‘Dear White People:’ A letter to the masses (Merecedes' TV Show Review May 10)

Merecedes on… TV Shows

Based on this article’s title you might actually think I am prepared to write a letter to the 249 million White Americans, but I’m not. It’s cool though, because the movie-turned-Netflix series “Dear White People” pretty much sums up all of my sentiments.
Netlfix released a 10-chapter series (April 28) about the Black students at the Ivy League college Winchester University.
Few in numbers, these students quickly discover that race plays a significant role in their interactions on campus. After a prestigious White group throws a Blackface Halloween party, tensions rise and creates a domino effect of other racially-motivated events.
I appreciate the transition from the big screen to computer screen. The Netflix series picked up right where the 2014 film left off, and, equally important, the TV series retained some actors from the movie. I was skeptical at first. But, the TV show version of “Dear White People” ceases all apprehensions with its dry humor and hard truths.
Even the title makes White people cringe of guilt and misconception. What is typically the proper letter salutation has now become an outcry for millions of voices to be heard.
“Dear White People” requires a response and continues the conversation for all. In a world where a 15-year-old is executed by police in front of his family, Black people are morbidly afraid of the law enforcement and “Dear White People” addresses that. Some of the most sensitive topics are intertwined with laughs and love.
The series manages to crack on Black people, too. Taking some responsibility for the perpetuated stereotypes, “Dear White People” depicts us as a habitually angry, combative group of individuals, explores our addiction to baseless TV, and blames us for promoting the whiteness of people like Kim Kardashian-West and Quentin Tarantino.
The show is a small glimpse of what Black people experience everyday.
When I see “Dear White People,” I see Pittsburgh vividly. The experiences I had at Duquesne University were almost synonymous to the accounts of the show’s main character, Sam White.  I was too Black for the elite White clubs, not Black enough for the Black Student Union, and did not fit the description of a Black sorority prospect.
But, long after college, the separation continues. Race, gender, class and now, sexual orientation has become the deepest filter to put people in a box. “Dear White People” further explores that parting and even questions the division within.
(Follow Pittsburgh’s own Merecedes J. Howze on Facebook… Merecedes J. Howze – and on Instagram, @moviescenequeen)


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