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Depression Moon

Why We Needed Dear White People

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This blog post is a copy over from my original which you can find here. Dear White People was a 2014 indie movie directed by Justin Simien that conveyed the tensions of being black at an Ivy League institution and disproving the notion that we live in a post-racial society. The series adaptation takes place after the events of the film with a mostly all new cast and expands on the characters and ethos created in the film.

Like the film, Dear White People has some well framed shots.

I remember being excited for the film when the trailers released back in 2014. I was in my last semester of college and taking an African-American Studies course that focused on black women. We even had a discussion on the trailer in one our classes. The premise intrigued me enough, but I didn't see it until the following year when it was put up on Netflix. I thought the movie was okay. It had some beautiful cinematography, but I felt the dialogue came off unnatural. When the announcement of the TV series came my way I thought it was a good idea. It's a neat premise for a focus of a television series and when the trailer dropped it didn't do much for me, but I wanted to give it a chance anyhow. And my gosh, is the series tremendously better than the film! In fact, it's something that we needed. We needed Dear White People to not only escape from out troubles, but to also bring up conversations of race and Dear White People brings that in a bite-sized serialized format.

Dear White People the series takes place at the fictional Ivy League institution Winchester University. Like Springfield in The Simpsons, what state Winchester in is never explicitly stated, but it's not needed. Justin Simien and show runner Yvette Lee Bowser (A Different World) decided to go with a cyclical episode format that focuses on a different character for each episode. This ensures plenty of time to know each of the show's primary characters and what drives them. Sam, is a junior media studies major (like moi) who is a member of BSU (Black Student Union) and hosts the school radio show titled Dear White People which divulges on racial politics on campus. She copes with being the head of the BSU, school, and acceptance of her personal relationship.

To talk about the rest I'll have to go into spoiler territory so if you haven't watched all of the series yet, you've been warned.

Directed and written by Justin Simien
Our journey begins with Episode 1, "Chapter I". The opening scene gives us a quote from novelist and social critic James Baldwin, "The paradox of education is precisely this - that as one begins to become conscious one begins to examine the society in which he is being educated."A comment on American education when those who grow up start to question the validity of their education. Perfectly apt for a show focusing on black college students. Many have had to pursue other outlets or waited until college to learn of their history outside of slavery and the civil rights movement. Assata Shakur particularly touched upon this in her autobiography. "“No one is going to give you the education you need to overthrow them. Nobody is going to teach you your true history, teach you your true heroes, if they know that that knowledge will help set you free.”

Moving on we're given a summary of the events from the film and our story takes place the Monday after the blackface party. In one of the opening scenes of this episode we're given a scene that I know a good amount of black students can resonate with. Sam sits in class when the professor asks the class their opinions on the subject of racism. All white eyes are immediately directed towards her and even the professor encourages her to speak up as he says "Anyone would like to discuss this? Anyone with a special connection to the material?" If you've ever been a black student at a PWI then you have been conscious of being the only person of color in a classroom before. After that we see Sam hosting her radio show briefly before taking a break and talking to her best friend Joelle. Joelle comes off as being the comic relief friend that gives support to the main character. She has witty things to say often, but also has her personal arcs that don't involve Sam. More to be said about her later. If you have scoured the internet at all regarding the film or this movie you are probably aware of the vehemently reactionary remarks from some people in relation to the title. That very thing is addressed out the gate in "Chapter I" when Sam takes comments from listeners.

"Dear White People? Even you have to admit your show comes off as aggressive," says a white listener. "Dear White People is a misnomer. My show is meant to articulate the feelings of a misrepresented group outside the majority," Sam responds.This isn't just a conversation between two fictional characters, but a response to the white community who are angry and ill mannered towards the show without even watching a single episode.

From there we are introduced to Reggie for the first time and his relationship with Sam. Joelle incites that Sam wants to have sex with Reggie and when he walks over and the two begin to talk there is an air of affection. The screen fades and we see Samantha riding cowgirl when the camera pans over and we see her partner is a white boy. For those who have seen the film this is no surprise, but from the framing it is meant to be the twist. The white boy in mention, Gabe, is a grad student and Sam's secret bae that is until he posts a picture of Sam leaving his room on Instagram with the hashtag #HateItWhen Bae Leaves which surmounts to Sam being undermined when expressing her concerns at the Black Caucus meeting and feeling judged by her black peers. After the meeting most of them walk by her without saying a word, but African student Rashid says whatever goes on between the sheets is her business. This is a brief comment on how black men or women can be judged on their blackness by their partner. It is not uncommon to hear disregard another black person's pro black image because his or her romantic partner may be light skin or white, but all the while it does sound strange in Sam's case as Joelle calls to attention to times Sam has said that you can't fall in love with your oppressor. There's a quick shift in the camera over to the Dear White People poster on the bulletin board. In this context the "Missing Black Culture" represents how Sam is feeling criticized for her relationship with a white man rather in previous scenes where its stating the lack of black input at Winchester. Despite her feelings, Joelle accepts her anyway. There is also an interesting comment I have to acknowledge from Joelle. When Sam says she enjoys watching Game of Thrones, Joelle comes with the shade:

I haven't watched Game of Thrones myself, but this does make me want to check out if this is true.
After discussing the inappropriateness of the Instagram post to Gabe she decides to finally introduce him to her fans and with what better way than having him come to AP House's weekly viewing of Defemation. Defemation features a black woman working under a white president who she happens to be in love with. This is obviously an analogue to Shonda Rhime's Scandal that stars Kerry Washington. From the excited acclaims and gasps in response to each line are very reminiscent of the times my university had Scandal viewing sessions during my Senior year. This scene also is one of the funniest with the exaggerated acting and this line right here:

You might also notice when Joelle says "I can't," she is wearing a shirt with "I literally cannot" on it. Just seeing Justin having a bit of fun with this scene. Following that, we have the first interaction with Gabe and the other A-P students. Joelle talks to him earnestly, but once he joins in a conversation with Sam and Reggie hostility ensues. Gabe tries to empathize with their cause concerning the fallout of the blackface party, but Reggie becomes needlessly antagonistic towards Gabe and delivers one of the blackest lines ever, "Hit you? Nigga, I should hit you for even thinking I would hit you." The result has Gabe storming out and telling Samantha how he wouldn't make his friends make her feel out of place in his world. Sam is then confronted by Lionel who informs her that he and his paper, Winchester Independent, discovered that Sam broke into Pastiche's account. He says he's being forced to report on it, but if she reveals it first she can avoid some unwanted attention.

