7 'Degrassi' Characters Who Took On Racism And Prejudice
Entertainment

7 'Degrassi' Characters Who Took On Racism And Prejudice

Say what you will about the show, but it's important.

719
Degrassi Caps

"Degrassi" is a popular Canadian drama following high school students through all of their coming-of-age glory. The series ran for 14 seasons under the name "The Next Generation," then for another four years under the name "Next Class" (a Netflix original series). Say what you will about "Next Class" in comparison to the OG series, but both offer realistic and empathetic views on traumatic, inspiring, and beautiful human moments.

It also takes us through all the goofiness that is growing up.

For most of the show's run, however, race and racism were left out of the scripts. However, there were seven characters that took on storylines that highlight racism or privilege. Unfortunately, it wasn't until later seasons that the show took these real life scenarios on. Those characters deserve an homage - not for being racist, but for shedding light.

1. Frankie and Hunter

Frankie and Hunter Hollingsworth were really the first characters to portray the story of white privilege on "Degrassi Next Class." Frankie draws a racist photo of an African American volleyball player at a rival school (portraying the girl as a monkey). Frankie avoids the issue for a long time, plays the victim, and manages to say a series of privileged statements throughout the process of coming to terms with her racism. Her story is an important reminder of our conditioning as youth and how easy it is to buy into prejudices if we don't actively try and live antiracist lifestyles.

Frankie's twin, Hunter, goes off on a rant meant to defend himself, but he pulls Goldi, a muslim student, down with him. The school's video game club becomes censored because of the violence portrayed in the games. Hunter attempts to make a point about how they shouldn't have to make sure everyone is comfortable since there are things in high school, or just in life in general, but he ends up being incredibly racist in the process.

2. Goldi/Rasha/Saad

These three played such an important role on "Degrassi Next Class." These seasons take place after some bombings in Syria. Refugees take shelter in Toronto and at Degrassi Community School. This stirs up really important racial topics that had not occurred on the show before (i.e. when everyone assumes Goldi must know about suicide bombers because she's Muslim, or when students assume Saad will be radicalized because he spoke in Arabic while he was frustrated).

Rasha acts as a great reminder that just because someone is Muslim, it doesn't mean they will look or act a certain way. For instance, she is a lesbian and does not wear a hijab to school. She reminds us to get to know someone before buying into prejudices.

3. Dallas

Mike Dallas was the victim of racial profiling in the thirteenth season of "The Next Generation" when a threat occurs at the mall, and all African-American teens are questioned. Later on in the same episode, Dallas and Connor (another POC character on the show) are driving to the science fair and are pulled over for no reason. This causes Dallas to break down a little because it's not his first time being targeted.

4. Danny and Liberty

Siblings Liberty and Danny Van Zandt were used to highlight prejudices against African-American teens in some earlier seasons of Degrassi (however, it definitely took until like season seven to take this topic on, which is too long).

When Liberty went away to university, she was scouted by a sorority solely because of her race. They assumed she came from a "ghetto" background, and there was an incredibly cringy moment where two white girls begged Liberty to teach them how to dance to hip hop.

Her little brother, Danny, is the victim of prejudice when a cashier nearly didn't allow him in the store because of his skin color and was noticeably nervous/weary of him. She also accuses him of stealing. This is in part due to his "best friend," Derek, who pulled a prank. Danny teaches a great lesson on things white kids don't have to think about in this episode.

You'll just have to fish out the ol' Canadian classic to learn more about all that.

Report this Content
This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
Swoon

I Started Dating A Guy Before Quarantine, But Now We Rarely Speak Unless I Double-Text

"He's really nice and cute and I like being around him when we see each other, but he's awful at communication."

Each week Swoonie B will give her advice on anonymous topics submitted by readers. Want to Ask Swoonie B something related to dating and relationships? Fill out this form here — it's anonymous.

Keep Reading... Show less
Lifestyle

This Is Exactly What You Should Eat Today In Quarantine, Based On Your Zodiac Sign

You've probably been eating it the past three months,

If we added up all the minutes of my life I've stood in front of the fridge or pantry mindlessly glazing over options, it would probably amount to several years longer than I'd care to admit.

Keep Reading... Show less
Health and Wellness

If You Don't Think People Are Legitimately Scared To Stay In Lockdown, Think Again

People are terrified of what could happen if states stay in lockdown too long.

Coronavirus (COVID-19) continues to be the topic of discussion for most U.S. residents. From federal reopening guidelines to individual state timelines, the country is all over the place. This sparks conversations within the news, social media, and in family homes about the consequences of reopening the country incorrectly.

Keep Reading... Show less
Health and Wellness

If You Don't Think People Are Legitimately Scared To Reopen States, You're Not Looking Hard Enough

People are terrified of what could happen if states begin reopening too early.

Coronavirus (COVID-19) continues to be the topic of discussion for most U.S. residents. From federal reopening guidelines to individual state timelines, the country is all over the place. This sparks conversations within the news, social media, and in family homes about the consequences of reopening the country incorrectly.

Keep Reading... Show less
Health and Wellness

Feel A Lil' Better: Because You Need To Stretch It Out

Your weekly wellness boost from Odyssey.

No matter how good (or bad) you'd describe your health, one thing is for sure: a little boost is ALWAYS a good idea. Whether that's reading a new, motivating book, or listening to a song that speaks to your soul, there are plenty of resources to help your health thrive on any given day.

Flexibility is an important part of life. Yes, you need to be able to go with the flow and adjust when needed, but literal, physical flexibility is equally handy. Not only does increased flexibility keep you safe from injury each time you work out, but a good stretch session is incredibly soothing after a long day. Your body goes through a lot! It needs to cool down and get loose after all the activities you put it through.

Keep Reading... Show less
Lifestyle

5 Amazing Things That Happened To Me When I Took Just A Week Off From Social Media

I've taken one-week off social media, and here's what I learned.


You’ll think clearer.

Keep Reading... Show less
Facebook Comments