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Nia Jervier discusses how her roles reflect her own experience with race

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Nia Jervier’s two biggest projects point to an exploration of what it means to be black in a space whose narrative has been dominated by white people. In “Dear White People”, she plays Kelsey Phillips — who goes to the Harvard like college Winchester, and is part of the African American student union. In her new Netflix movie Step Sisters, she plays Saundra in a story about a black step dancer who is asked to train a white sorority to keep them from embarrassing the school. On Circa Pop Live — while interviewed by our hosts Ryan Mitchell and Shira Lazar — Nia discusses her own experiences in similar spaces.

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Nia discusses how being a “black face in a white place” is something that confuse her black friends. Ryan discusses how often he is also called “so white for a black guy”, which if he speaks in a certain way he gets disconnected from his culture. Nia also discusses how sometimes eloquence or being proper is associated with being white, rather than being associated with black excellence. Nia is excited to showcase these ideas and issues in Step Sisters and “Dear White People” — and it will be exciting to watch.

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