Netflix’s Dear White People is one of pop culture’s most provocative shows. Based on a breakout 2014 indie movie, the Netflix series follows a group of young, black college students navigating the world of activism, “wokeness,” appropriation, political correctness and social issues on a mostly white campus.
The premise might sound heavy, but the show is really, really funny. At the center of the story is Samantha White, a passionate racial justice advocate, who hosts a campus radio show that seeks to wake her fellow classmates up to the issues dividing the student body.
The show has received widespread critical acclaim (it debuted to a 94% on Rotten Tomatoes) for its bold—and at times, irreverent—approach to cultural commentary, and Netflix recently debuted its third season. It’s also struck a chord with real-life college students who want to make their own campuses more just and welcoming to people of color.
“What I hear from [college students] is they feel comforted watching Sam going through the same things they’re doing,” says Logan Browning, who plays Samantha on the show. “Because there aren’t a lot of shows where you’re seeing a character go through the ups and downs of trying to be a part of a movement that’s bigger than them.”
For Browning, her work on the show isn’t just rooted in her passion for racial equality and justice; it’s an important part of her faith. Raised in a Baptist church, Browning says that her own approach to activism mirrors Samantha’s passion but is informed by her Christian roots.
“I’ve always just wanted to model my approach to activism with how Christianity approaches love,” she explains. “How compassionate love is—that it protects, that it serves, that it’s not self-seeking … I always go back to, ‘Is it love? Is it rooted in love?’”
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Source: Relevant Magazine