Updated: Apr 3, 2020
By: I.S. Jones
Somewhere in the middle of season one of Girls, I realized I was watching a show based in Brooklyn with virtually no Black people, much less people of color. The show, at the time of its release, painted itself to be one that was for “every young woman in her 20’s”. It didn’t take long for black and brown viewers to witness that not only was “Girls” not for us, it wasn’t written with us in mind. Dunham made it clear she doesn’t know how to write for us.
While Dunham sat loud and wrong in her whiteness, a miracle happened.
Brown Girls is a brilliant, stunning, necessary emerging web-series. Putting the stories of two young women of color front and center, Leila is a South Asian-American writer just now owning her queerness while Patricia is a sex-positive, Black-American musician who is struggling to commit to anything: job, art and relationships etc. Although the two women come from different backgrounds, their friendship is ultimately what they lean on to get through the messiness of their mid-twenties.
What I love is Leila and Patricia, for me, represent two halves of my whole self. I am a queer woman of color who is all about body-positivity and casual (responsible) sex, and I went through a phase of being unable to commit to anyone. The main characters Leila and Patricia are unabashedly vivacious and charming in their messiness. What I love most is how the web-series message is about sisterhood above everything and how that kinship keeps them alive. Brown Girls makes me feel like I’m going to be alright. I’ve never come across any form of media that so accurately reflects my lived experiences. Brown Girls is a fresh story that opens up a world for an audience that is often ‘othered’ or altogether ignored by mainstream media.
The series was written by nationally touring and published poet Fatimah Asghar and directed/produced by You’re So Talented’s creator, Sam Bailey. Chicago’s own Jamila Woods is serving as Music Consultant. She is also providing some of her own music for the series. Other artists include Ashni Dave, Daryn Alexus and Drea Smith. The series is led by two amazing on screen talents: Nabila Hossain and rising comic Sonia Denis.
Brown Girls is set to premiere in February on weareopen.tv, a digital distro hub for female filmmakers, queer creators, and artists of color. Now let’s have this trailer on repeat until February: