So I've begun doing the research for my racebent Twilight story in which Bella and all the Cullens are Black...
I knew that I wanted Bella to be Black and but I struggled with the Cullens; did I want them to stay all white and have the BellaxEdward relationship be a jumping off point for a lot of discussion/issues that might naturally come up especially if the person of color in a white/POC relationship is socially conscious and not white-identifying? Or did a want a more respresentational approach with the Cullens being a very multicultural family of “adopted” kids of all different nationalities? However, I thought that might be difficult for how old all of the Cullens are and how much attention that would draw.
So all the Cullens are Black and except for Carlisle, African American. My goal is to keep with the progression of the novels and canon character backgrounds as much as possible, with the only differences being where I think the canon would conflict with the characters’ backgrounds. I think this will make for a pretty awesome compare/contrast. So Carlisle is Ethiopian and the son of a Ethiopian OrthodoxTewahedo priest known for his exorcisms and vampire hunting. Obviously he has to leave when he becomes a vampire and basically follows canonCarlise’s story from there until getting to America (wow that part’s going to be… interesting).
One thing that I really want to focus on is the way being Black would affect being a vampire, especially ones such as the Cullens, who basically try to reintegrate into human life without drawing too much attention to themselves.
Things like Carlisle being a doctor, all of them going to university over and over again, amassing the huge amounts of wealth the canonCullens have… all that would be possible but much more difficult, and when you add the fact that the Cullens migrate often and had to have changed identities quite a few times, at a time when Black people were confined to a smaller community and the rich Black community was an even smaller than now, the same family popping up unaged a few times over a few decades would be sure to draw some kind of attention I assume, so I’m still thinking of how to navigate that…
It’s been really fun researching the Black history of the last century and reworking Twilight to fit characters to fit that history and make the story as realistic as possible.
I will soon be posting my fancastings for each character and more on my headcanon backstories, I haven’t started writing yet but I should begin in the next month or so (RL likes to interfere).
“I’m trying to figure out how insulated one has to be from the wider world to be shocked! shocked! that racism is pervasive in American culture, and among American teens. Those wide-eyed tweets about Rue’s death being less sad because she’s black clearly come straight from the brains of adolescents (nearly all of them white, presumably) who have bathed in subtly and overtly racist culture since birth, absorbed far too much of it, and not yet learned to second-guess or even censor themselves when they parrot its tenets. They’re surprising only if you haven’t noticed that when real people of color are killed, there’s always an immediate attempt to justify or downplay the deaths. Art imitates life; reactions to art likewise imitate life.”—An article at Publisher’s Weekly on fans’ racist reactions to learning that Rue is black. The article also gives a shout-out to Racebending.com (via racebending)
What if the Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe had an African “basis” to it?
I mean, the Pevensie kids would be refugee children from a country in the midst of a brutal civil war. Their mother sends them to a relative in another nation, and this peculiar relative possesses a wardrobe that takes them to another world ruled by a lion, but is under the tyranny of a malicious “Sand/Desert Queen” … with the power of desertification (lol) … who lays ruin to beautiful, lush savannas and rainforests and turns people and animals to stone (as the White Witch did).
Just a daydream—not that the original tale was terrible. (Well … watched the movie, haven’t read the book … =0)
SO. MUCH. SQUEE.
I already love Chronicles of Narnia, esp. TLTWATW and honestly… this could only make it better.
“The police are very kind when I’m a young white woman just doing my job, contributing to society. But when I’m at a protest they will follow orders to hit, kick, and pepper spray me. If I had been one of the queer women arrested and detained during the G20 protests in Toronto, as I easily could have been, I would have been subject to threats of rape, vaginal-digital “searches,” and homophobic threats and insults by officers. Police blame rape victims for “dressing like sluts.” Police give black Muslim cyclists fines of $1,316 for eight bicycle violations in the course of two minutes. Police beat native youth unconscious and leave them to die in the snow. As a woman, a queer person, and an anti-racist person, I do not trust the police. I do not trust them not to harass and abuse me, and I did not trust them not to harass and abuse the man who was making me so nervous in the store last week.”—
one of the best ways i’ve seen a white person address their privilege in relation to the attitude of “calling the cops” when you feel unsafe. for so, so many people, calling the cops means exactly the opposite.
