One of the best hashtags during Black History Month on social media is the hashtag #29Daysof BlackCosplay. Every year, the black cosplayers show off their awesome cosplay outfits on social media and last year's outfits were just as awesome. Now, if you are wondering why black cosplay is a thing it's because some fans of the comic community tend to typecast black comic fans that want to cosplay in certain characters. I've also seen very racist comments towards black cosplayers by non-minority cosplayers regarding the character they choose to cosplay as.
This is how black cosplay hashtag was born; it started with people of color that were shunned out and ridiculed for wanted to dress up as their favorite character. I was actually surprised at the amount of racism in the comic community, here's another story on racism in comics here.
I absolutely love black cosplay - it encourages imagination, creativity and it's just plain fun! But for a lot of black cosplayers, once they post their photos to the internet, it bring out the racist trolls. Chaka Cumberbatch, a black cosplayer ( and noted creator of #29DaysOfBlackCosplay) shared her story from three years ago on how she was insulted for choosing certain characters to portray.
What kills me is that in person, nobody has the balls to say a word about whether or not they think darker-skinned people should cosplay lighter skinned characters -- but online is a completely different animal. Online, I was "Nigger Venus," and "Sailor Venus Williams" because I am black.
My nose was too wide, lips were too big, I had a "face like a gorilla" and wasn't suited for such a cute character, because I am black. My wig was too blonde, my wig wasn't blonde enough, or, my wig was ghetto because I was making it ghetto, by being black and having it on my head.
And furthermore, if I was going to insist on "ruining characters," I could have at least picked one with black hair so it looked more "natural." I should have worn blue contacts -- but if I had, it would have looked ghetto. Because I am black.
Disturbing right? Especially since most anime/comic/magna characters aren't even white, the idea that people of color can't cosplay as a fictional character is absurd so the hashtag was created to celebrate and support other minority cosplayers. Plus, what better time to celebrate another plateau of black excellency? Black History Month '16 is officially lit.
Check out this Tumblr Page for black cosplay photos.
Watch this video featuring a black cosplayer who explains some of the obstacles of cosplaying while black:
Love the photos? Make sure you peruse the hashtag and support black cosplayers.