In the brief interjection that follows you have a quick moment that highlights a character trait in Sam. As she walks across campus she has her earphones on and is listening to some music. The song sounds like it's sung by a white woman. When she sees some black students approaching she tenses up and quickly changes the song to a rap song with pro-black messages. This scene happens so quickly you probably won't catch it during your first viewing. I didn't until my fourth. In this brief instance we see an insecurity about herself that likely none of her friends are aware of. She is regarded to be the pro-black image of the university and doesn't want others aware that she likes things that aren't a part of black culture. This reminds me of times in high school when fellow black students were scrutinized for listening to white people music.

Next, we get the final scene of the episode. Sam comes to do her show and finds out the school is cancelling it because white students have complained its reverse racism. She takes charge and gets on the mic anyway and we fall witness to one of the most powerful scenes in the series. Sam lays out the truth that her show and jokes don't equate to racism when they're subjugated to systematic racism some that incarcerates people of color unjustly and even kills them. She also reveals that she was the one who broke into Pastiche's account and sent out the invites for the blackface party. The emotion from her words along with the score playing in the background made for a perfect ending of the first episode and made the difference of choosing to watch the next episode now or later.

Directed and written by Justin Simien

Episode 2, "Chapter II" focuses on Lionel Higgins. Lionel is a journalist for Winchester Independent, the school's independent newspaper and he's also someone dealing with his sexuality. He's shy, timid, and a geek. He feels uncomfortable around certain black people, specifically the ones who remind him of the homophobic ones that teased him in high school. If you have seen the film you would remember that Lionel was in one of the predominately white dorms before he was reassigned to Armstrong-Parker. He feels out of place in both communities; being black in an overwhelmingly white campus and being gay in the black community.

"You're not just a black man. You're a gay black man. Homophobic incidents at AP are as common as they are among the Pastiche staff." - Silvio.

But since exposing the blackface party he has gained some recognition among Armstrong-Parker. This episode is largely dealing with Lionel discovering his sexuality as initiated when he talks to Silvio, his boss at Winchester Independent who assumes he is gay. Lionel responds with "I don't subscribe to those kind of labels." Silvio tells Lionel that there's nothing wrong with labels and he should go find his own which leads him to a party where he meets a young white man and his female roommate. Lionel follows the young man back to his apartment where he kisses him and the woman before we see CGI pubic hair and the proposition of a threesome comes up. The scene comes across as incredibly intense before Lionel breaks the tension and busts out laughing. He calls out on the white boy clearing only being interested in men and the girl for not getting anything out of it. This is a new insight on Lionel's character and is the first we see him divorced of his shyness and timidness.

This moment leads him into giving in to his label of being gay as seen at the end of the episode when he asks Troy for a haircut and speaking of Troy he does have a crush on him, but of course he can't indulge since he knows Troy is straight. This episode also highlights the first we see of the interjecting viewpoints from previous episodes. In addition to this episode focusing on Lionel's sexuality, it also deals with his own morality concerning breaking news in journalism. We see the extended scenes from the first episode where Sam talks to Lionel after the Black Caucus meeting and walks off. While she was engaging the rest of her fellow students, Coco walks up to Lionel and asks about Troy's love life with other women. We also get Lionel's perspective from the walkway where Sam and Lionel lock eyes for a millisecond on campus. This leads into the storyline from episode 1 where Sam reveals that she was the one who broke into Pastiche's account and sent out the invites to the blackface party. Lionel gets the tip from Silvio, Lionel finds out through an interview that Sam was behind it, tells Silvio who enforces him to publish the story even against Lionel's personal feelings. Thankfully, he does not and instead warns Sam as we see in the previous episode.

Directed by Tina Mabry and Written by Chuck Hayward
Troy Fairbanks. In a sitcom Troy would just be another prep/jock. On the surface he appears that way, but he is just a man caught up in a multitude of things that demand his time all while not trying to lose his mind. He's the son of the dean, a member of C.O.R.E. (the Coalition of Racial Equality), running for student body president, dating Coco, and having an affair with one of the African-American Studies professors, Neika. Troy has been strictly under his father's tutelage since childhood, but even in his adulthood he feels pressured into giving in on any request from his father. He was pressured into running for student body president because of his father and it seems his charisma and promises are all manufactured, but when he decides to cast a ballad for someone other than himself and is questioned by that action from Neika (portrayed by Nia Long who still looks bad) he says "Today at Armstrong-Parker, I told everyone how bad I wanted to fight for them. And you know what? Think I meant it." "Then why did you vote for someone else? You don't think you deserve to wear that crown?" Neika asks. His silence is all the confirmation we need, but Neika gives him some words of encouragement.

In the morning we discover that Thane Lockwood, who in a previous scene asked the audience if they want to see him fly died from trying to do exactly like. Troy and Neika are caught together, but the student in shock of his fellow student's death doesn't pay attention to their disheveled clothes, but someone has noticed those two. In the final scene Troy receives a video from someone and it turns out to be a video of him and Neika having sex by the bleachers. While heavily invested in the scene the first time around I didn't notice the text alert that popped up with this. Apparently Kurt was the one who sent him the video with "Now let's talk social pardons" in the text. What's to become of this blackmail?

Directed by Tina Mabry and Written by Njeri Brown

Perhaps, one of the most interesting characters is Coco Connors or Colandrea. That's C-o-l-a-n-d-r-e-a, for accuracy. Coco grew up as Colandrea in the south side of Chicago. It was during her first years of grade school did she start to feel the impact of white supremacy. When Coco's teacher assigned a brief recess, Coco and the other girls darted to the toy box to choose a doll like many little girls. Coco went for the white one, but another black girl took it away from her and told her to get the ugly one, referring to the black doll. This resonates all too well with many black women in America. Being told in the media or by their peers at a young age that their skin color is ugly. The scene with these two dolls isn't an uncommon occurrence. In Brown v. Board of Education a doll test was used as an argument by Robert Carter to prove segregation was harmful for black children. The original doll test by Kenneth Bancroft Clark and Mamie Phipps Clark was designed in 1947 and since then other doll tests have been conducted over the decades providing evidence of the impact white supremacy has on the black community.

As the episode continues we can see how instances like this shaped Coco into the person she is. The opening scene reviews her position at the end of the 2014 film: she was assured by her white friends to come to the blackface and when the party was crashed she expressed how vast her ideological differences are from Sam with these lines, "They spend millions of dollars on their lips, their tans, their asses, Kanye tickets because they want to be like us. And they got to be for a night. I'm not about to go out into the street and protest a smurfing Halloween party." As seen in "Chapter I", she and Sam have conflict with each other, partly because of stances like this, but the two of them weren't always at odds.

