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28 Days of Black Cosplay – Week Three

Three weeks in and we have seen so many people share so many reasons why they think  #28daysofblackcosplay is important.  As someone who helped get the movement going, I’d like to take a moment to explain why I feel it is a great idea. It is the one reason that has been echoed this entire month: it’s positive for self esteem.  For way too long, people of color have been grossly under-represented when it comes to popular characters in pop culture. All too many times, when a POC character has been created, they follow along the same tired stereotypes: poor, a hard upbringing, or simply athletic. Very rarely are our characters celebrated for being smart, running kingdoms, or having the ability to go toe-to-toe with some of the mightiest in comics and movies.   Many people of color have been afraid to cosplay because they didn’t want to be boxed into portraying a specific character simply because they were not white.  However, I believe cosplay allows us to be characters who are traditionally non-POC without the need to change our skin color.  If the costume and portrayal is on point, there is never a need to change one’s skin color to be Batman, Superman, or Catwoman.

This week, we are going to showcase even more talented cosplayers, who will tell us why #28DaysofBlackCosplay is so important to them. (Comments edited for clarity).

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Name: Helio Pixy
From: Silver Spring, Maryland
Cosplay: Dee from Rat Queens
#28daysofblackcosplay celebrates and cherishes the diversity of the cosplay and ‘geek’ communities. It’s a way of uplifting each other, especially for those who have faced relentless prejudice because of their skin color, their size, their disability, their sexuality etc, or a combination of those things. Cosplay should be fun and safe for everybody! By pushing this sort of representation, this event makes this community that much more tight-knit and bad-ass.

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Name: Angel, P.
From: Akron, OH
Cosplay: Yuno Gasai from Future Diary
#28DaysofBlackCosplay is important to me because it shows that anyone can cosplay what ever they want without worrying whether or not my skin tone different. Cosplay is for everyone!

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Name: Lynne F.
From: Maryland
Cosplay: Flashpoint Wonder Woman
Showcasing black cosplayers is important because we get so little recognition in the general world of cosplay. Sometimes, we’re even told to only cosplay black characters as if those are the only characters that we can pull off. Highlighting black cosplayers during the 28 Days of Black Cosplay shows the world what we can do and that we do it very well.

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Name: Quinton N.
From: Portsmouth VA.
Cosplay: Iron Man in the Mark XLI armor.
I feel that it is a duty to participate in #28DaysofBlackCosplay as a Black cosplayer. We have the same skill sets. We have the same talents to “become” the characters we cosplay, create the costumes and props and please those who love those characters. The unifying factor that I’ve experienced has been those that see the characters first and become amazed with the product over seeing the color of my skin. I’m proud of who I am; I represent my race, my religion, and my creed. I am honored to participate and contribute my two cents to this voice of reason.

 

Next up we have a cosplay team:
Name: Chocolate n Milk Cosplays
From: Leesburg, Va

Cosplaying: Anko – Starfire from Dc Bombshells, Shido- Madoka Kami from Madoka Magica

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#28daysofblackcosplays to me means more diversity in cosplay. The media constantly shows mostly Caucasian or Asian as the main cosplayers, which can be a little disheartening for other communities. So #28daysofblackcosplay gives more diversity by featuring African American cosplayers each day of February. Celebrating our history, being proud of who we are, showing how strong we can be, and displaying our talents.

~Anko

madoka
I’m a plus size proud black cosplayer and I’ve been told on numerous occasions that I should only cosplay black plus sized characters.  In spite of the negativity I love to cosplay characters of different races, genders and ages. #28daysofblackcosplays means an opportunity to spread the positive message: that cosplay is for everyone! Let’s keep the play in cosplay!!!
~Shido
 
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Name: Samantha Kane
From: Virginia
Cosplay: Elphaba Thropp (Wicked)
Over the years this cosplay has had different meanings, but for certain, she is a symbol of hope for me as a bisexual, First Generation American from Jamaica.

Recently, Actor and Singer Todrick Hall, created a link between the Black Lives Matter movement and OZ, comparing Elphie’s green skin to that of our race and water guns to that of well…guns.

28 days of black cosplay is so important to me because this is what Elphie represents for me…the “wrong bitch” you want to mess with or make feel inferior because of the color of her skin. Our race has been put down and made inferior for hundreds of years and through the arts, in this case cosplay specifically, we have been able to rise up, and strike down the lies about our inferiority. I believe we shouldn’t be restricted to just these 28 days, but having something this significant, puts us on the platform we need so that the world knows our glorious worth.

 

If you want to see more incredible cosplay, just use the hashtag #28daysofblackcosplay on any social media platform (Instagram, Twitter, Tumblr) to see some of the great work done by black cosplayers.
About Harry C. (1110 Articles)
Founder of The Next Issue Podcast and Pop Culture Uncovered, Harry has been reading comics since he could reach a news stand. He is also a cosplayer with his current favorite role as being Bishop, of the X-men. He is a fan of Marvel, Image and DC and is really passionate about making sure that kids get the opportunity to read. This leads him to getting out to places with comics that others no longer need and putting them into the hands of kids who will treasure them. His favorite comic characters are Batman, Spider-man, and Tony Chiu.
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