What’s it called?

Dear White People

What’s it about?

The lives of black students at Winchester University, a fictitious (and predominantly white) Ivy League college where liberal values are taught but racist views lurk below the surface – although as this satirical comedy shows, navigating issues of race in US colleges is decidedly tricky.

Who’s in it?

The story revolves mostly around African-American provocateur Samantha White (Logan Browning), whose campus radio show aimed at highlighting issues of race gives the comedy its title. Also featured are her friends Reggie (Marque Richardson) and Joelle (Ashley Blaine Featherson), her secret white boyfriend Gabe (John Patrick Amedori), and shy student journalist Lionel (DeRon Horton). The event the series turns on, and which opens the first episode, is a “blackface” party held by university magazine Pastiche and intended as a riposte to Samantha.

What’s so good about it?

It’s written and directed for Netflix by Justin Simien and based on his award-winning 2014 film of the same name, which in turn was based on his own experiences as a black student. So while it’s slick, witty, satirical and absurd it always has an element of truth to it. And Simien isn’t above taking a few fond pop shots at black culture, either.

Fun fact …

When the trailer for the first series was released online, alt-right activists claimed it was prejudiced against white people and tried to organise a boycott. One online troll even claimed it promoted “white genocide”. Dear White People has since gone to three series and a fourth will air next year.

For fans of ...

Do The Right Thing, BlacKkKlansman.