While the film Coco seemed like she just hated being black, the series version focuses on self-preservation.
When getting into Winchester Coco adamantly went out her way to try and not get into Armstrong-Parker and was severely disappointed by the assignment. That's when Sam walks up to her straightened hair and a quirky personality. This moment tells us that Sam too has gone through some changes in her two years at Winchester. Sam befriends Coco from out the gate and the two of them walk together to A-P House. Here we learn one of Coco's reasons for being opposed to her housing assignment. "I was hoping not going into somewhere where the people aren't like 'Yo breezie, you're cute for a dark-skinned girl'. How sweet?" she says sarcastically and Sam hits a rebuttal with "Not as sweet as zebra or half-breed, but sweet." This moment highlights some of the colorism among the black community. Dark skin black girls are often told that they're ugly and being told that they're attractive for their skin complexion is more of an insult than a compliment as it pits lighter skinned women on top of the pole. Celebrities such as Lil' Wayne have expressed their distaste for dark- skinned women. While I've only ever heard "zebra" from George Jefferson and never half-breed before, I don't deny that there are some black people out there that refer to biracial girls as such. On the two ends Sam would get more appraisal for her beauty over Coco. In both the black and white communities lighter skin is deemed more attractive. Sam is more likely to hear redbone than half breed among the black community, but Coco's comment also shows that she finds interactions with white people more tolerable while ignoring compliments such as "I've never been with a black girl before" or "I never thought I could be into black girls", the latter of which was said in front of me by my white high school friend who couldn't give me an answer when I asked him "Why not?"

Leading off from there we see the moment when Troy and Coco first meet. He flirts with her and takes off leaving Coco in awe of Troy's charm and attractive physical features. Sam and Coco had their first bonding moment when Coco invited Muffy and the rest of her white friends to their dorm. The discussion veers into racial preferences for dating partners when Sam is asked about her type.
"I like my men like my coffee-- full-bodied and preferably with Kenyan origins."
Muffy responds with "I have a dumb white-girl question. Um, if I said I only dated white guys that would be racist wouldn't it?" implying that she feels Sam's admittance for preferring black men to be racist. Sam however, respites it with the genuine concern that a white partner couldn't relate to her struggles on the level that a black man could and then breaking the tension by throwing in how pink dicks look weird to her which is rather ironic considering she ends up with Gabe.

Muffy and her friend comment on how they find Jesse Williams and Drake attractive who are both notably half white and the third girl drops the awkward "I named my vibrator Idris" which leads to Coco and Sam exchanging knowing glances. It appears Sam got the name of her radio show from a parlor game the two of them engaged in private highlighting the racist and ignorant comments by Muffy and her friends. This, along with the blazing session, signifies how close the two of them were in the start of their Freshman year. After feeling the sting or rejection by the young white males at the Midnight Summer Dream's party, Coco goes back to her room to find Sam and Reggie watching the news. Two police officers have shot and killed unarmed teenager, Caleb Jones and are facing no indictment for the action. Coco responds in a jaded fashion and reveals that she grew up seeing family members and friends shot down in the same way. The news reporter then says that traces of marijuana were found in Caleb Jones's pocket. Coco then says sarcastically "Of course they did. And therefore he deserved to die," expressing what we were all thinking at that moment. The fictional Caleb Jones is an analogue to the many black people who were and are still being gun downed unlawfully by police officers who got off with no charges. Though both Sam and Coco care about these situations, their opinions on it differ. Coco doesn't want to be reminded of it while Sam wants to be aware of the racial prejudices.

Following this Sam becomes accepted by the Black Student Union when she gives a passionate speech at the AP House protest meeting which Coco feels is all but worthless. "These people have convinced themselves that a sleepover in the president's office will help Caleb Jones." "How do you know it won't?" Sam replies. Leading off from this scene we're introduced to Alpha Delta Rho, the analogue to the real life sorority Alpha Kappa Alpha, or AKA. For those that forgot (like myself) or didn't know Alpha Delta Rho is the same AKA analogue sorority from A Different World. Coco wants to join them to get Troy's attention and this requires the acquisition of a new weave. Sam goes with Coco to get her weave sewn in in another student's dorm room. The exchange of banter between the students, Coco being tender-headed, and rap music playing in the background is a genuine black culture moment.

Sam does look a little like a black Hermoine Granger in this outfit.
Later we see Coco desperately trying to get the approval of Alpha Delta Rho. She booked the wrong venue for her sorority's meeting and asks Sam who recently joined the BSU if she could move her meeting. Sam refuses and the discussion leads off to the point where the two's friendship ended and they became enemies. In response to Sam stating she's just trying to wake this campus up Coco recites one of Assata Shakur's famous quotes: "The oppressed do not get their freedom by appealing to the morality of their oppressor." Actually, Assata Shakur has many quotes relevant to this show; “It is our duty to fight for our freedom. It is our duty to win. We must love each other and support each other. We have nothing to lose but our chains,” (Shakur 52). This quote can be surmised to the struggle that both Coco and Sam face at Winchester. They're both involved in groups that aim to improve conditions for black students on campus, but the two of them are fighting against each other in the pursuit of this. Coco feels that Sam cannot criticize her political blackness because Sam has privilege that comes with being light-skinned and biracial. When going to meet the sorority sisters she listens outside the door at their conversation. Apparently, Coco has lied about where she grew up, telling each person a different location further north every time. The sorority head also says she wishes she could have gotten Sam instead as she feels she's going to live up to something someday. Coco bursts in throws shade all around and interestingly she calls the head a slut. At the beginning of the episode Coco calls out Sam for dragging other black women down in her pursuit of her political revolution, but here Coco demeans another woman with a misogynistic insult showing that Coco has contradictory elements to her person and that she is human too.

Coco finds Sam attempting to make peace with her when Sam knocks on her door. Sam gives Coco a letter and walks off. Coco opens it finding a message saying "It's my light-skinned privilege to give you this peace offering," along with golden wrapped joint. Briefly seen in the Troy chapter, we see that Sam was involved with him before Coco, but after the two breakup Troy calls Coco over and in the ending scene we see Coco receive oral pleasure as she grabs her peace offering and blows into the camera. This shot is comparative with the ending shot of each of the episodes thus far. Each one has ended with the focused character looking into the camera at the viewer. Sam's shot reflects her accountability, Lionel's his acceptance of his sexuality, Troy's shock, and Coco's.... isn't quite clear. At that moment Coco might have been with Troy as payback against Sam and her stare is one of satisfaction.

