Netflix’s new series Dear White People is already being celebrated for its nuanced and complex black characters, and the hype is definitely real. In ten episodes, creator/director Justin Simien addresses topics that are nearly unseen in black media. [Spoilers from here.] For example, a main character’s sexual awakening as his male friend tenderly cuts his hair portrays a level of black male vulnerability that has only been mirrored in show collaborator Barry Jenkins’s Moonlight. The Jenkins-directed episode “Chapter Five” is a harrowing look at the violence black people, and black men in particular, live in fear of daily.
But less upfront in the mostly male-led production are the show’s leading women, Samantha White (played by Logan Browning) and Colandrea “Coco” Conners (Antoinette Robertson). While these two are little more than rivals in the film, the Netflix series establishes both characters’ experiences within the frameworks of colorism, intersectionality and respectability politics to battle the classic motif of two black women pitted against each other. For the viewer, this makes it easier to understand the exact forces that are driving these two women: their friendship and eventual rivalry isn’t motivated by a fight over a man or popularity, but deep insecurities created by a system of racism.
Shockingly, the current TV landscape has very few examples of black female friendship. Even established…
Please read original article – Black Women Are the True Heroes of Dear White People