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hella deep insecure season 2 syllabus

inspired by Lemonade Syllabus + A Seat At The Table Syllabus

thank you. insecure Season 2 on HBO took us there. It revealed the parts of ourselves that we don’t want anyone to see. With the pressure to curate our best selves and live our best lives, insecure allowed us to see ourselves as we really are: messy, beautiful, failing, winning, confused and confident. We were offered the opportunity to use fictional characters to discuss our nonfictive lives including topics not limited to equal pay, gentrification, taboo sexuality,and race. This syllabus intends to continue the conversation with works inspired by each episode. Thank you to those who have provide a framework to curate this selection. Thank you to the creators of this brilliant show. Thank you to the contributors. We hope this reflects our gratitude.

Ep 1. hella great Ep 2. hella questions Ep 3. hella open Ep 4. hella LA Ep 5. hella shook Ep 6. hella blows Ep 7. hella disrespectful Ep 8. hella perspectives

hella great “Issa struggles after the break with Lawrence & difficulties with a new task at work. Molly doubts her worth at work, and Lawrence adapts to his new housing situation.�

Sisters of The Yam (black women and self-recovery) PUSHOUT Cohabitation Nation: Gender, Class, and the Remaking of Relationships

bell hooks

Monique Morris Amanda Miller & Sharon Sassler

Divided Sisters

Midge Wilson & Cathy Russell

The Power of Habit: Why We Do What We Do in Life and Business

Charles Duhigg

wine down 1. The Music! 2. How do you feel about the satirical look at the obsession of the slave narritive in media? 3. How do you feel about the layers of Thug Yoda? 4. Does inviting former partners into your space create confusion or closure? 5. Does the appearance of Ahmal make the show more multidimensional for you?

hella questions “Issa tries to make sense of a cryptic encounter; Lawrence considers crucial decisions; after receiving some harsh truths, Molly plots to join the office “boys club”; Issa and Freida encounter a problematic vice principal.”

Pedagogy of The Oppressed

Paulo Friere

How Black Women Can Close the Pay Gap

Serena Williams

For White Folks Who Teach In The Hood

Christopher Emdin

Black women have to work 7 months into 2017 to be paid the same as white men in 2016

Valerie Wilson, Janelle Jones, Kayla Blado, & Elise Gould

wine down 1. Is there a certain way we think our lives should go? Is there a certain way middle class, college educated, corporate Black women think their lives should go? 2. What are your thoughts on the internalized racism of Mr. Gaines? 3. Molly and Black Women’s pay gap...? 4. Should married couples be more open with their single friends about the realities of marriage? 5.What is your take on Tasha not fitting into a the college-educated, middle class mold of the other characters?

hella open “A sexually frustrated Issa explores a new outlook on dating; on a girl’s night out, Molly meets a promising new guy; Lawrence’s new work friends test his commitment.”

The Hand I Fan With

Tina McElroy Ansa

The Fire Next Time

James Baldwin

Life on Mars

Tracy K. Smith

This is How You Lose Her

Junot Diaz

Love, Freedom, Aloneness: The Koan of Relationships


Everyday Antiracism: Getting Real About Race in School

Edited by Mica Pollock

wine down 1. What work does Lawrence need to do work out his issues? 2. How do you know you’ve reached a point in a relationship to invite your into your family life? 3. Is it possible to use class mobility to escape the effects of white supremacy? 4. Is therapy 5. Will Tasha’s actions usher in a new confidence that we haven’t seen from women on the show, or is she overreacting?

hella LA “Issa’s confidence is shaken; Molly hangs with a childhood friend; Lawrence has a wild and crazy night.”

Black Sexual Politics: African Americans, Gender, and the New Racism

Patricia Hill Collins

More Than Two: Franklin Veaux A Practical Guide to & Eve Rickert Ethical Polyamory Beyond the Black Lady: Sexuality and the New African American Middle Class (New Black Studies Series)

Lisa B. Thompson

wine down 1. What are your thoughts on open relationships? 2. Can open relationships have an ethical approach? If so are Molly and Dro taking one? 3. What are the benefits and side-effects of using dating apps? 4. Does this episode have an accurate portrayal of women’s sexuality? 5. Is Kelly’s character a fresh voice or a caricature?

hella shook “Issa explores casual relationships; Molly learns some new truths; Lawrence stumbles on news.”