Directed by Barry Jenkins and Written by Chuck Hayward & Jack Moore

Barry Jenkins, director of award winning Moonlight, covers Dear White People's most memorable episode. Episode 5 "Chapter V" focuses on Reggie Green played by Marque Richardson. Reggie has always been self aware of his race. In the opening scene we see a white woman finish her transaction at the ATM and flee in terror when she notices Reggie behind her. The next scene a coach mistakes Reggie for a player on his team. The latter is a small comment on how some white people think we all look alike which Sam also feels the tinge of in the first episode when someone says she looks like Beyoncé when all she has in common with Beyoncé is skin complexion. The former scene reflects the perception that the black man has in America and among the world as violent and criminal, especially towards white women. You may have heard tale of white women clutching their pursing in the elevator with a black man or crossing the street when they see a black man approaching. Of course all of this plays into police brutality and incarceration rates which become important later in this episode.

The episode truly begins when Reggie presents an app he created for students to vote who is woke or not woke on campus. For those unfamiliar with black vernacular woke is a term used to signify if a person is socially aware of injustice in politics and history. Troy and Coco are deemed not woke while Sam is unsurprisingly at the top of the list. Taking a break from being revolutionaries they decide to go to a cook-in which leads us to Dear White People's second TV parody. Dereca Set Me Straight is a former Yelp reviewer who was banned for using too many obscenities in a review for children's theater, a former bus driver, and psychic who was given a show to uplift people and get their life on the right track. Initially, the comparison between Dereca and Iyana Fix My Life wasn't clear, but once I realized it I did some research to see if any of these events actually happened in Iyana Vanzant's life. It doesn't seem like it, but I did find find an interview from EW with Justin Simien unveils he has an admiration for Iyana Vanzant and at the same time finds her show ridiculous and hilarious.

"Iyanla Vanzant is like somebody that’s near-deity for me. It’s true. She is my favorite personality that I haven’t met yet, but at the same time, it’s a funny show. There are moments where you laugh because it’s so outrageous and I just wanted to populate the world with all of those little idiosyncrasies where on its surface, it’s just kind of funny, but maybe later you’ll be figure out what that reference is about. Some of that is intentional and some of it I can’t help myself.”

Next, discussion falls onto Sam's relationship with Gabe. In episode 1 we saw many of her peers appeared mad or disappointed that she was in a relationship with a white man. Here, Reggie, Joelle, Rashid, and Al lead in from Reggie checking his phone seeing Sam and Gabe's Facebook status. "So are we cool with Sam dating an Abercrombie model?" Al asks.
"If she likes it I love it," says Joelle.
"You know that trout is weird," counters Reggie.
"I was surprised at first. I admit. I mean, I'm not sure I could let a white man colonize my body, and I never thought Sam would either."
"So do you feel personally betrayed?" Rashid asks.
"No. I mean, it's complicated. I know the heart wants what it wants, and we're all one and all that trout, but... how many times we've had the narrative that black men aren't good enough and that we need a white savior? I mean, I can't help but feel a little--
"Disappointed," Reggie interjects.

Gabe sees Sam as his perfect partner both professionally and romantically for his revolution.
It was lightly touched on in episode 1, but here we get a deep look at each one's personal feelings regarding Sam's interracial relationship. Reggie comes off as pretending he's not bothered by it and Joelle wants to feel unbothered and supportive, but can't help but a feel a bit disappointed. In regards to her statement on black women being told that black men aren't good enough and that they need a white savior is one that I'm impartial on. I have heard that black men aren't good enough, but the white savior portion is foreign to me, but I think it might be going on from the notion that successful black women can't find black men that are on par with them and thus have to go to a white man for a romantic relationship. The subject of interracial relationships in the black community is one inherently different from the perspective of the white community. In the white community there are deep rooted negative connotations. Black men have been perpetuated as rapist of white women and black women as bed wenches. Not to mention there were laws against interracial marriages for generations and as recent as 2000 Alabama lifted its law against interracial marriage. Even if no one was enforcing the law, it still says a great deal about. For the black community it comes from the viewpoint of relating to racial viewpoints, pro-blackness, and such.

They all decide to go to a tailgate which leads to the only awkward scene in the whole season. We're introduced to a new character called Akumi. They're new Asian friend that walks up to the group at random and says that she's their new friend that they're going to share their weed with. Joelle hands her a pipe and she begins smoking it when Troy and Coco walk up and Akumi not so subtlety walks off screen like okay that's the enough of you back to something relevant. She doesn't show up again until the group arrives at the movie theater where they meet Lionel and the dialogue about movies pops in. It starts off as a critique on the fictional movie they saw called Oh No She Didn't and then breaks into 4th wall territory where the cast dig in on representation in Hollywood.

"Those are our choices. Cheap urban drama or tragedy porn," says Reggie reciting the film representation for African-Americans. We largely get either urban dramas filled with poor acting and a ton of cliches, biopics showing how hard the struggle was for black people in the civil rights or slavery era, and crime stories that hit those same particular beats meant to instill sympathy. I'll also add cheap comedies filled with stereotypes into this fold. Not much can be found with black casts outside of these genres and when we get them sometimes they find themselves to be problematic which brings up the subject of Tarantino.

"Just because he let Jamie Foxx kill a bunch of racists in Django, he thinks he can parade around every painful historical black stereotype in the book," says Joelle. "Swear to God, he gets off putting Sam Jackson in his movies just so the he can call him nigger for three hours," Reggie refers to Tarantino's last movie, The Hateful Eight. Akumi weighs in her thoughts from the Asian perspective as she notes that the only good representation she's had were Joy Luck Club in 1993 and Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon which released seventeen years ago.

After a short breakfast for dinner scene we reach the climax of "Chapter V". The group decide to go to a party just off of campus. Reggie kicks over a lawn jockey decoration on the way in and after some nice chatting and a game of trivia, Reggie, Joelle, and Addison dance along to a rap song. The N-word comes up and Reggie hears Addison say it three times and Reggie quickly tells him not to say that word. Addison feels uncomfortable being told he can't do something and an argument ensues. "How would you feel if I started rapping to songs you know, that say "honky", and "cracker"?" Reggie asks."I wouldn't care at all?" Addison replies. "Exactly, that's the difference. The fact that you don't care and I do." Addison looks perplexed at the response, but this is a telling moment. Honky and cracker aren't as offensive to white people since those words have no attachment to oppression and systemic racism like nigger does. The argument grows larger reaching out to almost everyone at the party and we see Lionel reaching for his phone. Someone pushes Reggie from behind and then Addison and Reggie get into a fight. Shortly after the campus police come in and asks Reggie if he is a student there and requests to see his student ID entirely ignoring that Addison was in the conflict as well.

