The other day, I watched the entirely of Dear White People on Netflix (10 episodes, about 20 minutes each). Long story short, it follows a group of African-American characters at this fake-Ivy league school and talks about how there is still discrimination and stigma in society.
It was… enlightening.
I’ll be the first to admit that I’m not as educated as I’d like to me on cultures that aren’t my own (something I’d like to change), and I have learned about things like the #BlackLivesMatter movement in school and through documentaries.
However, this series spoke to me in a way that other series often failed to: by giving these issues characters and backstories, I was deeply entrenched in the plot and thus deeply affected by the mistreatment of these individuals and their subsequent protests. At the same time, I finally understood a lot more about what the African American community was talking about when they mentioned things like cultural appropriation and the use of certain phrases outside of the black community.
What I loved the most about this story was how each episode focused on a different character…I think seeing the POV of a girl who was raised in an all-white community and how she learned to survive by fitting in and seeing the POV of an African American scholar who couldn’t stand up for his beliefs in fear of his father was such a sharp contrast to the characters who grew up in all black communities.
The references to gun violence and the treatment of blacks vs. whites is something that’s extremely relevant to our society, and I’m really glad that I educated myself through this series (#GetWoke…am I using that correctly?).
Honestly, I would give this series a 10/10, and I highly recommend it to anyone who’s interested in these kinds of issues and especially to people who don’t understand the reasons behind the increase in protests from the African American community in recent years.
After watching this series, I actually went on to watch the last season of Switched at Birth, which had an African American protest storyline that touched on a lot of what this series addressed.
So in summary: if you haven’t watched Dear White People, watch it. It’s funny, engaging, and thought-provoking. I doubt you’ll regret it.