Based on Justin Simien’s acclaimed movie, Dear White People, the story is set at a predominantly white Ivy League institution where racial tension is high. The film follows the stories of four black student where controversy breaks out when a popular but problematic “black-face” party is thrown by white students.
Dear White People — the series, also created by Simien, picks up where the movie left off; following Samantha White, Lionel Higgins, Joelle Brooks, Reggie Green and Colandrea “Coco” Conners, a group of Winchester University’s students of color, as they navigate through college, while dealing issues of social injustice, cultural bias and activism. In the last five minutes of the season finale, we see many gathered in the student union, following the immediate aftermath of a failed protest and a rowdy town hall. The students, watching Defamation, a parody of Scandal, described the gathering as “the epicenter of black life at Winchester.”
Season 2 will be structured around the arrest of Troy Fairbanks, the student body president, and the Dean’s son. Troy, taking part in the protest, and fueled with anger, broke the glass door of a building on campus. One of the most powerful moments of the season finale was watching Dean Fairbanks yell “Don’t Resist” to his son, and in the same breath ‘Don’t Shoot” to the police motioning to pull a gun on Troy. The brief interaction between police and black bodies, struck a cord with many.
The storyline, although fictional, shines a very real light on some of the struggles people of color are faced with, not only while being on a PWI campus, but living in not so “post-racial” America.
On Friday, May 4, the entire second season of Dear White People will be available on Netflix.
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