The most harrowing moment in Dear White People.
All music and background noise cease as the tension between Reggie and the cop grows forward. Reggie refuses to take out his student ID and the cop pulls out a gun on him. Shaking with tears running down his cheeks he slowly takes out his wallet and the cops looks at the ID and hands it back to him before shutting down the party. This was the most intense moment in the series and is reflective of political outings that have grown prominent in the past few years. Reggie could have ended up dead and been among many other black men and women who have lost their lives unlawfully at the hands of police officers.
The episode ends with Reggie sitting up against his door, tears from his eyes as Sam bangs on the other side trying to reassure him. He looks at the camera as if to share his pain with us.

Directed by Steven Tsuchida and Written by Leann Bowen
"Chapter VI" is all about the fallout. We see Sam on the other side of the door and the students on campus hold a meeting to decide what to do about the situation. They call for the termination of the cop in mention. Al shouts out "I want to know who called the cops. Bring that fool to me right now." The camera then all so subtly glances on Lionel. Al suggests running on the cop and forcing him to answer for his action in which a few agree, but Coco intervenes, "Listen to yourselves. Running up on a cop, calling them pigs. As soon as you double down on your blackness, they will double down on their bulltrout. Times like this we need to manage our blackness,". In which Lionel responds, "You mean assimilation?" "Self-preservation," Coco corrects. She reveals that she grew up in southern Chicago and seen friends and family members get gunned down by the police and how she wishes they could've done something to prevent their own murder. A rather strange stance, but her following comment contains some validity. While playing games of who is woke or not is moot when even of us can end up dead due to unjust law enforcement. We see her embrace Reggie, someone she previously had beef with. Troy reveals that he's set up a meeting with the dean to discuss what to do. The primary characters minus Lionel show their support by going to the meeting as well. However, Reggie is nowhere to be found and the dean refuses to discuss the topic without Reggie's presence.
In her frustration Sam asks, "How would you feel if this happened to Troy?" "Troy wouldn't find himself in this situation. Because I raised him," he retorts.

The group discusses what they're going to do about Reggie and Sam says she'll take care of finding him while the others come up for the plans for to open discussion at the Pep Rally. Sam goes with Gabe and his friends and one of them layout the issue with Reggie. "Public Victim syndrome" Yanna says. " He doesn't have much time to mourn or recuperate because his tragedy has been made public thus he withdrew himself. Sam does run into Reggie late in the day and she attends an open mic night, something Reggie has apparently been attending for a while. Reggie gets up on the stage and lets out all his pain in a riveting poem:

We hold these truths to be self-evident
That all men are created equal
That they are endowed by their creator with certain unalienable rights
Among these life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness
Unless you're loud, black, and possess an opinion
Then all you get is a bullet
A bullet that held me at bay
A bullet that can puncture my skin and take all my dreams away
A bullet that can silence the words that I speak to my mother just because I'm other
A bullet. Held me captive
A gun in my face Your hate misplaced
White skin,
Light skin, but for me not the right skin
Judging me when no crime committed
Reckless, trigger
Finger itching to prove your worth by disproving mine
My life in your hands
My life on the line
Fred Hampton, Tamir Rice, Rekia Boyd, Reggie Green?
Spared by a piece of paper
A student ID that you had to see before you could identify me
And set me supposedly free
Life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness
For some of us, maybe
There's nothing self-evident about it

Back near his dorm room, Sam suggests Reggie to recite his poem at the Pep Rally, but he refuses. Their discussion leads to them talking about their relationship with one another and as Reggie steps into his room leans to shut his door, he stops and leaves it open inviting Sam in. She enters and the two almost kiss when Gabe calls, but she dismisses it and we get a close-out to black.

Reggie's acting in this episode is a standout. His body language and the awkward cracking of his voice puts his soul on his sleeve. You can see this a soul trying to piece itself together from traumatic event.

Directed by Nisha Ganatra and Written by Jack Moore
Gabe Mitchell is a white face in a mostly black part of an overwhelmingly white place. John Patrick portrays the grad student and the seventh episode gives his perspective in the racial politics of Winchester. Well, at least that's what I feel it's trying to show, but like episode 6 it feels more an ensemble piece. While Gabe supports the black residents of Armstrong-Parker he feels slightly attacked as exemplified when Joelle and Sam discuss their frustration of black women not getting their due over the accomplishments of mediocre white men.

"Sometimes people get what they deserve. Just because I'm a white male doesn't automatically mean I'm some kind of asshole!"

The remainder of this chapter focuses on Gabe and Sam's relationship. At the A-P House's meeting on discussing what to do about Reggie's incident Gabe picks up on cues that Sam and Reggie slept together. We get three hilarious film homage's for Gabe's paranoia, School Daze, Do the Right Thing, and Persona. This scene also progresses the story leading to big scene for the remainder of the season, the protest at the university's town hall.

Sam assigns Joelle with Gabe to reach out to the other campus groups for support. Here we get an insight on Gabe and Joelle's feelings for Sam and Reggie. Gabe senses that Sam cheated on him and is unsure of what to do, Joelle likes Reggie, but sees how Reggie feels about Sam so she can't be with him. In this scene we also get a big twist. Gabe reveals that he was the one who called the police at the night of the party. The shots tried to deceive you in thinking Lionel was the culprit, but it was Gabe all along. Gabe felt that he was only doing the right thing, but Joelle tells him that he shouldn't tell Sam about it or really anyone, but the next morning Sam receives a notification from Lionel containing the audio from the police call and finds out regardless. Understandably she is angry and when the rest of Armstrong-Parker find out from Lionel's article, most of them are not taking it too kindly.
"Why did you call the cops?" Al asks.
"What the smurf did you think would happen?" says Reggie standing next to Sam.
"Do black people make you uncomfortable?" Al asks.

Troy and Coco defend Gabe and say he just called the cops, he didn't expect them to bring guns and go nuts."I just didn't want the party to get out of control," Gabe explains.

At this point, the rest are not so welcoming of Gabe and when Sam refuses to talk to him. He spits out an ostracized "smurf" and it fades to black. This is a very telling scene, not of only Gabe, but of the community of Armstrong-Parker. Black people have long had bad experiences with the police. In fact, the origin of police in America was to govern slaves. To keep them in control, to look out for runaways, and to prevent them from revolting. In the situation of a little squabble at a party most black people wouldn't call the police in that situation. Despite being liberal and among A-P House, Gabe is still white and hasn't grown up with those circumstances and feels like the police are always there to help. It also shows that the opinions of all black people aren't unanimous. Troy and Coco do not blame Gabe and though Lionel doesn't say it in this scene he was going to call the campus police himself. "Chapter VII" is an episode that slowly moves ahead the plot of the later half of the season and also gives us one of the most shocking reveals and tension filled moments in its ending. While I don't find Gabe all that interesting his confession did instill a great emotional response in me. Like "Chapters V" and VI, the events from this episode will carry over into the finale.

