Millennials Respond To “Dear White People”
It all started with a black-face, but then again…doesn’t it always?
When Dear White People premiered on Netflix in 2014, it was more than just another Netflix original. This was one hour and forty-eight minutes of pure fearless satire and most of all, awkward truths. Justin Simien’s first feature film was more than a conversation piece, it is a revealing of the masked truths of a not so integrated society. The climax of this movie occurred when the students at a predominately white institution hosted a BlackFace Party. This movie created a great deal of uproar back then.
Despite the prior mayhem, Dear White People the series picks up right where the movie leaves off. It takes on issues ranging from police brutality, white privilege, cultural appropriation, and much more. Thus leaving the entire world watching the African- American students at Winchester University take on racism head-on. Samantha White, one of the main characters, continuously rebels against the discrimination, not just on campus, but nationwide through her radio show entitled “Dear White People.”
So many times, African-Americans are forced to scream in their minds the things Samantha and her colleagues have made a public statement. The truth is, whether acknowledged or not, racism is still very real. In 2017, challenged or not discrimination is still very prominent. Students that currently attend PWI’s all announce that the issues are highly relatable and should be brought to light more often. On the other hand, some of these same issues were covered too quickly or glossed over, being that television has its boundaries.
CampusLately asked various collegiate students and recent alumni their responses to “Dear White People” and here’s what they had to say:
“I think it’s one of the most realistic shows on Netflix. It focuses on how things really haven’t changed when it comes to racial issues….That’s why I didn’t go to a PWI. I didn’t want to be uncomfortable for the next four years.” -De’Shounda, Lincoln University
“I like the uncommon perspectives they showed in this series, specifically alienation within your own community (Co-Co and African-Americans) or (Lionel and LGBTQs.) I disliked how hypersexualized it was…There ARE college students who don’t have sex, especially wild and unprotected sex. Just like there are students who don’t always smoke, drink, and party. It’s a huge generalization.” -Joy, Southern Illinois University Edwardsville
“..I also think they should’ve shown more about why (Reggie) acted how he did toward’s the white guy (Gabe). They (the writers) made it seem like it was over her (Samantha) when it was more because she talked all this “Black this” and “Black that” and got with (started dating) a white dude. Also (Gabe) kept claiming he understood and was trying to help; it’s more of a “the white man saves the day” type of thing.”- Darwin, Grand Valley State University
“My favorite part was when the dean cried because his son got in trouble with the cops. Before that moment, he couldn’t or wouldn’t connect with (the black community and its issues.) He was forced to realize that he’s still black no matter how much money he makes or powerful he is. He or his son could easily be a target.”- Essie, Claflin University
“..It brings up topics that aren’t talked about enough on college campuses in general like alcohol abuse, relationships with a dramatic power differential, racism, and the topic that no one discusses which is colorism. While I don’t think these topics were given the attention they deserved, they were at least brought up which leaves room for discussion…
…My favorite part was when Troy was arrested at the end. I was glad that he finally decided to stop living for his father and stand up for what he really thought was right. ” -Charris, Southern Illinois University Edwardsville.
Is this more than just a conversation piece? Is this a major issue? Are you tired of silencing yourself to “keep the peace”? If you consider your inner self a rebel, or just want to know what the hype is all about, watch the movie and if you’re left with the urge to go on to the series…do that. More importantly, if you’ve ever experienced being “a black face in a white place” then this series is a Netflix must- see.