What Efforts Like “Awkward Black Girl” and “Dear White People” Say About the Future of Blackness
Dear White People Trailer
I’m super excited, mainly because today marks the premiere of Season 2 of the popular and award winning web series Awkward Black Girl. Spearheaded by Stanford grad Issa Rae, the show follows the chronicles of Jay, and her comedic clashes with everything from her job to her love interest. Interestingly enough, I also stumbled upon a trailer for a film called Dear White People, a satire featuring Black students at an Ivy League university, and their plight to demythologize the stereotypes around Black people, while also sending the message of their own identities as individuals.
The efforts of shows like Awkward Black Girl and Dear White People excite me for two reasons. One, they underscore the power of new media to circumvent the debilitating powers of the mainstream film industry. But secondly, they also reveal the extent to which new generations of Black youth are paving the way to deconstruct even what Blackness means in the 21st century. Issa Rae is trying to send the message that you can be “awkward and Black,” while Dear White People is attempting to show us how you can be “…bigger than Black…”
Of course, this requires a delicate balance, for this is a challenge for a “post-racial” America that isn’t post-racial. We can advocate for the diversity of Blackness, but I ultimately feel that it’s a project for our own psyches, for we will still be viewed monolithically by many of our White counterparts. And if you look at comments section of both of these videos you’ll find those poor unfortunate souls who keep hollering that centuries old fallacy known as “reverse racism.” Nevertheless, I can appreciate the efforts by new young film artists, who are showing that Black People are not just The Cosby Show, Tyler Perry Films, and Precious—but everything within, in-between and beyond.
I recommend you support both these works, and if nothing else, they’re hilarious to watch
Issa Rae Cnn Interview