Directed by Charlie McDowell and Written by Nastaran Dibai & Justin Simien

"Chapter VIII" is Lionel's second episode. Lionel feels frustrated with his journalistic endeavors. People seem to always divert from the meaning of his articles.

"I wrote a story about a cop using excessive force, and somehow Reggie gets blamed. Then I write a story about a cop overreacting to a benign phone call, and everyone gets mad at the guy who made the call, which is insane," Lionel vents.

While I agree with Lionel on the first part, I don't agree with him on the latter at all, but I do see his point of view. This comment from Lionel is also massively representative of the online population when it comes to news articles. In situations like Reggie or the many black men and women who unjustly lost their lives by the hands of cops, there are always people who blame the victim in that case or defend the actions of the cop. Even recently as January when Carolyn Bryant, the woman involved in Emmet Till's case, admitted she lied there were people defending her actions.

Lionel moves on to stating that he wants to write a piece on Troy, but Silvio instead assigns it to one of the other journalists, Brooke. Brooke is actually a bit of a rival of Lionel's. In the second episode, she dismantled Lionel's piece on the blackface party and here she gets the story that he has the best access to. Lionel is instead assigned to discuss a campus parade. He goes, finds Brooke interviewing Troy and intervenes convincing Troy to let him write the piece on him instead. But it's all good, Brooke ends up getting a bigger story out of the parade than Lionel does with Troy. Kurt also appears briefly and with a rather subtle line about being into student and teacher porn. If you didn't catch it at first in "Chapter III", Kurt was the one who recorded and sent the video to Troy's phone and this scene is just a reminder or a hint for those who didn't catch it in that brief moment.

Before we get to the bar I want to rewind back to a previous scene that highlights a sliver of growth in Lionel's character. We see Lionel's first experience with online dating as a gay man and the profiles are represented by live stand-ins with descriptions displayed with virtual text boxes. This scene highlights a bit of gay culture through colloquial terms. The gay online dating scene appears to have prejudice in it as well as in the first profile Lionel views the bachelor TopForTight97 says No fatties, no fems; referring to overweight people and fems referring to feminine or female gender identifying gay men. He goes on to say "No rice, no spice, no curry,". I don't have to research this to know he's referring to Asians, Latinos, and Indians. Lionel appears to be ignorant of the terms as he says "We're supposed to bring food?" or perhaps that was sarcasm.

Troy takes Lionel to a nearby bar where we get a glimpse into both Lionel and Troy. The bartender recognizes Lionel from the online dating app and here we get a sweet, but hilarious look at Lionel. In his profile he is shy, timid, and loves Smash Bros. That's a video game not a euphemism by the way. After getting drinks Troy opens up about his relationship with his father. He never felt truly accepted and always felt pressured to do what his father tells him. His father also hasn't wished him happy birthday in three years. We also learn a little bit about his mother. Troy's mother left during his childhood and Lionel's father died when he was six, but he never knew him because he had another family he was taking care of. It's a short and brief scene, but one that shows a bit more in each character's history and soul. The remainder of the episode touches on Lionel's crush on Troy which admittedly gets weird. Earlier Lionel picked up and sniffed a pair of Troy's boxers he found on the bathroom floor and in the last scene he goes into Troy's room while he's sleeping and lies in the bed next to him while grinning. At this point I was yelling "Yo bruh, go back to your own room!".
"Chapter VIII" is the weakest episode of season 1. There isn't anything that moves the plot forward and there's never a high point in that reaches true memorable status. That's not to say that I wasn't amused. It's still a well made episode, just not one that particularly stands out. While I remember the Defamation scene and Sam's speech at the end of "Chapter I", Lionel's almost threesome and the CGI pubic hair from "Chapter II", the video sent to Troy in "Chapter III", like everything in "Chapter IV", the party in "Chapter V", Reggie's poem and Sam entering Reggie's room in "Chapter VI", Gabe revealing he called the cops and his conversation with A-P House in "Chapter VII", "Chapter VIII" leaves me with nothing, but those short Bonr profiles.

Directed by Nisha Ganatra and Written by Chuck Hayward & Jack Moore
"Chapter IX" goes back into the fold. Colandrea becomes the focus again as the relationship between her and Troy becomes affirmed. We get a bit of insight on why Coco was attracted to Troy beyond his looks. She grew up believing that in order to be great she had to be attached to a man who is great. With troy being a legacy son and being the son of the dean and currently the student body president, she feels can achieve access by being his romantic partner. In a brief montage scene we see that Coco envisions the two growing in the social, political and financial ladder together, but with Troy always being the one who has the higher position.

"Then next year, I'll be student body president. You'll move up to student chair on the board of trustees. And when we graduate we'll have our pick of law schools. Ooh, and when we're in Washington, you'll work on the Hill and I'll be a hotshot lobbyist. And eventually the White House. Or I'll run. No, you first."

As the narrator described in the opening, she was lead to believe the saying that "behind every great man is a great woman" to be true. This goes to show that the lilts of misogyny has affected Coco's self-worth. She believes that she needs a man in order to achieve success which is problematic. I had never thought about it before until I started writing this article, but that saying does insight a dangerous message. By placing the man as the subject and the woman as a factor of his success you're placing women behind the shadows of men. It is rather ironic as the phrase was used as a slogan for the feminist movement during the 1960's/70's . Coco had went to prep school for a good portion of her life so quote of "But Coco’s dating pool options looked like the audience at a John Mayer concert" indicated that her circles were white oriented and good deal of them didn't find her appealing because of her race. But since this show sometimes throws out obscure references I have to note that the John Mayer line was likely a dig at the musician who said his penis was "sort of like a white supremacist." At the end of this monologue we get a hilarious moment when Troy accidentally pulls Coco's wig off during sex and she hides under the sheets. Obviously embarrassed, Troy tries to make Coco more comfortable by putting on his do-rag. In the next scene we get a shocking moment, Coco is wearing her hair naturally, probably for the first time and she looks stunning.

The two boujeeist people in Armstrong-Parker are invited to an equally boujee fundraiser. Well, perhaps Troy isn't really boujee. This fundraiser is hosted by the Hancocks, a couple who has donated millions to Winchester University. The Hancocks are concerned about the racial tensions on campus and feel that the "self-segregation" of Armstrong-Parker is to blame for. Dean Fairbanks being a former A-P resident defends the house by saying “Allowing dorms to take their natural shape allows students the pride in creating their own enclaves." "And it can reduce the feeling of otherness at Winchester," Professor Hobbs adds. Mr. Hancock waves it off by mentioning he's built a charter school in Africa as if it gives him more credence. They heard mention of the protest of the town hall that was established in "Chapter VI" and they threaten ever so politely to pull out their ten million dollars if A-P doesn't become integrated.

