Samantha "Sam" White is an attending media student at Winchester University, Head of House Armstrong-Parker, and the leading activist and speaker for the Black Student Union. She is a major character in the indie film Dear White People, portrayed by Tessa Thompson, and in the Netflix adaption series of the same name, portrayed by Logan Browning.
Samantha is an outspoken, strong-willed woman who takes pride in her work as a black activist in a very white environment. Although she has a strong sense of duty in regards to her identity, she is often criticized by both friends and enemies for feeling that she must overcompensate for having a white father. Her fellow students only worsen this insecurity when it is revealed that she is sleeping with Gabe Mitchell, a white man, in the first chapter.
Sam is well-known on campus for her show Dear White People on Winchester's syndicated radio station. The show comments on racist occurrences both major and minor on campus. It has garnered both the negative attention of Pastiche and "trolling."
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Samantha White is the daughter of William White and Tina White and lived happily under their nourishment. She began attending school at the age of six, throughout her development beginning to be noticed when accompanied by her father. She was often challenged to progress far in life by William, reading books and striving to be better than she can.
Meeting with other students within Armstrong-Parker House, Sam sits alongside Reggie and friends, making comments on Troy's speech performance at the auditorium stage. She walks the steps to the stage, pulled aside by her opponent, in which she was questioned about her intentions for the position and if she sought to win the election. On the stage, with the eyes of her peers on her, Sam spoke from her chest, as she proclaimed that the situation surrounding the integration of Armstrong-Parker was an act of spreading the Black students apart, citing that the other houses were not to be affected by this change. She continued by professing that Troy's position as Head of House was only to please President Fletcher and other higher staff at Winchester; believing she would not win, Sam preached that she was willing to keep Black culture on campus if made victor.
She is applauded by many of the students in the room before silenting, Martin informing them that they could vote on their candidate of choice on their cellular devices. Tallying the scores, Sam learns that she has become the victor of the house election, made Head of House.
Afterwards, she met personally with Troy, in which she was given the calenders and bundles of folders with complaints from house residents. Though she continuely said that she did not see herself winning, she is belittled by Troy over her push for anti-reform.
Retreat with Gabe
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Meeting Reggie and the other Black Student Union members prepared to protest, Sam expressed apologies for being late, citing that her class ran later than expected. Gradually deteriorating in confusion, she received a phone call from her mother, being told that he had been rushed into surgery and would be told later on his condition. Rather than continue forth with the protest, she retreats back to her dorm room at A-P, Gabe following behind her.
While awaiting another call from her mother, Sam repeatedly demand Reggie left her alone alongside seeking the same from Gabe, whom provides an effort to comfort her.
Dear Black People
After being ridiculed by President Fletcher and his assistant stepping away, Sam eavesdropped on the conversation between the President and his son, in which he scolded him on planning a Dear Black People party in the campus's current unrest.
Sam managed to obtain acess to Pastiche's Facebook page where she discovers further information on the Dear Black People party planned by Kurt. With a drafted invitation, she made the party publically known and rests in her room, deciding to miss the Black Student Union congregation planned for the night. Later that night, Sam is visited by Lionel who informed her that Garmin House was throwing a blackface party; initially, she rejected to aid in putting a stop to it, citing that she cannot be "everyone's angry black woman." After leaving her dorm, however, she clutches her camcorder from within her bag, following behind the collection of student unions to Garmin House.
Making eye contact with Lionel through the crowd of partygoers, she signals him and readies her recording of the festivities and, ultimately, the chaos that followed. Standing at the base of the stairs, she encounters Coco in a blonde wig, whom awaited a comment on Conner's presence. Sam recorded Coco's monologue before watching her storm out of the dormitory. She continued to record the chaos around the house and the aftermath.
Sam presented her film project to Professor Bodkin and the class, using clips and elements from interactions between students on campus and their reactions to the Dear Black People party. Despite holding herself in her seat, she received applauding praise from the class as well as Gabe and Professor Bodkin.
