By Corinne Dorsey
Howard University News Service
FX’s “Atlanta” hosted an intimate conversation and screening recently at Howard University to celebrate its fourth and final season. The free event allowed students a safe space to discuss how topics in the fourth season relate to them, such as dealing with racism.
Fans were thrilled about the show’s return this fall, which follows the characters in the U.S., compared to their European-based conflicts in season three. FX gave Howard students a taste of the show’s fourth season with a screening of episode three, “Born 2 Die,” which follows lead star “Earn,” played by Childish Gambino, trying to get the attention of R&B artist D’Angelo’s team.
The show also features Brian Tyree Henry, who portrays Alfred “Paper Boi” Miles; LaKeith Stanfield as Darius Epps; and Zazie Beetz as Vanessa “Van” Keefer.
“It was important for the writers and producers of Atlanta to showcase the show at HBCUs, because many of the topics featured pertain to us as young African Americans,” said student Kendall Stills. “I also appreciate the safe space that was created during the showcase.”.
Students at the event also had the opportunity to receive a custom hoodie, stickers and magnets with the final season branding. FX provided food and drinks alongside activities, including a photo booth and aura readings.
The aura readings allowed students to take photos and have them read to describe the aura that they gave off throughout the image.
“‘Atlanta’ means a lot to me because it represents the diversity of Black media,” said Mariah Cooley, a Howard student and panelist. “Oftentimes, shows that are created for Black people are scripted in one way. ‘Atlanta’ does the opposite; it beautifully ties humor, real-life scenarios and drama. It was an honor to be on the panel to discuss the deeper impact of ‘Atlanta’ and how this show takes a deep dive into the different aspects of Black culture.”
Spearheaded by Idlewild Experiential, a Black women-owned consulting agency, FX hosted two screenings, the first at the Atlanta University Center and the second at Howard. Chauncie Burton Quinerly, vice president and group account director of Idlewild Experiential, spoke on why they chose Howard as one of the event hubs.
“People have a lot of very fond memories of their time at Howard previously and Howard currently,” alumna Burton-Quinerly said. “We wanted to emphasize the thought-provoking conversations that come from the show and how that also ties back to the forward-thinking that Howard is known for.”
The event was created to discuss the unique experiences and circumstances of Black students, especially while attending an HBCU.
“We really wanted to bring an activation on campus both in Atlanta as well as D.C., which really dives deep into oneself, because the show ‘Atlanta’ is such a deep dive within all of the characters and all the dynamics and the multifacetedness that each character has and what comes from an aura reading,” said Nitu Desai, head of production for Idlewild Experiential.
Viewers can stream the final season on Hulu or FX on demand.
Corinne Dorsey is a reporter for HUNewsService.com and a reporting fellow at the Washington Post.