Coco lets no one bring her down.
After the discussion Troy reveals he was oblivious to all the uptight one percenter talk or WASP (White Anglo-Saxon Protestant) and Professor Hobbs explains to him that they were brought there as props to show that "not all black students want to burn this place down". Back in Troy's room Coco suggests convincing Sam to cancel the town hall protest as to quell the Hancocks' fears of racial tension so that Armstrong-Parker will not be integrated. We also discover that Coco has found out or rather finds out that Troy has been having an affair with Professor Hobbs. She goes into the bathroom to cry and walks in on Lionel as he just steps out of the shower. She lays out all of her feelings onto him and shows that she notices that Lionel has a crush on Troy. After Lionel's awkward dash back to his room we find Coco going to Sam during her broadcast and attempting to convince her to cancel the town hall protest. Before we get into that I would like to point out how Sam feels stressed and overburdened with her cause to improve race relations at the university. "Maybe I'm not supposed to have a personal life. Maybe all of this is a sign that I'm just supposed to focus on the important things?" Feelings probably a lot of revolutionaries can attest to or anyone pursuing a high goal. This is the first real conversation the two of them have had since they have made silence peace with each other at the beginning of "Chapter VI". All of this is quashed when Coco tries to convince Sam to cancel the protest.

"Integrate A-P? I don't know who these people are, but they can jump the smurf off!" Sam retorts.
Troy shortly arrives and airs that Coco went behind Troy to convince Sam and Sam delivers one of my favorite lines in the show. "Next time, coordinate your Uncle Tom-foolery before you come up in here." Sam is nonplussed about the threat from the Hancocks. She is aware that similar situations have occurred and some never fell through and hopefully it won't this time. In the final scene of "Chapter IX" Troy and Coco vent their frustrations with each other and realizing Coco is with him for superficial reasons he lets her know that the two of them are not together anymore. Coco is clearly hurt by this as in a previous scene she announced the names of their unborn children. Coco will not let Troy have his win and recites one of the more memorable speeches in the show: “I’m smarter than you. I’m more ambitious than you. Thirty years from now, when I’m the second black female president, all you’ll be able to do is think about me, and I won’t remember your name.”
From the first viewing the "second black female president" sounded odd to me. When was the first black female president, but I think it's signifying second black president first while adding on her gender on top of it. It does come across as the latter and I honestly can't help and think of it that way first. Anyway, Troy replies apparently unfazed with a genuine sounding "I hope so" and Coco leaves out the room feeling empowered as she glances at us with a confident smirk.

Directed and written by Justin Simien
In the final chapter everything amounts to the big moment that was referred in "Chapter VII", the protest at the town hall. There is no central character in "Chapter X" and instead our focus is on the ensemble. The opening scene starts with Sam and Reggie. She wasn't able to convince him to recite his poem at the pep rally, but she did convince him to do it over her radio show. Gabe comes in and Sam steps out to confront him. Gabe confronts Sam about her sleeping with Reggie. Though he didn't have proof there were obvious signs. Sam admits to it and Gabe finds himself crushed and unsure if he wants to keep dating her. Joelle and Reggie also appear to be growing a little closer to each other. Lionel comes in and interviews Sam just hours before the protest. It was lightly touched upon in "Chapter VII", but here we get a clear understanding of her objections with the town hall. They are selective in who they choose to ask questions and only allow certain questions. She also slips and lets out that she knows about donors threatening to pull money. Lionel respects her wishes and turns off the recorder. When she unveils the truth to Lionel he goes do some research. After overhearing Coco and Troy from the previous episode he pieces together that the Hancocks are the donors in the question. If there were any weird signals you got from them aside from wanting to get rid of A-P, then the following articles Lionel finds should cement it. The Hancocks have been against affirmative action, voter rights for minorities, and more. Seeing this as an opportunity for a groundbreaking story Lionel tells Silvio about it, but he says the Hancocks are off limits because they fund Winchester Independent. He presents a framed article with the headline "Negroes Take Over A-P House. What Are They Planning?" The Hancocks name are nowhere to be seen in this article, but it is assumed that they had issues when black students started staying together in Armstrong-Parker which looked like a few decades ago according to photo. When pausing this shot I noticed something peculiar. The article appears to be made up of irrelevant information. Unlike the earlier articles Lionel was reading, it seems like they just copy and pasted a random article to the image and headline. Though when you're watching it normally you won't be able to read any of it and notice, but when the rest of the series has so much detail in it this comes as a bit of a disappointment.

The position of Sam and Gabe's relationship is established in the finale.

When Troy comes to the town hall to prepare he finds Coco there already and she has already gone over the plans. They will only choose black people who look like they have harmless questions and to prevent any unexpected ones coming up and to look like they're doing their best after thirty minutes Dean Fairbanks will pretend like he wants it to go on longer, but Coco will allow for one last question. Troy shows some resilience when he says "So we're going to silence our own?", but his father steps over them and assures them that this is how they will receive the change they desire.

Gabe is still indecisive on how he feels about Sam after confirming his fears of her affair, but some words from a friend encourages him to go talk to her at the protest, but before then we see the town hall about to start and Troy goes outside to find protestors different from the ones he was expecting. Lead by one of the white students, a group is protesting binge drinking. Troy scoffs with a "really?" in which the white student replies, "Troy, that's really racist.". An expected, but nonetheless head shaking response. Sam arrives shortly and is quite aptly pissed off. Still encouraging her to stop the protest Troy tells her to come inside in which Sam not being a fool asks "Are you gonna give us the floor to say what we want?" "You know I can't do that," Troy replies and thus the protest goes on or tries to. Eventually, Kurt comes in with a bunch of people protests some random stuff just to presumably hinder Sam. Meanwhile Coco locks Troy outside as payback and hands the mic to her handpicked questioners. Kelsey goes for the comedy while the second person asks why are the campus police armed in the first place in which the board member replies "As a part of our university police we make a promise to the students and their parents to keep them safe". A person in audience shouts out "Reggie didn't feel too safe," which Coco tries to silence by saying they're almost out of time. As planned the dean asks if they could have one more and Coco finds the least threatening person she can find which happens to be Lionel. Walking up to the podium all shy and timid he makes a bold question, "How much money are we worth to you?". At this point, Coco is walking towards Lionel. "There are 234 black undergraduates on this campus. That’s roughly $55 million if they make it all four years. And yet, you are willing to disregard our right to safe spaces?”
Fletcher still playing dumb asks what Lionel's referring to and he says "The Hancocks!"

