The revolution will be televised, and the current tanning of American TV has opened the floodgates for a wave of new shows that speak to the multifaceted Black perspective.
“I think it’s saying, 'see us, acknowledge us, hear us,' and that what we are saying about how we are treated at times is valid,” said Ashley Blaine Featherson, who reprises her role as Coco in season two of Netflix’s Dear White People, while visiting The Breakfast Club this morning.
Premiering last summer, the show centered on a group of Ivy League students of color and offers a glimpse at how touchy topics like social injustice and racial tension are being approached by millennials.
“[It's about] being a Black face in a white place,” said Featherson, joined by castmates Logan Browning and Antoinette Robertson. Before Dear White People returns to screens this Friday (May 4), the ladies behind characters Samantha White, Colandrea "Coco" Conners and Joelle Brooks discussed interracial relationships, feeling the need to conform to certain standards of beauty, and characters Sam and Reggie's connection.
On SAM & REGGIE'S RELATIONSHIP:
Logan Browning: Unfortunately for Sam, she can be really selfish, and I think she thinks she’s helping. She thought she was helping Reggie by being there for him and maybe she was in some capacity. But I think she missed the bigger picture with Reggie.
ON LOSING A SENSE OF BLACKING WHEN DATING INTERRACIALLY:
Browning: I don’t want to think that. I think that there is a part of your Blackness that you get to explore deeper when you are in a relationship with another person of your same ethnicity.
ON DATING WHITE MEN:
Antoinette Robertson: I did and it was an interesting 'bring you home to family' kind of situation. I have a Jamaican mother. Little conversations went over his head. He’d say, ‘Wait, what are they talking about?’
Ashley Blaine Featherson: I can’t do it. I’m not cut out for it. Bringing home would be fine, it’s just that that would irritate me. I need you to understand what I’m talking about. I don’t want to have to explain.
ON CONFORMING TO WHITE STANDARDS OF BEAUTY
Robertson: When I was modeling and I didn’t know any better, yes, because I was told that very, very bluntly, ‘You’re way prettier with straight hair. That’s it. That’s what we want from you. We don’t want you to wear your hair natural.' I left that agency and ended up going to Ford. And when I wore my hair curly, I started working so much more.
The full interview between the Dear White People cast and The Breakfast Club can be viewed above.