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‘Dear White People’ Vol. 2 Is Wittier, Bolder, Darker And More Impactful (Review)

May 3, 2018
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Somebody is stirring up sh*t at Winchester University, and all of our faves are getting sucked into the storm. From the opening sequence of Dear White People Volume 2, it’s quite clear that the black students at the Armstrong-Parker House are about to confront much more than they did in the first season of the acclaimed Netflix series. Season 2 opens with an age-old debate, one that has started plenty of wars on Black Twitter and probably ended a friendship or two: salt versus sugar grits. The second season bangs on from there.

Two weeks after the tumultuous protest against integrating Armstrong-Parker, and three weeks after Reggie (Marque Richardson) found himself staring down the barrel of a campus police officer’s gun, Sam (Logan Browning) and the crew are struggling to pick up the pieces. It doesn’t help that they are now sharing their dorm with residents of the recently burned down Davis Hall. It’s a change that has transformed their once safe space amid a predominantly white university into one fraught with microaggressions and disharmony. Apparently, the Caucasians find the scent of fried foods and Armstrong-Parker’s choices in television programming offensive.

Mirroring the first season, Dear White People creator Justin Simien angles each episode of the 10-part second season from the perspective of one of the show’s main character. However, this time, we go well beyond the surface, even stepping away from Winchester’s campus completely. It’s not just Sam, Reggie or Coco (Antoinette Robertson) who get a spotlight this season. Lionel (DeRon Horton), Joelle (Ashley Blaine Featherson) and even Kelsey (Nia Jervier) get some well-deserved and much-needed fleshing out — giving new perspectives to the multiplicities and differences in the black diaspora.

Volume 2 of Dear White People is bolder. With the Trump election behind us, we’re standing firmly in the midst of his presidency, batting a resurgence of white supremacy and racist rhetoric. Simien confronts it all head on. Though she’s used to her radio show “Dear White People” bringing forth criticism, it is now Sam herself who is under attack. A Twitter troll, @AltIvyW, is making her life miserable, assaulting her and the black study body with cruel tweets, abusive language and even threats to their safety. The mystery surrounding the identity of the troll is a thread that runs throughout the entire season. The relentlessness of being called everything from a monkey to a “half-breed bitch” is wearing down the most outspoken black woman at Winchester, and she’s certainly not coming out of it unscathed.

Continue reading at Shadow and Act.