Meet 'Dear White People' star Logan Browning, the breakout, thought-provoking actress

PHOTO: Logan Browning in "Dear White People."PlayAdam Rose/Netflix
WATCH Celeb 101 with Logan Browning

Logan Browning is having a moment.

Her hit Netflix dramedy, "Dear White People," has not only earned a rare 100 percent rating on Rotten Tomatoes, but it's also lulled viewers to the kitchen table to discuss race in an America that often can't stand the heat.

Browning, 28, plays college radio host Samantha White, a fire-stoker at fictional Ivy League school Winchester University.

For those who've been following Browning's career, it's a bit of a departure, or perhaps a deepening of substance, since she played Jelena Howard, the no-nonsense captain of a fictional NBA dance squad on "Hit the Floor."

The way we progress as a culture, and a nation, and a world is to listen to other people's experiences.

And even Browning has appeared to embrace her "Dear White People" role off screen, trading in straight tresses for her enviable curly coif. Still, the actress has a warning for those who may try to correlate her hairstyles with her commitment to the issues.

"While I was on 'Hit the Floor' I was wearing wigs and protective styles," she began on ABC News' Celeb 101. "But it's interesting because even though I was wearing wigs and straitening my hair, it didn't mean I wasn't aware of the things going on.

"Antoinette Robertson, who's also on the show, says a quote, 'I can wear a weave and still be woke.' Your hair doesn't really define your agenda," Browning continued. "For me, I'm just exploring and embracing my natural self, which is a transition for me."

PHOTO: Logan Browning in Hit the Floor. VH1
Logan Browning in "Hit the Floor."

It's conversations like this -- along with addressing daily microagressions, interracial dating, blackface, overreacting police and whether the use of racial slurs is appropriate even when they're paired to a rap beat -- that "Dear White People" faces head-on in 10 episodes. And somehow, Justin Simien's show -- based on his 2014 film of the same name -- makes it funny.

"It's been a privilege really to be in a position to have people want to listen to me. It's also really scary to have that responsibility because I'm not necessary qualified," Browning said, noting that she heavily relies on her "personal experience, which is a lot of what the show is about."

"Everyone has an individual experience -- mine and yours are completely different -- and they're both valid and the way we progress as a culture, and a nation, and a world is to listen to other people's experiences," the starlet added.

Browning has seemingly internalized much of the series, which appears to operate on an idea birthed by James Baldwin. In fact, his quote was used to introduce episode five: "Not everything that is faced can be changed, but nothing can be changed until it is faced."

That's how change happens. It's when people aren't afraid to be messy and quirky and weird and -- maybe -- wrong.

The actress, when explaining how she approaches topics of race, seems to mimic the sentiment.

"I want to share my views and I want to hear other people's," she told ABC News. "I love being wrong ... you're only open to change if you're open to the idea that maybe your thought process is not the only one."

Browning's ability to open our minds and force us to think beyond our comfort zones is why Essence magazine selected her for its Future 15, an inaugural list honoring millennial leaders today.

"What I love about millennial culture is we're just setting our own rules, making our own tone and going against what society always tells us that we have to do," she said of the honor, which was bestowed at a New York City event last week.

"That's how change happens. It's when people aren't afraid to be messy and quirky and weird and -- maybe -- wrong," Browning continued.

"I think that is the future. It's just feeling comfortable in your own skin and not feeling like you have to be this prototype. No, you get to be whatever you want to be.”