I like the show Girls. I think Lena Dunham is a smart, witty and savvy writer and am thrilled for her success. While I am a bit befuddled by her being assailed as the second coming to Gloria Steinem, I get why people like the show, and I get why people like to hate the show. I also find it laughable how preoccupied people are with Dunham’s naked body–it’s just so predictably American (but alas, we just finished debating Abortion rights in a presidential election). I even found the endless “there’s not enough diversity” debate that raged on when the first season of Girls premiered on HBO last year baseless and annoying.
As a Black woman who grew up in an extremely diverse private school, before attending an even more diverse public high school, then going on to attend a Historically Black College, I have a dirty little secret when it comes to my peer circle–I have one close White friend. My best friend since high school is White and Jewish. She’s still one of my nearest and dearest buddies and as far as I can see it, we will always be friends. The rest of my vast circle of girlfriends are Black. I live in Harlem and hang out with my Black girlfriends pretty much all the time (I moved to Harlem because it was once a Black neighborhood, but that is no longer…I digress). That is my life, that is my reality. For these and many other reasons, I supported Dunham’s defense of Girls as her own truth, as she told NPR’s Fresh Air:
I wrote the first season primarily by myself, and I co-wrote a few episodes. But I am a half-Jew, half-WASP, and I wrote two Jews and two WASPs. Something I wanted to avoid was tokenism in casting.
Who am I to judge Lena Dunham’s White Williamsburg reality. If that is her truth, and she chooses to share it, it is in no way disappointing and unrealistic as others suggest. I’ve never understood people who cite other people’s truths as not being “real life.” I know we’re all supposed to be living in some post-racial melting pot version of millennial America, but people still align and identify along ethnic and racial lines, and that’s perfectly fine with me.
Since I thought the “lack of diversity” criticism of Girls was silly in the first place, you can imagine I was quite intrigued when I heard Childish Gambino’s Donald Glover was joining the cast this season. Would he be the token Black friend? Perhaps the downstairs neighbor who supplies marijuana? No no, in fact, he would play Hannah’s newest love interest. Mouth agape.
Also On HelloBeautiful:
Celebs Tweet Their Thoughts About #JusticeForSandraBland
1. Jesse Williams
#SandraBland's treatment while attempting to travel freely on HER public roadways has been acknowledged as unlawful. She is already dead.
2. Taraji P. Henson
"SAY HER NAME #SandraBland"
3. Ava DuVernay
"'Why are you arresting me?' Because you know your rights. Because I can. Because no one'll believe you. #SandraBland"
4. Kim Kardashian
#WhatHappenedToSandraBland We need answers!!!! This is NOT ok! This is all shady! They need to own up to this & tell the truth!
5. Jussie Smollet
"A loss 4 words. #SandraBlandMatters #BlackLivesMatter 👈🏿tell me this should change once the nation shows that we do. "
6. Snoop Dogg
🙏🌹. Sandra. Rip. 🌹🌹
7. K. Michelle
R.I.P to this queen. This could've been any of us. My prayers go out to her family. #sandrabland https://instagram.com/p/5fvlO_AhCf/
8. Gabrielle Union
SAY HER NAME!!! #SandraBland #SandraBland #SandraBland #SayHerName
"We must get to the cause of #sandrabland death because this CANNOT happen again #deathorfreedom"
10. David Banner
"When will we fight back. A man's duty on earth is to protect women and children. Where are the gangsters? Preachers? We need you. Please."
11. Nicki Minaj
"Rest In Peace #SandraBland"
12. Talib Kweli
"We the people ask @LorettaLynch to investigate #SandraBland #KimberleeRandleKing RETWEET "
Signs. Signs. Signs all around us. The Message is Here. #SandraBland
14. Missy Elliot
"When I look at the #SandraBland traffic video it brings so many emotions😳😢😡😡😤!"
15. Jessie J
"God bless your soul Sandra | #sandrabland | Change needs to come |Justice needs to be served | Heart… https://instagram.com/p/5fV79mQ0aw/ "
16. Jackee Harry
"It's time y'all, it's time.." #SandraBland #BlackLivesMatter
"In memory of #SandraBland these things don't make no kinda sense "
18. Holly Robinson Peete
I really don't look forward to having ANOTHER difficult conversation w my kids tonight...but here we go again😧💔 #SandraBland #SayHerName 😢
19. Jeffrey White
Sadly, doesn't matter by whose hand she died. Unjustified arrested set the outcome in motion. The state murdered her. #JusticeForSandraBland
Sandra could have been your mother, sister, aunt, friend or if she wasn't killed the community outreach advisor A&M. #SandraBland
21. Joan Smalls
"My heart is broken. Sending my deepest condolence to her family and friends. May you find Strength, Peace and Justice. When will this stop? #EqualityForAll #RIP #Why #SayHerName
22. Gladys Knight
Sandra Bland.... #SayHerName #SandraBland
23. Cara Delevigne
Things need to change NOW #SANDRABLAND #Justice #Equality
24. Meek Mill
"Rip to that young lady that lost her life about a traffic stop! 🙏 ima make sure I pray for her and her family! 🙏😄😄😄"