Set in the present day, Dear White People takes place at the fictional Winchester University, an Ivy League, and predominantly white college where a diverse group of students navigates through various forms of racial and other types of discrimination within all ethic groups including their own.
Released on April 28, 2017, and based on the 2014 film of the same name, the Justin Simien created series touches on topics and social comments that are usually ignored although hardly invisible. The series features narration by veteran actor Giancarlo Esposito, and several episodes written and directed by Simien.
Dear White People begins with the students reacting to a black face-themed party hosted by the white editors of the campus humor magazine, Pastiche. The party sent long-simmering racial tensions to new heights. Simien’s superb writing skills and well-paced modification adds extreme depth to the fascinating characters and the ways that their stories intersect.
Logan Browning delights as Samantha “Sam’ White, a film major who hosts the popular but controversial “Dear White People” radio show, takes to the airwaves to address her fellow students.
Brandon P. Bell raises eyebrows as a law student and student body president Troy Fairbanks. Troy appears confident, however, he fears disappointing his father, and is often exhausted trying to please him. Because of this, he is often at odds with himself, confusing those around him, who view him as the total opposite, of who he truly is. Bell reprises his role from the film.
DeRon Horton is simply adorable as Lionel Higgins, a good-hearted, intellectual, yet socially awkward journalism student. Lionel is a sophomore, writes for the school paper, and eventually, comes out as gay under the pressure of masking his growing desire for his roommate and friend Troy Fairbanks.
Antoinette Robertson sizzles as the coordinated Colandrea “Coco” Conners, a vivid, bold and ambitious law student, who once struggled to find her place in the world.
John Patrick Amedori remains congenial as Gabe Mitchell , , Sam’s warmhearted and kindred spirited boyfriend who adores h but is frustrated with her lack of desire to feel the same for him. Although she has love for him, their relationship was strained in the beginning due to his ethnicity, and how it clashed with not only her own standards but also the standards of those around her.
Ashley Blaine Featherson is refreshing as Joelle Brooks Sam’s articulate, sassy and trustworthy best friend. She has Sam’s back at all times, but unlike most best friends who are submissive cosigners, Joelle never hesitates to tell Sam the truth when she needs to hear it.
Obba Babatunde’ is sternly convincing as Dean Fairbanks, the is the Dean of Winchester University, and Troy’s overbearing father who wants Troy to follow in his footsteps. He does not allow Troy to be his own person and does not support him unless he can control him.
Despite its many serious moments, Dear White People is bursting with good-natured, yet sarcastic humor. In other words, it’s one of very few shows that has the ability to make you laugh and cry at the same time.
Ashly E. Smith is an author, poet, columnist, and freelance writer from Baltimore, Maryland. With her strong pop culture and entertainment backgrounds, Ashly strives to create articles that inspire as well as entertain.