If any of you thinks that having a public Tumblr open to all somehow will allow you to be safe and secure even if you block people on Tumblr, quite frankly, you are delusional.
Tumblr is indexed by Google, and easily searchable. If you have a public Tumblr, anyone, and I mean anyone can find you/follow you/etc. If you do not want them to follow you, you can simply block them, but there is no way to stop them from accessing your Tumblr other ways. Blocking a user on Tumblr just means that their comments/posts/etc. won’t show up on your dash or on your Tumblr itself. Part of this is because Tumblr is a very public social media technology. It was not engineered with privacy in mind, but with public sharing.
All this discussion about safety and security is fucking absurd and ridiculous, and blown beyond proportion in that respect. If you really wanted to be safe online, you would friend lock or privatize whatever social media technology you are using. That is the only way to be safe on the Internet. And that is just how the Internet works, regardless of what race, class, gender, or sexuality you happen to be.
So really, anyone trying to argue that this has anything to do with security — yeah. Okay. If you say so.
You are horrific. You really, truly are quite terrible. I don’t know what white academia did to you, but it has poisoned your soul something fierce. And I actually feel quite a bit of sadness that your shittiness won’t allow you to form the meaningful, transformative connections I’ve found with people on this site.
But like I said when of-praxis made a similar post: We are writing our own rules. We are creating our own boundaries. “That is just how the internet works?” Naw, boo. We will determine how the internet works. We will mold it to fit OUR needs. It is good prep-work for the rest of the world.
We do not adhere to conventions that were created to destroy us. We set the terms. Follow them or get burned.
What the fuck is this? No. This is really and truly is horrific.
Also? You don’t actually seem to understand how either tumblr or google works. People can actually choose an option to allow their tumblr to be indexed by google or not. Mine isn’t. Of course, I show up in the reblogs of other people whose blogs are crawled by google, but that isn’t the same at all.
Also, people can pasword protect their tumblr to restrict access if they so choose. The fact that you are treating the openness and generosity of so many people with just cruel and callous disregard is horrifying.
And it is unbelievably patronizing to point out to Black bloggers, many (if not all) have been exposed to the worst kind of stalking, death threats, rape threats, threats of violence, etc. that their online activities expose them and make them vulnerable, as if they don’t already fucking know. They know better than you appear to, just how dangerous the internet is. Why the fuck do you think this has been such an issue for two days now? *Because lives are at stake and no one is playing games except for you, it seems*
This is some disgusting victim blaming shit right here. Fuck off.
The way the internet will be safe… is if people treat other people like human beings and don’t study, stalk, threaten, or otherwise behave like complete and utter assholes. Black people have more than every right to demand that they be able to use the internet freely and openly without people exploiting them, threatening them, or otherwise hurting them.
Why aren’t you acting like a decent human being instead of blaming and punishing Black people for their vulnerability?
lol this dumb bitch
“i plan to study you like you’re bugs in glass and if you try to do anything about that, TOO BAD AHAHAHAHAHAHA stop being mad that people are invading your privacy, this is PUBLIC INTERNET AND EVERYONE CAN HAVE EVERYTHING! ESPECIALLY ME!!”
Media:lmao that's weird. guys! guys! look how fucking different they are!
White people:*doing the exact same stuff stolen from POC's culture*
Media:omfg. OMFG!!! RADICAL! ORIGINAL AND UNIQUE! LETS MAKE THIS A NEW TREND! NO ONE'S EVER THOUGHT OF THIS BEFORE! THIS IS SO INSPIRATIONAL! LET'S MAKE THEM FAMOUS AND GIVE THEM FUCKLOADS OF MONEY FOR THIS!