Things I Should Have Told My Daughter

Pearl Cleage

The Autobiography of My Mother

Jamaica Kincaid

In Search of Our Mother’s Gardens

Alice Walker

Opening Up: A Guide to Creating and Sustaining Open Relationships

Tristan Taormino

Qualified Black Women Sylvia Ann Hewlett Are Being Held Back from & Tai Wingfield Management

wine down 1. What are your thoughts on using our parents’ experiences to justify our own? 2. Does the introduction of the characters’ family life add to the layers or attempt to portray their justifications? 3. When is it safe to let people from our past go? 4. How do our family members secrets impact our decisions? 5. Have your thoughts on polyamory and open relationships changed?

hella blows “Finding herself without a car, Issa is met with disappointment as she maintains her roster. Molly frets about an important friendship while embracing something new. Lawrence gets a rude awakening at work after pitching his app.”

Liberating Sexuality: Starting with Black Women

Dorothy E. Roberts

Tell Me More “A Day In The Life: Blacks At The Cutting Edge Of Innovation” Why ‘Insecure’ Is Not Made ‘for Dudes’ or ‘White People’ Credit Card Debt Is Worse for African Americans Credit Scores in America Perpetuate Racial Injustice

Michel Martin

Brittany Spanos Breanna Edwards Sarah Ludwig

Insecure About ‘Hella Blows”? De-Andrea Blaylock ASK A SEX THERAPIST

wine down 1. Are women still having these conversations about oral sex? 2. Who are the appropriate people and where are the appropriate places to receive sexual education as an adult? 3. What are your thoughts on women perpetuating the infantilization of men? 4. What spaces or times are most comfortable to discuss race? Why are people uncomfortable with naming race as a factor in situations? 5. How can we hold white women and non-Black women of color accountable for intersectional racism and feminism?

hella disrespectful “Tensions run high during Derek and Tiffany’s dinner party. Molly rethinks her future after being forced to come to terms with her romantic realities. Issa tries to make things right ...”

The Little Black Book Elaine Meryl Brown, of Success: Laws of Marsha Haygood, Leadership for Black Women & Rhonda McLean How Exceptional Black Women Lead: Unlocking the Secrets to Creating Phenomenal Success in Career and in Life

Dr. Avis Jones-DeWeever

Sister Citizen

wine down Melissa Harris-Perry

1. What are your thoughts on Lawrence’s relationship patterns? 2. Who are the appropriate people to invite to shared spaces when relationships and friendship dynamics change? 3. What are the signs you notice when modern colonialism (gentrification) is taking place? 4. What can be done to combat gentrification or change the effects of gentrification? 5. Can Lawrence’s sexism be redeemed?

hella perspectives “Season Two Finale. Over the course of one pivotal month, Issa, Molly and Lawrence face choices impacting their work and personal lives, with each considering whether to embrace a new future or look back to the past.”

Sister Outsider

Audre Lorde

Black Power: The Politics Kwame Toure of Liberation & Charles V. Hamilton BIG HOMIE BETTER GROW UP Frederick Salyers “4:44” Sends an Important Message About Vulnerability Evicted: Poverty and Profit Matthew Desmond in the American City Underground Misha Green for WGN / HULU How to Kill a City: Peter Moskowitz Gentrification, Inequality, and the Fight for the Neighborhood The Color of Law: A Forgotten History of How Our Government Segregated America

Richard Rothstein

The Will to Change: Men, Masculinity, and Love

bell hooks

wine down 1.__________________________________________________________ ____________________________________________________________ 2.__________________________________________________________ ____________________________________________________________ 3.__________________________________________________________ ____________________________________________________________ 4. _________________________________________________________ ____________________________________________________________ 5. _________________________________________________________

thank you, contributors Kiersten Gibson-Cooper, MSEd

Literacy Educator

De-Andrea Blaylock, MSW, LCSW

Whitney Wade, MSW

Diversity Practitioner & Ceramic Artist

Liz H. Jordan, Esq.

Katie Schmelzer, M.Ed.

Sex & Relationship Therapist

Caitlin Ladd, MA

Academic & Employee Development Strategist


Arts Educator

all images property of HBO.

Dave Giles II

Creative Technologist

curated and designed by Jehan Giles, MA

Educator, GSC

Insecure Season 2 Syllabus  

insecure Season 2 on HBO took us there. It revealed the parts of ourselves that we don’t want anyone to see. With the pressure to curate our...

Insecure Season 2 Syllabus  

insecure Season 2 on HBO took us there. It revealed the parts of ourselves that we don’t want anyone to see. With the pressure to curate our...