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Ever the introvert, Lionel gravitated toward journalism, which allowed him to speak volumes, without having to say actual words
—The Narrator[src]
Lionel Higgins is a character on the Netflix original series Dear White People. He is portrayed by DeRon Horton in the TV adaptation and by Tyler James Williams in the original film.

Character Edit

Lionel is a shy reporter for The Independent. Although he exhibits social anxiety through actions like speaking quietly when trying to interview Sam White and getting nervous at the party from Chapter V, his introduction centers around the fact that he notified the Black Student Union of the racist blackface party and also exacted some revenge of his own at the party. In Chapter II the narrator comments that this action was "the start of [Lionel's] backbone."

It is suggested early on that Lionel was fearful of joining the Armstrong Parker House because he experienced homophobic bullying in high school from fellow black students. In Chapter II when Silvio says that The Independent is for everyone at Winchester and not just for Lionel's friends, Lionel remarks, "'Friends is optimistic." This fear seems to disappear as the season goes on.

Story Edit

Early Life Edit

Lionel previously lived, raised by his mother. He often embellished in different notions of nerd culture but dealt with harassment from other black peers during his younger years in school. Lionel also lived as a closeted, gay man.[1][2]

Attending Winchester Edit

First Days Edit

to be added

Dear Black People Edit

to be added

Interviewing the Black Caucus Edit

to be added

His Identity Edit

to be added

The Hack Edit

Returning to the Independent Office, Lionel sees a restless Silvio at his desk, searching through files. He is informed that the Dean had been hacked and that Silvio was venturing different files to know who sent out the invitations to the blackface party weeks ago. Lionel joins him on his computer; out of curiosity, Higgins read the transcripts to the conversation between Fairbanks and White. Reading along, he learns that after the person gained access to Pastiche's Facebook page, the password was changed to Sam's ID number, which the Dean admits he attempted to use. Lionel tells Silvio about this but soon tries to retract from writing a full article on White's involvement.

He heads back to Armstrong-Parker and catches Sam after her argument with Gabe.[3] Warning her that she could be published in his next article about the hack, he added that he did not feel right about writing another person's truth.

A New Look Edit

The next morning, Lionel knocks on Troy's room door and takes on the offer for a haircut. As he came out as gay to Troy, he had his hair trimmed down from his usual afro. Later, he masturbated in his room.[1]

1x08 LionelHiggins

Lionel's Bonr profile.

Drinking with Troy Edit

to be added

The Hancocks and Town Hall Edit

to be added

Quotes Edit

—Lionel to his editor[src]

Trivia Edit

  • Lionel has recently joined the app Bonr. Since joining, he has met one user physically, though they never engage any further than small chat about Troy. (Chapter VIII)

References Edit

Navigation Edit

Winchester Student Body
Armstrong-Parker House AbigailAlJoelle BrooksChariseCoco ConnersCurlsElizabethTroy FairbanksReggie GreenLionel HigginsKarenKordellKelsey PhilipsTraceySamantha White
Bechet House

Chad TownsendDanielleEmilyMuffy Tuttle

Blakey Graduate House Gabe MitchellMiloVanessa
Garmin House Kurt Fletcher
Gerstein House
Others AddisonAnnieAJRashid BakrBeccaBrookeConnerCliftonGordonIkumiJamesJoshThane LockwoodToddMeharMikoMitchNelsonPaigeSabrinaSilvioSmootheSungmiTanikaHelmut WestWild


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