roommates, having fun at campus parties and studying for exams. Sound familiar? Each episode breaks down the main characters, and unveil’s their transformation process from Freshman year to present day. It is a refreshing reminder that behind the activism, lies a young person simply seeking a college education.

If you’ve ever claimed to be “woke” you won’t want to miss out on this extremely well-written show. Season 1 of Dear White People is now streaming on www.netflix.com.

Jasmine Mosley

Jasmine Mosley is an HBCU Buzz Contributor and media savant.