Dear White People is a comedy-drama TV series on Netflix which is based on the 2014 movie of the same name. It mainly follows five black ivy league students who all face stereotyping and prejudice discrimination.
To begin with, I think it’s worth saying that I like this series, I think it has a few minor issues but nothing which dampens how this series is supposed to be viewed.
The main concept of this TV series shows not only how black people suffer from discrimination in a prestigious place, which in this case is a fictional Ivy league school Winchester University, but also how in-depth racism, prejudice and discrimination can be. Not only is there a main point of contention between the black and white students but one within the five students we follow. The first dispute occurs when an extremely offensive blackface party occurs at the start of the series. Although I haven’t seen the movie, I believe this is the point that the series picks up where the movie left off. This party expectedly sparks outrage amongst the black community within the school. When no action is taken from any of the educators at this school the situation worsens, and rightly so. This immediately shows how there are two different battles in situations like this. Even when something as blatant as this happens, so openly racist and discriminatory, there is still the underlying battle between the students and those higher up in the hierarchy within this institution. The dispute which occurs within the main characters is surrounded by how to deal with the racism they’re faced with and have been faced with their whole lives, their parents lives, their grandparents lives and so on. Whereas some, mainly Sam (Logan Browning) and Reggie (Marque Richardson) feel that they need to do something active which won’t get unnoticed whereas others, such as Coco (Antoinette Robertson) feel it’s better to do as much as she can to be seen as an equal which some of the others view as diminishing her own integrity.
The reason this series is such a success is because it tackles many different problems within social exclusion amongst black people, which aren’t necessarily issues because of the colour of their skin but become a huge issue in spite of that. It shows how a man-made social construct such as racism still can’t be dismantled by what should be a more evolved kind of man.
The issues within this first series are that at first, it seems as though it could take itself more seriously. It’s not until you start to delve into the stories of the different characters that you can really sink your teeth into this one, a problem which I don’t expect to have if another is released.
I would definitely recommend giving this one a watch, although it may take you a couple of episodes to get into it properly, it’s worth the effort.
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