Meet the Characters
(H)afrocentric stars a posse of disgruntled undergrads of color as they navigate their way through Ronald Reagan University. Follow the self proclaimed radical Black feminist, Naima Pepper (who has a White mama), as she deals with the contradictions of her own life in various ways—lashing out in Tourette Syndrome-like rants about gentrification, white supremacy, and apathy. Both she and her brother, Miles Pepper, grew up in a mostly White and Asian neighborhood. Miles Pepper reflects a popular culture aesthetic and mindset. As they navigate through the world with their best friends, Renee Aanjay Brown and El Ramirez, their identities and neighborhood start to change in front of their eyes.
Naima Pepper is a student at Ronald Reagan University, a self proclaimed radical black feminist, but has a white mama. Desperate to follow in the footsteps of Angela Davis, her (s)hero, she reads constantly and imagines herself giving speeches on political soapboxes all over the world. So obsessed with the social movements of the 50s, 60s, and 70s, she wears her “Ally” shirt in memory of Malcolm X and the speech he gave about slave abolitionist John Brown. Naima continues to deal daily with the contradictions of her own life in various ways—lashing out in Tourette Syndrome-like rants about gentrification, racism, and apathy. Both she and her fraternal twin brother Miles Pepper grew up in a mostly White and Asian neighborhood.
Miles Pepper is the brother of Naima. He is an apolitical drummer who reflects a popular culture aesthetic and mindset. His tendency to write off Naima’s rants about the world as being, “really bitter for someone from the suburbs,” causes daily sibling rivalry. Despite having grown up in the same household, Miles and Naima are frighteningly different. As Naima says, “You are the liberal that Martin Luther King talks about in his Letters from Birmingham Jail…ugh!”
Kwame and Rahsaan
Despite being born and raised on the West Coast, Kwame is some what of a paradox. His outfit of choice; a Nefertiti necklace, white T and baggy jeans is just one part of his style that channels the afrocentric East Coast Hip Hop he grew up listening to. Kwame studies numerology, Kemetic history, and supreme mathematics despite being an Entomology major at Ronald Reagan University. He was the first to start a chapter of 5%-rs on the West Coast in Oakland, CA. And while Kwame’s penchant for a healthy diet full of specialty brewed teas instead of sodas or what he calls “Jim Jones’ drink of choice,” he still manages to justify his habit of smoking cigarettes and calling women “bitches.”
On first impression, Rahsaan Hayes seems like your average “Yes Man” or “Yeah bruh” as he would say, but he is not. An aspiring tea sommelier, Wing Chun practitioner, lover of wave caps and girls, Rahsaan is complex. Along with his best friend Kwame Forks, he tries to navigate through Ronald Reagan University without accumulating too much debt or a police record.
Elizondo “El” Ramirez
Elizondo “El” Ramirez is best friends with Miles. El is a 2nd generation Mexican-American, self identified Chicano, with Nationalist tendencies, hence his preference to yell, “This is Atzlan!” whenever anything doesn’t work out his way. While not directly involved in political activism, he still has a yearning for his own culture to be represented with more dignity and honor. Although his identity politics are strong, his inability to be more critical about the world around him places him in sticky situations.
Renee Aanjay Brown
Renee Aanjay Brown is a stud, lesbian, mixed Indonesian and Black, and first generation. Her haircut is a mashup between Justin Beiber and Salt N Pepa (Push It video era), and while she is not politically engaged except for when it comes to questioning her own gender and sexuality, she often takes on a masculine identity reifying all the dominant tropes about what it means to be “a man.” Her mother is a Muslim woman from Indonesia and her father is African American and Christian, which does not clear anything up for her identity.