Before Lionel spills out the whole ordeal Samantha still battles with Kurt who blames her for all the civil unrest on campus and says something that has a little bit of truth, but is still a dickish thing to say, "Just ask yourself, has anything that you've done actually made things better?" At this point I wanted to punch him in the face. So Coco is trying to snatch the mic from Lionel following him around the room and one black students stands up for him and blocks her. Sam spots Gabe behind the protest and here we see the conclusion of their relationship. Gabe cuts it off at Sam's dismay. When Lionel sends an article to the entire campus with proof of the ransom chaos begins to bubble. People start arguing, Coco starts shouting, and Troy picks up a shovel and breaks the glass on the door. This moment is very reminiscent of Do The Right Thing. The cops come up and arrest Troy. As he struggles to break free from them one cop has his hand on his gun and this is when Dean Fairbanks runs out begging them not to shoot his son. He watches helplessly as his son is taken off with tears streaming down his eyes.

The episode ends with Defamation Wednesday. The students spend the night escaping for a bit after the fallout from the protest. One would think with Sam and Gabe broken up Sam would feel free to be with Reggie, but she walks past him and it seems like Joelle and Reggie will become a thing. Sam and Coco reconcile with each other as the possible closure of Armstrong-Parker is on everyone's mind. The ending shot has everyone looking at us connecting us with the question on their mind.

That is not all though. Part way into the credits we get a tag scene with Kelsey calling for help as someone has kidnapped her dog and left a note saying "Black girl, white dog. Not on my watch." Al ends the final scene with "It's been a long day" and Kelsey storms off in frustration. This small comedic moment elevates the show into a movie-like format. Immediately after viewing I imagined this scene playing in a theater full of people where everyone starts to get up, but this scene plays and they laugh genuniely before making their exit and calling it for the night.

Final Thoughts:

Dear White People currently holds a 100% rating on Rotten Tomatoes. It deserves all the praise that it gets as it was an exceptional experience for me as well. Being a black college student just two and half years ago, a lot of this resonates with me. Dear White People is a culmination of black culture, identity, and politics. It brings to issue many problems the community faces and also embraces the things we love. White People have responded irrationally towards the show just from its namesake, but it also brings up conversations of race that are needed. Change cannot be made if no one talks about the issues. A Tumblr user by the name of Officer Barrel shared that he knew white people who realized there were racial issues in America because of the show. Considering all the resources in the world they should already know, but it's a good thing that this is helping make people aware. The show isn't an attack on white people as perceived given by some reactionary comments, but it just points out the stemmed roots of oppression and racism in America that has been present for centuries.

Dear White People doesn't have an inherent message that it's trying to tell you. Instead, it provides multiple viewpoints from the cast. Some black people feel that cops use of force against unarmed civilians is justified and others don't. Some don't see hair as a political statement while others do. Some black people feel it's okay if white people use the word nigga, while many others do not. Despite what some think we're not a monolithic group and it's great that Justin Simien chose to represent all of these opinions. It lets each viewer determine for his or herself their stance about the current political issue.

I forgot to mention, but Nia Long is still bad as all hell.
As a whole I found Dear White People to be astounding when it comes to writing and directing. The scenes transition well with one another and each conveys their own emotion. The ending left me wanting more and it also leaves a lot of questions. Will Joelle and Reggie get together, Are Lionel and Silvio officially a couple, will Kelsey get her dog back, and will the black students lose their one safe space? There's a lot to be answered and we never got to see what happened as a result of Kurt blackmailing Troy with the video. There is currently no confirmation of a second season, but if, no when one gets made I hope this plot becomes expanded upon. Joelle also deserves an episode of her own when the series returns. Initially, I thought some of the dialogue sounded unnatural. A good bit in the beginning sounded like messages on social media and there were just a little bit too much pop culture references for my taste, but after repeat views these problems became less prevalent for me.

The acting is sufficient all around. I found Logan Browning, Antoinette Robertson, Ashley Blaine Featherson, and Marque Richardson as the standouts of the series, but I never found anyone weak, well anyone with sufficient screen time. I also have to acknowledge the costume designer's work. Ceci has done some excellent work in clothing. Everyone from the main cast to the extras are dipped from head to toe. Particularly, I find myself admiring Sam's clothing most of the time. I also want to quickly point out how good the soundtrack is. I find the song choices at most of the endings and openings to be great. I looked up Jourbet Singer's "Stand on the Word" and I was surprised to hear one of my favorite rappers, Rapsody, playing in the intro of "Chapter VI". It was only for a couple of seconds, but still great.

The film I find was a bit better with its cinematography, but you're comparing an hour and forty minute movie with one director to five hours of content with multiple directors. It would be hard to maintain that amount of quality shots and editing throughout, that's not to say the Netflix series has subpar cinematography. Everything is appropriately lit and the color grading is fine. Nothing is ever too colorful or too dark. I have had shots that I thought looked visually interesting like the Bonr app profiles, each of final freeze frames, and a couple others. They just don't impress me as often as they did in the film. Aside from the dialogue which became less of a problem on repeat viewings, there isn't any poignant issues I have with Dear White People except how oddly Akumi was introduced into the show and that's minor.

Dear White People has also been a learning experience for me. I have never wanted to write so much on a particular subject before and by writing this article I have gained some knowledge on various subjects that will stick with me. I like to thank the girls at Afterbuzz TV who brought up some viewpoints I didn't think of prior in their superb video reviews of Dear White People. In the process of writing this review I have watched this show several times in order to properly analyze the show and cover all bases and each time I discover a little something that I didn't notice the previous watch. This show has a lot of depth packed in these 20+ minutes episodes.

Dear White People brings people together to laugh, think, and forget about their troubles at least for a moment. Justin Simien, Yvette Lee Bowser and the rest of the crafted a phenomenal piece of entertainment that will not be forgotten especially by the black community. Now all we can do is wait for that sweet announcement of season 2.

Updated 05-25-2017 at 11:35 PM by Depression Moon

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  1. Pumpkin's Avatar
    Such a thoughtful and detailed analysis, thank you for sharing! I might check this show out
  2. krissy's Avatar
    i loved the movie and really enjoying the show

    in fact the show is even better

    more space to grow and discuss than one and a half hours
  3. Depression Moon's Avatar
    I appreciate y'all for reading it. I loved this so much that I just had to write about it and I couldn't stop. It took a lot of time, but I feel that it's worth it. It's something everyone should see.