Kendra Rae Phillips and Diana Gordon: The Other Black Girl characters explained

In The Other Black Girl, Kendra and Diana’s friendship takes a sour turn when they approach the system differently. Cassi Maddox and April Parker Jones play Kendra, while Shakirah DeMesier and Garcelle Beauvais play Diana.

Kendra Rae Phillips worked as an editor for Wagner Books in the 1980s, while Diana Gordon, her best friend, was a client of the publishing house.

Together, they are popularly known for their book, Burning Heart, which has inspired many Black women like Nella, who no longer feel alone.

Richard Wagner, the CEO and editor-in-chief at Wagner Books, also admits that Burning Heart is the only thing he is most proud of in his career.

However, in the present, Wagner Books is no longer in touch with Kendra and Diana. Diana later returns to rejoin Wagner Books, but not Kendra. It is said that Kendra disappeared after the release of Burning Heart, but according to Richard, she took her own life.

Kendra and Diana’s past

Kendra and Diana grew up together and had promised to never let go of each other. Still, a time came when Kendra dreamed of going to Harvard for further studies.

Diana always knew that she wanted to become an author and tell stories. Kendra, on the other hand, had not figured out her goal yet, and hence, she wanted to go to Harvard.

Kendra’s experience at Harvard is not the best, considering how all white people stare at her. When Diana visits her, she advises her to find an easy way out of this if she is struggling, but Kendra carries a never-give-up attitude. Years later, Kendra’s determination pays off, as she becomes an editor at Wagner Books.

Kendra and Diana fall apart

Things start getting sour between the two when Diana visits Kendra at Wagner Books and leaves an impression on Richard Wagner, who volunteers to take them to lunch and hear what Diana has been working on.

Kendra wonders what Diana’s intentions were: did she really come to have lunch with her or just to pitch herself to her boss? Diana reminds Kendra that she just did both of them a favor. Kendra agrees, and they sit for lunch.

Kendra Rae Phillips and Diana Gordon: The Other Black Girl characters explained 1
Diana and Kendra are offered an opportunity by Richard

After the release of Diana’s book, Burning Heart, which is edited by Kendra herself, Kendra and Diana’s relationship deteriorated. Diana listened to Richard and didn’t keep the original tragic ending of the book’s story because it would have been too much for the white people.

Diana claims that she feared that this book would never have been sold and made money if she had kept the original ending. She then may not have inspired women like Nella. Kendra, on her side, believed they should have never stopped fighting.

By listening to Richard and making compromises, Diana lets the system win. Kendra wanted them to say that they kept fighting even if their book didn’t sell.

Kendra and Diana’s different approaches

Kendra continued to not give up on fighting the system. She intended to stay true to herself and everything she believed in and was determined to never compromise.

Diana, on the other hand, saw things differently. According to her, compromises are part of life if one wants to get ahead. Keeping that in mind, she lost her true self and gave in to the system in order to become successful.

Diana dated Richard, and together, they found Black women who were in pain because of the system. Diana took their pain away by applying grease to their hair, which causes headaches and makes one forget things, and manipulated them into thinking how compromising can help them achieve their goals.

Kendra is still alive, but she is on the run and in hiding. That’s the only way to protect her loved ones from Diana and her sisterhood. It’s when Kendra joins hands with Nella that they decide to bring Diana, her sisterhood, and Richard Wagner down.

Also Read: The Other Black Girl review: Hulu drama doesn’t utilize its several elements

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