I’m writing a fantasy series. To be specific, I’m writing a multi-ethnic, supernatural, steampunk high fantasy series. If you’re not sure what I mean, I’ll give you some reference points. Think the television show “Heroes” meets “The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen” meets “A People’s History of the United States” and throw in some colonialism, imperialism, racism, and other -isms. I’ve always loved the fantasy genre every since I was a kid and here are some things I’ve noticed about the genre (books, film, television and video games) in regards to race:
1. Dark / Brown people are bad.
Dark people are almost always the villains in high fantasy series. I say dark because notions of race are different in imaginary worlds but that doesn’t mean that racism in our world doesn’t carry over through the author’s depiction of dark people. J. R. R. Tolkien specifically stated in The Lord of the Rings trilogy that all of the men who joined Sauron were dark-skinned, and that the pirates were supposed to look “yellow” or Asian. Sound racist? That’s because it is.
In David Eddings’ Belgariad and Mallorean series, the story is told from the perspective of the Alorns (also known as white people) who fight a war with the Angaraks, a race of people with “yellow skin” and “slanted eyes.” They’re often referred to as “yellow dogs.”
In Terry Brooks’ Shannara series, which spans hundreds of years and generations upon generations of humans, dwarves, elves, trolls, etc. the dark elves are the ones who are evil. Read: dark-skinned elves.
Game of Thrones, the new HBO series based on George R. R. Martin’s series A Song of Fire and Ice has to this point (one season and four episodes of the second season in) only included three kinds of brown people: the first is a tribe of horse-lords call the Dothraki who the white protagonists view as savage, backward, and ignorant. Then there’s a cursory appearance of a black pirate, who is in the scene for approximately five minutes. In the last episode, there was a black person who is in charge of a city called Qarth (supposed to be modeled off of Egypt) and he has approximately two lines.
2. Dark / Brown people don’t exist
There are plenty of other authors that wash their hands of race entirely, with token brown characters here and there or no brown people altogether. Harry Potter comes to mind, with only two or three named characters of color in seven books. A fantasy phenomenon, easily the most popular series of all time, and there are no people of color who figure prominently in it? Something about that just seems wrong.
Roger Zelazny’s Amber Chronicles has absolutely no people of color in it at all - and this series centers around the ability of the main characters to alter reality as they see fit. So you’re telling me that a group of people who can alter the very fabric of space and are all white?
Isobelle Carmody’s Obernewtyn Chronicles are completely devoid of any brown people. Suzanne Collins’ The Hunger Games only makes mention of two who are named, and they both serve as tools to help the protagonist. They don’t have inner lives or desires or anything remotely like character development because they only exist to further the plot.
3. Brown people exist to be exotified and ogled by the white protagonist.
Jaqueline Carey’s Kushiel series is guilty of this particular trend: she sets up a pseudo-Renaissance world where the protagonist is a facsimile of a white European (seems French to me) and along her travels and journey she meets strange looking yellow-skinned and brown-skinned people. She marvels at how barbaric and savage their customs are. She feels pity for them when something bad happens and feels maternalistic towards them because they aren’t civilized enough to understand what’s going on around them.
Twilight is another series very guilty of this: Jacob is Native American and a werewolf and it’s not a coincidence. All of werewolves in Twilight are Native American, further reinforcing the stereotype that Native Americans are savage, wild, and uncivilized.
and the very rare…
4. Some people are brown and that’s okay because race doesn’t exist!
My beloved Star Trek is guilty of this one, as is Star Wars, The Matrix, and many other science fiction films. Just because we’re in the future doesn’t mean we’re post-racial. As much as I love The Next Generation, there is not a single mention of race in regards to Geordi LeForge (Levar Burton) or Guinan (Whoopi Goldberg). Since Worf (Michael Dorn) is a Klingon, I guess I could see how race wouldn’t be the same for Klingons, and I can even see the argument that because there are races other than human racism within the human species no longer exists… but that’s pretty farfetched to me.
Heroes does this as well, and not only does it refuse to acknowledge race, but it kills off the majority of its characters of color in the first season and then replaces them with blonde white women!
I would put The Hunger Games in this category as well because of the way race is never discussed other than as a descriptor of appearance. Collins had the opportunity to comment on systems of oppression and offer some insight on race as a hierarchical structure but she shied away from it.
