There are a ton of dope characters on Netflix’s Dear White People, but Colandrea “Coco” Conners just might be the realest.
When we first meet Coco (Antoinette Robertson) in Justin Simien’s Dear White People, she seems aggravating AF. Desperate to fit in with the white people at Winchester University; most “woke” Black folk probably couldn’t relate to her. However, after arriving at “Chapter IV”, we get to know the girl behind the facade. It was then that we realized Coco is kind of dope.
After confronting her ex-BFF Sam White at the infamous blackface party, she says, “This may come as a shock to you, but these people don’t care about no Harriet, muthafu*kin Tubman. They spend millions of dollars on their lips, their tans, their asses, Kanye tickets because they want to be like us.”
We learn that Coco hails from the South Side of Chicago and despite her appearance, she’s seen some ish. Though Coco’s perspective might not be widely discussed, her activism is through self-preservation. As she says, “Who cares if you’re woke or not if you’re dead.” Antoinette Robertson spoke with Glamour about her character’s perspective. She said, “It comes from a place of being ridiculed for being herself—especially in her adolescence. Her thought process is that in order to get certain types of attention, she should veer toward a Eurocentric idea of beauty.”
As a dark-skinned sista who has had to contend with issues of colorism, Coco also demands that Sam, confront her light-skinned privilege. Robertson said,
“I want people to watch this show with an open mind and an open heart with the understanding that we’re all going through this path of self-discovery where we’re trying to figure out who we are, who society wants us to be, and if we want to be either/or, or maybe a combination of both. But they should learn we’re all trying to live our truth, and in that, there’s struggle, conflict, and love. We need more people thinking about each other.”
You might not always agree with Coco, but she most definitely stays true to herself. Also, her scenes with Brandon Bell’s Troy Fairbanks will have you fanning yourself to cool off.
So why haven’t you binged Dear White People yet? If nothing else the Scandal parody Defamation is everything.
Photo Credit: Netflix / Adam Rose