Meeting with the members of Black Caucus at Armstrong-Parker, Sam was interviewed by Lionel, introducing him to the four separate collectives that comprised the Caucus. She also led a discussion on how to properly combat the Dear Black People party that Pastiche held at Garmin House a week prior. During her monologue, Sam was pulled aside by Joelle, learning that her partner Gabe had published an image of her topless on Instagram, leaving the room in silent shock.
Afterwards, she was pulled aside and interviewed further by Lionel; she is then looked down upon by the other students, Coco decidingly leaving her in peace. Sam awkwardly asks what everyone was doing, getting the honest reply from Rashid about her relationship with Gabe and Kelsey expressed appectance for Sam's happiness before leaving. With Al and Reggie following in suit, she is left with Joelle whom quickly walks away and dismisses the relationship and expressing happiness in her affairs.
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Interview with Gabe
Early one morning, Sam dressed and walked to the radio studio at Bechet to meet with Gabe Mitchell. Encountering Lionel and Wesley, she reminded Lionel that the person he sought was every other week. With a quick introduction towards Gabe, Sam redirects to the studio booth for their interview.
The two, throughout the interview, continuously stop and restart their recordings of audio and video documentation, going into arugments that gradually become more personal. Eventually cooling down, they admit their guilt towards their past actions, apologize, and confess their love for one another. The interview is abruptly brought to a halt when Joelle enters the booth, tearily informing Sam that she needed to go home.
Trip and Reunion
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Order of X
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|Samantha White's Appearances|
- “It wasn't speeches that turned the tide in the Civil Rights Movement; it was the anarchists, willing to provoke the police, get sprayed by hoses, anything that caused a scene and made press. That invite--whoever sent it--should have been met with derivion and outrage. Instead, a hundred people--your students--showed up, and they put up posters and decorations and costumes that they made for such an event; and they showed where this school was really at.”
- —Samantha White to Dean Fairbanks[src]
- “Dear White people, here's a little tip. When you ask someone who looks ethnically different, "What are you?" the answer is usually, "a person about to slap the shit out of you."”
- —Samantha White[src]
- “A Black woman speaks truth, and society loses its mind.”
- —Samantha White[src]
- See Gallery.
- In the film, Reggie Green comments that he initially thought Sam was ethnically Puerto Rican; actress Tessa Thompson is of Afro-Panamanian and Mexican descent.
- Samantha's Rebirth of a Nation is a white-faced spoof of the 1915 silent movie of the same name.
- She plays Candy Crush Saga occasionally.
- Samantha's student ID is 57835261946. Upon granting access to Pastiche's Facebook page, she changed the password to her ID number.
- ↑ 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 Dear White People: Volume 2: Chapter IX
- ↑ 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 2.5 Dear White People
- ↑ 3.0 3.1 Dear White People: Volume 1: Chapter I
- ↑ 4.0 4.1 Dear White People: Volume 1: Chapter II
- ↑ Dear White People: Volume 1: Chapter X
- ↑ Dear White People: Volume 2: Chapter I
- ↑ Dear White People: Volume 2: Chapter V
- ↑ Dear White People: Volume 2: Chapter VIII
- ↑ 9.0 9.1 Dear White People: Volume 2: Chapter X
|Winchester Student Body|
|Armstrong-Parker House||Al • Rashid Bakr • Brooke • Joelle Brooks • Charise • Coco Conners • Elizabeth • Troy Fairbanks • Reggie Green • Lionel Higgins • James • Karen • Kordell • Martin • Kelsey Philips (Sorbet) • Sungmi • Tracey • Samantha White|
|Blakey Graduate House||Gabe Mitchell • Milo • Vanessa|
|Davis House||Amy • Abigail • Clifton • Dave • Ethan • Gordon • Max • Silvio Romo|
|Garmin Club House||Colin • Gordon • Jeffrey • Kurt Fletcher • Mitch • Nate|
|Webster House||Trevor King|
|Others|| Addison • Alexis • Wesley Alvarez • Annie • Annie • AJ • Becca • Christina • Conner • Deondre • Elisa • Eva • George • Ikumi • Jamila • Jasmine • Jeanette • Josh • Leo • Thane Lockwood • Mehar • Mikah • Miko • Nelson • Paige • Sabrina • Tanika • Thad • Theadora • Topper • Tristan • Vijal • Zak