james and harry.
oh and one more thing:
Hermione Granger and the Quarter Life Crisis is a new fan-made series that looks at Hermione’s life post-Hogwarts. It’s incredible, relatable, and funny as hell for the most part (but don’t let your guard down because HGatQLC will hit you in the feels before the first episode is done).
This first episode has me super excited to see what they’ll do next!
If, like me and many others, you were disappointed with Rowling’s nigh unbroken focus on white characters and the fact that everyone’s life goal was to be married off in neat M/F packages with babies on the way, give this webseries a try because it embodies the fandom mantra of “Epilogue? What Epilogue?”
Another thing about that person who reblogged my post with their unnecessary and inaccurate response is that one of the things they said (and I’m paraphrasing because I’m pissed off) was like “the sisters should have been black”
A) I’m happy with the Goldstein sisters as they are because well… It’s not like Jewish characters get a lot of rep in fantasy media and they are darlings.
B) What is it with nonblack people assuming that the only representation that matters to black people is black representation? Like when the trolls descended the other day on this same post, it was all “poor baby won’t watch a movie without black people” and like… Really?
C) I wanted Newt to be a character of color. I wanted random witches to be characters of color. I wanted to see a magical world that looked like our world. Full stop.
Yes Harry Potter fandom, please tell me more about how this movie about witches and wizards in 1926 has to be historically accurate and that’s why there are only a handful of people of color with dialogue (and none of them are in the core heroic cast).
Look, I’ve looked at demographic records for NYC and there’s no mention of witches/wizards in any of the percentages.
Why is it that y’all can suspend disbelief enough to enjoy a film about magic in Manhattan on a super huge scale but people of color in the same fantasy film would be like… really freaking impossible to you?
Apparently, people of color can’t exist in the 1920s in Manhattan because that’s unrealistic but wizards, dragons and other magical creatures make all the sense in the world right?
Not arguing with you – they could absolutely have made the sisters black. However, Harry Potter IS historically accurate, except for the wizards/magic. J.K. Rowling makes it a point to use actual events in our world – like Hitler’s rise to power – to mirror events happening in the Wizarding World (Grindelwald). She makes it a point that in the 1920s, when it was illegal everywhere in the US for people considered “colored” to marry white people, it’s illegal for witches and wizards to marry muggles (Britain didn’t have such a law, hence Newt’s comment on how backward USA wizarding society is – if muggles don’t have lawful segregation, neither do wizards). That’s why the muggle man is white – he may not even have been allowed IN the bank if he were black. I will also point out that the president of the Magical Congress of the United States (MaCUSA) is a black woman. I agree they should have had more diversity in the cast – especially in the extras and minor characters – to show what 1920s Manhattan was actually like, but for the most part, I think they did a good job with the question of segregation and diversity, which was a huge part of the movie.
You’re not arguing with me, you’re just… Disagreeing with me about everything I posted about. Okay.
A) I have two degrees in history, I’m black, AND I currently do a ton of actual work writing about race in fantasy media but yeah okay thanks for explaining something I’m well-versed in to me like I’m two and didn’t watch the movie (seriously, not a good look for you…)
B) this film isn’t historically accurate and none of the Harry Potter franchise has ever even vaguely matched up with established demographics. But even if it did? Doesn’t excuse not providing representation for viewers now.
C) This is a movie about wizards and fantastic beasts running around New York. That’s not historically accurate… That has never been and it never will be historically accurate. That’s the point that I’m making, that Urban fantasy films and books are by and large not historically accurate by virtue of the fantasy element but no one cares until people of color want representation
D) also seriously, you explained miscegenation and segregation to me like I’m a toddler. Me. A black person in the United States. Do you you know how messed up that is?
E) Thanks for pointing out the only SECONDARY character of color to HAVE dialogue lasting longer than five minutes. It’s not as if her character is then treated as ineffective or that she kind of serves as an obstacle to the heroes… Oh wait. She IS and she DOES.
(She’s also the only person of color with any significant power and also the only other black women who show up are:
- A goblin woman coded as black
- Zoe Kravitz in a picture frame
- The nurse who was basically written as the Mammy trope mixed in with a dash of American Horror Story creepiness
So forgive me for not absolving JKR of racist guilt because she gave us four whole black women in a movie set during the height of the Harlem Renaissance.)
E2) I just want to point out that Rowling named Gemma Chan’s character “Madam Asia”. That’s racist. Also how do you cast Gemma Chan and not give her any significant screentime. That’s just ridiculous.
