Netflix’s Dear White People dropped on April 28th, so we’re hoping you’ve had enough time to watch — because there will be spoilers ahead. #SorryNotSorry, great art MUST be discussed, and Dear White People is no exception.
As you might already know, the series is an adaption of Justin Simien’s 2014 film by the same name, and explores all the things we wish we could say aloud. The 10-episode Netflix series follows a group of black students navigating campus life at a predominantly white Ivy League university, and does an excellent job tackling a number of social issues, including racism, police brutality, homophobia, and the stigma that’s often attached to interracial relationships. All while being unapologetically black.
We absolutely adore it, and we think you will too. Whether you’ve already seen it or it’s still sitting in your queue, enjoy some of our favorite lines and moments from Netflix’s Dear White People.
In the first episode, we’re introduced to Samantha White, an outspoken activist and host of a controversial radio show on campus — appropriately titled “Dear White People.” Sam uses her platform to call out racism on campus. As the series goes on, we meet the members of Sam’s squad and the other main characters — best friend Joelle, genius and “black Bill Gates in the making,” Reggie, writer for the school newspaper Lionel, there’s also Coco, Troy, Al, and Sam’s secret white boyfriend, Gabe, aka Summer Bae.
Almost every POC (person of color) has had at least one experience in which a non-POC tries to give a “compliment” by comparing said POC to literally any other POC of the same race, even if there’s no real resemblance. For example,
“You look like Beyoncé”
“Storm from the X-Men”
“Wait, what are you?”
We loved the moment when Sam offered this bit of advice: “Dear white people, here’s a little tip: When you ask someone who looks ethnically different ‘what are you?’ the answer is usually a person about to slap the shit out of you.”
As Sam’s BFF, Joelle regularly hangs out in the studio with her, and during off-air moments, we’re gifted some of the most amazing commentary on important issues — ranging from the return of the McRib to Bill Cosby’s rape charges.
Sam: “I mean, he [Bill Cosby] probably did that shit, I’m just saying…”
Joelle: “The man can take an episode of Rudy getting a B- and stretch it into half hour of comedic goal.”
Sam: “God, I pray he didn’t stretch little Rudy out in any other way.”
While giving a speech about #BlackPower and the importance of standing together, Sam gets a little surprise when her secret (very white) summer bae is revealed to everyone via the hashtag #HateItWhenBaeLeaves.
Since Sam is such a big part of the Black movement on campus and even wrote against “dating the oppressor,” obviously everyone is a little shocked at the new information. Al hilariously comments, “Ms. Black Power over here likes white boys.” Sam tries to counter with the fact that she’s biracial (mixed with black and white) but Joelle is quick to break down the different types of biracial with this epic line:
Joelle: “You’re not Rashida Jones biracial, you’re Tracee Ellis Ross biracial ― people think of you as black!”
Pretty much every moment between Sam and Joelle — the sisterhood, the friendship, the encouragement, the unconditional love and acceptance. That’s what friendships are about, right?
Defamation Wednesdays. Described as the epicenter of black life at Winchester, the gang gathers on Wednesday nights to watch a Scandal spoof called Defamation — complete with Olivia Pope and President Fitzgerald look-alikes and some kind of alien replacement playing Olivia’s dad…we think.
When a group of white students decided to host a “Dear Black People” Halloween party complete with blackface (still not okay, by the way) Sam ended up leaking the invites as a “social experiment” to “wake some folks up.” She then confessed to this on her radio show, saying:
“When you mock or belittle us, you enforce an existing system. Cops everywhere staring down the barrel of a gun at a black man don’t see a human being, they see a caricature, a thug, a [n-word]. So…nah! You don’t get to show up in a Halloween costume version of us and claim irony or ignorance. Not anymore.”
We’d like to take a moment to remember Thane Lockwood and his big dreams. Thane, campus jock and star football player, died tragically after getting drunk and trying to fly. R. Kelly made him do it.
When Coco said,
“Dear white people, having a black vibrator does not count as an interracial relationship.”
Goldie’s intro: Goldie isn’t an actual character, but definitely one of our favorite parts of the show. Sam and Coco shared a golden blunt — “Goldie” — during happier times, then Sam gifted another to Coco as an apology gift.
After feeling rejected by the most popular Black Sorority on campus, Coco got her revenge on her “sisters” in a total power play, which provided her first power-gasm followed by quite possibly the most iconic TV moment, ever — the threesome with Goldie, Coco, and Troy.
This very necessary reminder,
Joelle: “Sometimes being carefree and black is an act of revolution.”
The #WokeOrNotWoke app. Still waiting for someone to create this one.
Sam: “Dear white people, our skin color is not a weapon. You don’t have to be afraid of it.”
The very relatable struggle of stress eating chicken nuggets.
Joelle: “Waist-thin, ass-thick is going to have to wait until America solves its race issues.”
We can definitely relate and we’re clinging to our “nugget-shaped pressed meat” privileges.
When Coco said, “As soon as you double down on your blackness, they will double down on their bullshit. Who cares if you’re woke or not if you’re dead?”
Along with the Scandal spoof, Dear White People gifted us with the most amazing spoof of Iyanla: Fix My Life.
After an intense and almost fatal encounter with campus police, Reggie penned this powerful piece and performed at open mic night.
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 and 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,
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,
gun in my face, your hate misplaced.
White skin, light skin, but for me, not the right skin.
Judging me with 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.
Al’s attempt at flirting: “You know, I really want to get at you but I’m not sure how to do it in a respectful way, Madam Hot Feminist.”
Gabe’s many nicknames: Summer Bae aka White Bae aka Hipster 8 Mile aka Disney Channel Obama.
The super sweet moment Sam and White Bae made their relationship official (but not Facebook official).
Lionel started out as an awkward, nerdy, writer, with a giant afro but after a few confidence-boosting moments, a great haircut, and finally accepting his sexuality — Lionel totally hit his glow up (he got hot).
During a particularly passionate love-making session with Troy, Coco had a bit of a wig situation. Clearly Troy missed the “You don’t touch a Black girl’s hair without permission” memo. But he totally made up for it by pulling out his du-rag to match Coco’s stocking cap — which made Coco more comfortable and was kinda sweet. Not all heroes wear capes, sometimes they rock red silk du-rags.
The return of Coco’s curls. In an attempt to “fit in” and be accepted by her white peers, Coco pushed her #BlackGirlMagic to the side. However, despite all the micro-aggressions and self-hate embedded during childhood, Coco eventually ditched the straight wigs and let her natural curls flow.
Coco’s last words to Troy during their break-up: “I’m smarter than you. I’m more ambitious than you. Thirty years from now when I am the second black female president, all you’ll be able to do is think about me and I won’t remember your name.”
We all know Drake started out as an actor on Canadian TV show Degrassi, where he played a kid named Jimmy who ended up in a wheelchair. So in an effort to lift Sam’s spirits after a fight with White Bae, Joelle cracks this hilarious joke,
Joelle: “Is it just me, or is Drake’s entire career a response to that episode of Degrassi when he was in the wheelchair and couldn’t get it up?”
Self-love is great, but we were so glad to see Lionel finally getting some real action.
And it all came full circle, back to Defamation Wednesdays — we thought it was a great way to end the show with everyone gathered and getting along.
Also, based on the ending, we know there’s a very real possibility of a Reggie and Joelle relationship and a Coco and Sam friendship reunion.
And finally, possibly the most important question on everyone’s mind, where the heck Sorbet?
Dear White People could not have come at a better time — the storytelling, the acting, and the message were all just perfect. We think it’s safe to say that Justin Simien and the entire cast totally outdid themselves and we can’t wait to see what happens in Season 2. (We’re hoping there will be a Season 2.)
Sidenote: We need more GIFs, Internet!