You can find them reppin’ Thug Life, wearing cat eye eyeliner, bamboo earrings, stiletto nails, and maybe even taking multiple pictures of themselves smoking weed or with a cup full of drank. They “love” hip-hop and rap. They’re also completely incapable of keeping themselves from saying the word nigga. And if they miraculously don’t say it they have other white friends who do. But one day they’re gonna come across the wrong one and get touched.
They want so bad to replicate the style, facial expressions, and lives of Black women; replicate the way Black men embody their masculinity, the way Black people speak. They’re fine with trying to emulate a part of us but they wouldn’t want to actually be us.
ok I’m literally disgusted by all the ‘academic’ type anonymous bloggers who have been following POC on tumblr without ever introducing themselves and claim to be studying said POC *in general* (but are btw very suspicious-seeming and imply that they’re creeping on aforementioned POC bloggers as some form of [in]formal research project)
not only is that gross and awful, but I want to let y’all know that if you’re using any original content a blogger says or posts without their consent you’re breaking copyright law, human rights protocol, as well as the set of human subjects requirements all accredited 4-year institutions in the US have agreed upon. those institutions, legally speaking, own any work you create while under the auspices of the institution (ie everything I write, published or not, up until May 14, 2012 will be property of UC Berkeley), and will be subject to legal ramifications if you are breaking those protocols. they will not have your back in that situation, and will promptly punish and disown you in an attempt to save themselves. consider this a warning of what can happen if you don’t respect POC bloggers as human beings.
Tell me what’s happening, and where, as well as who’s going to be there. When I have it in my head I might be able to convince myself it’s worth putting the energy into to get there. Then I will psych myself up (often using music) for the onslaught ahead.
I swore to myself I’d never do that, but this anon is like, flooding my inbox with their shit, and it’s fucking triggering to hell and back, so we’re done with it for now, and I’m just gonna take a break from Tumblr for a few hours until I can mellow out.
For those of you who were sending me love, thank you.
This is something that should never happen. Never ever. This feels like an every day occurrence now. Every day I am seeing someone else who needs to take a break because of something that is evidently considered “Not a big deal” or “Freedom of speech” or better yet, something we should just “Ignore.” Why is a violent act the only form of aggression that get’s attention? How is violent wording not “That bad?”
A couple of months ago I came up with the idea to do a series of Avatar the last Airbender paintings set in an African influenced world. The first in the series is Aang of course. I based Aang on the Maasai and Woodabee peoples. Both tribes are nomadic and have large herds of cattle, much like the Air Nomads.
On Friday, April 13 in Milledgeville, Georgia, police arrested 6-year-old Salecia Johnson in her kindergarten classroom, restraining her arms behind her back with steel handcuffs. Her crime: throwing a tantrum in class and knocking over a shelf. The Root has more on her story, and her parents have started a Change.org petition to end police involvement in discipline in their school. Perhaps the most tragic part of Salecia’s case is that she’s far from the first; the increased presence of police in schools and racialized zero-tolerance policies have made child incarceration a reality in communities of color across America.
One of the foremost people fighting to end this injustice is musician, actor and civil rights legend Harry Belafonte, who founded the Gathering for Justice, an intergenerational coalition with the goal of ending child incarceration. Back in 2010, right after the November elections, our publisher Rinku Sen interviewed Mr. Belafonte about his ongoing social justice work and his advice to today’s young activists. In light of last week’s headlines from Alabama, we revisited that interview and cut this new video from previously unpublished footage, in order to bring his much-needed voice into our current conversation. We also spoke with Carmen Perez, executive director of the Gathering for Justice, who served as a Santa Cruz probation officer before joining Belafonte.
“When I saw this,” says Belafonte, “I understood that something had eluded me. I thought my best bet at that point would be to go to the source itself—to go amongst young people, to listen to their voices.”
It’s a powerful reminder to all of us on what a lifelong commitment to justice looks like—and on the power of an open mind and heart. Our thanks, once again, to Harry Belafonte and to Carmen Perez for sharing their time with us.