7 Shows to Watch After You've Finished 'Dear White People' Vol. 2

Since you were first introduced to Sam White, you’ve probably been hooked on Dear White People. Or you enjoy Dear White People because of the BSU’s continual efforts for social and political activism, and been impatiently resisting the urge to spoil Dear White People Vol. 2 for your friends (who seriously need to catch up already).

Though some people have criticized Dear White People for its fake wokeness, the second season of this satirical series has a myriad of character development, which it also uses to delve into topics about mental health. Because the show goes beyond the surface level of identity politics and racism-induced PTSD, it can be challenging to find a similar show that gives you all the necessary social commentary, family dynamics and 13 Reasons Why (minus the 13 reasons). Nevertheless, the Netflix empire (and beyond) has a few shows that are binge-watch worthy while you wait for Dear White People Vol. 3 to pick-up on that cliffhanger.

1. Jane The Virgin

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If you haven’t watched every episode of Jane The Virgin, then can you really say you’ve succeeded at adulting?

Even if telenovelas aren’t your thing (though they really should be), the show follows Jane Villanueva on her journey to find her professional, personal and romantic identity. Between Jane’s romantic qualms, the show also discusses issues such as politics, activism and citizenship. Granted, the show focuses on family dynamics and health representations of family.

With the fifth and (possibly) final season on its way, you might as well catch-up soon (or at least refresh your memory).

Where to watch: The CW and Netflix (for the full first four seasons)

2. Insecure

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As the title suggests, Insecure is about, well, insecurities. The show, which was written especially for women, was somewhat inspired by Issa Rae’s successful web-series Awkward Black Girl. Because adulting is obviously baffling, Insecure showcases two friends, Issa (portray by Issa Rae herself) and Molly (portrayed by Yvoone Orji) who attempt to become confident professional women—and also hone that same confidence in their personal lives.

Using an introspective approach, Insecure shows how Issa and Molly become more secure within themselves—flaws included. The show focuses on the identity issues of becoming a confident woman from a woman of color’s perspective, and also uses dialogue to comment on issues about race and gender.

Where to watch: HBO

3. Atlanta

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Donald Glover is perpetually busy doing more than creating music, and subsequent music videos, that help distract us from whatever the f*ck Kayne is doing remind us (if you weren’t constantly reminded already) that America has an on-going violence problem. Aside from the duality between his music and political statements, Glover has created a show, Atlanta, that also extends real-life conversations.

Though Atlanta focuses on these rappers journey to stardom, the show also implements extensive commentary about LGBTQIA+ issues, homophobia, racism, gun violence, and mental health.

Where to watch: FX

4. Black-ish

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Black-ish follows the Johnson family as they try to raise their children. Disguised as a comedic sit-com about family bonds, Black-ish examines the divergence between Dre and Rainbow Johnson’s parental ideologies and how their children want to be parented.

While ABC has previously censored certain Black-ish episodes, the writer and producer of Black-ish Kenya Barris, is currently scoping out alternate hosting networks for the show. After all, it’s essential that Black-ish continue because, though the show mentions stereotypes of people of color, it never enforces these stereotypes on its characters. In turn, this creates a healthy portrayal of the Johnson family all while dissecting real issues.

Where to watch: ABC and Hulu

5. Grown-ish

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If you couldn’t get enough of Zoey Johnson (or the actress who portrays her, Yara Shahidi), then the Black-ish spin-off, Grown-ish, should be the next on your binge-watching checklist.

As Zoey embarks into the bewildering world of college (which we still haven’t figured out), Grown-ish used Zoey’s new-found adulthood to highlight real-world issues like racism, sex, relationships, classism, colorism and so much more. Unlike the original series that inspired this spin-off, Grown-ish focuses a lot less on family issues and more in grown-up matters. Plus, it covers issues that soon-to-be college freshman wish they knew about before college move-in.

Where to watch: Freeform and Hulu

6. One Day At a Time

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Between the healthy and realistic representations of coming-out as a member of the LGBTQIA+ community and accepting mental health diagnoses, One Day at a Time takes on relatable problems in a non-invasive way. While tackling these themes in a more aggressive way isn’t necessarily a bad thing, One Day at a Time somehow manages to authentically balance its comedic overtones with topics that can often be upsetting.

Plus, this revitalization of the 1970s sitcom explores a plethora of relevant topics from gender roles to politics.

Where to watch: Netflix

7. Black Lightning

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Even if you aren’t a comic buff or a superhero stan, it’s hard to resist a television series that follows a BA superhero (i.e., Black Lightning, whose real identity is Jefferson Pierce), who uses his powers to protect his family and his community. Granted, Black Lightning isn’t the sole crime-fighting altruist in Freeland.

Although we’ll leave the other heroes with legitimate superpowers a mystery for you to solve, Black Lightning also portrays the activists in the series as superheroes in their own way—seeing as they continue to protest the gang leaders in the city as well as the racist monuments in the city, despite the very real threats against their lives.

Where to watch: The CW (but the first season is currently on Netflix)

While these shows might serve as between-volumes-side-binges, these television series are incredibly different (both in their content and how they deliver said content). Beyond the fact that the Dear White People film has won the Independent Spirit Award for Best First Screen & Tessa Thompson won the Gotham Independent Film Award for Breakthrough Actor for her role in the movie, the Dear White People Netflix series’ continual success should show that people want and need more productions like this. Hopefully, other showrunners will take this series’ lead and create shows that don’t distract us from relevant issues, and instead use these topics as the direction for their productions.