F) when I said for the Harry Potter fandom to tell me more about how the film was historically accurate and that’s why POC were largely a nonissue, I didn’t expect someone to so that literally. It was sarcasm. So much sarcasm.
You really didn’t have to explain the plot of a film I’ve seen and read the screenplay for or the history of the country I live in and have studied in both my academic life and my life as a writer who has written about magic in the same time period and managed to get more meaningful and positive diversity into 2 stories than Rowling’s managed in two separate film franchises.
Yes, you don’t know anything about me aside from the fact that clearly I am black and critical of fandom, but you really should’ve done some kind of legwork (like oh… Clicking on the about me page in my sidebar to find out who the heck I am, searching “Harry Potter” on my blog or looking for that specific tag, or going to my actual website and looking at the review I did for the film that talks about all of this stuff in detail) before presuming to lecture me about what is quite literally my history.
Anyway, if the new Harry Potter movie that is set in NEW YORK IN THE 1920s doesn’t have any black people in it (like the trailer suggests) I am legit going to throw my Harry Potter books in the trash and never look back.
I don’t care whose fault it is. The casting directors, the producers, j.k. herself. I don’t care. That level of disrespect, historical revisionism via white supremacist fantasy is not to be tolerated.
The Jazz Age.
With no black people.
The JAZZ AGE.
Do they have ANY idea how creepy it is that every single fantasy is a world without brown people?
That every magical wondrous place they can imagine, a dominant feature is that we have been scrubbed from every corner?
And where did we go? We’re we driven out? Did they kill us all? When one type of person is overwhelmingly missing there is always a reason.
And what reason will small children of color make up in their heads to answer such a question?
What little cloud will enter their mental sky?
@oneknightincamelot I promise I’m not dragging you, but I’m actually not talking about leads, I’m talking about environmental black people. Like black people in the background of that world.
This is what Harlem looked like in the 1920s.
This is what harlem was portrayed as in Fantastic Beasts
And I specifically looked for scenes with concentrated groups of background people.
Its not the starring cast that was “whitewashed” its the ENTIRE ENVIRONMENT that was historically revised. Which is a much more dangerous lie.
Also, this is specific to black people. While I am constantly hungry for more Asian representation and am happy anywhere I see it, Harlem and the Harlem Renaissance was a specifically an area and era infused with black people and black art.
Anyway even The Great Gatsby did a better job of quickly portraying our importance and style in the Jazz era, and it wasnt even a movie about black people– it was specifically about rich white people.
Honestly between this and the trash JK created based on Native American culture without actually talking with Native Americans to make sure it wasn’t offensive that will be used in the movie, I have zero interest in seeing it. It’s too white, too misinformed, and they’re putting fucking Johnny Depp, a known abuser in it. I have zero interest in supporting any of that.
That and Eddie seems to be portraying a Hufflepuff stereotype that looks as well written as Bella Swan from Twilight. It’s one thing when it was kids acting, but this guy has been nominated for a million awards and the trailers are just gross.
I prefer what fans wrote for an idea, that Newt is a black man coming to america, faces the shit show of racism compared to England, and goes on amazing adventures. THAT I’d watch.
Say what you will about how Harry Potter increases in complexity and darkness as it progresses but I think JKR sets the tone of the series pretty well when she has Dumbledore play ding-dong-ditch with a baby in the first chapter
Stop Using the Harry Potter series’ Original Publication Dates as an Excuse for Rowling’s Diversity Fails
Every time I talk about J. K. Rowling’s current and continuing diversity fails, someone always has to show up to remind me how she “couldn’t write diversely because it was 1997”.
Without fail, people are more invested in protecting Rowling from criticism she will never see or care about than in acknowledging the way that her writing has continued to erase marginalized people while allegorizing their struggles in order to pad her plot and make her characters more interesting.
Even if I knew (or cared) more about the realities of publishing when I was seven years old, the fact of the matter is that JKR managed to put a ton of atypical things in her “kids’ series”. She wrote about the violent effects of racism and blood supremacy as well as child abuse and children coming of age in a war torn world.
And yet, she “couldn’t” include more than eight characters of color or any queer characters who made It to the end of the series alive or who were queer onscreen?
The “it was 1997” excuse for Rowling’s diversity fails only holds a scant bit of water when it comes to looking at the body of her work. Other writers wrote queer characters into their works, other authors managed to have diverse children’s books during the same period that Rowling was publishing her books.
If you like what you’re reading and want more you can: