Sadly enough we live in a very racist world. And the cosplay industry ain´t no exception. I read a really good (but sad) article at comicsbeat (written by Heidi MacDonald) named “Why aren’t there more black writers in the comics industry?”, just now.
And i really liked it. So i decided to give my point of view on the subject, and write about the awesome cosplayer “Chaka Cumberbatch” while im at it. First of all, Chaka Cumberbatch become something of the “Rosa Parks” version of cosplaying.
And it started when she cosplayed as Sailor Venus (a very cute version of Sailor Venus imo). Cuz that´s when all the racist blur started over internet (Tumblr). Chaka got called a lot of mean things. But im not going to foucs on the negative things, cuz you can read all about it further down this article (Chaka Cumberbatch´s own world).
No, im going to write about the fact that Chaka brought light over a big issue. Why ain´t there any black cosplayers? I mean, of course there are. But they are not that many. Chaka also become something of a role model for other black cosplayers.
Some may think that it´s becouse that there ain´t that many black anime/manga and video game characters (I really like Yoruichi and Caska though). Sure, that´s a part of it. But i see no problem with people cosplaying as characters with another skin color then their own,
But that´s the main thing. I don´t have any problems with that. But “some” people became very angry and hatefull towards Chaka Cumberbatch, when she cosplayed as Sailor Venus. Imo, those people need to stay of the internet.
Because their obviously not well mannered, and smart enough to use it. Me, i love Chaka Cumberbatch cosplay creations. So if you like Chaka´s cosplay creations as well. Then just visit her Facebook page for more pictures!
“For a black cosplayer (not to be racist) she did an amazing job!” the original Tumblr post read. It was later was edited to include “I love her skin tone” after all hell broke loose. Personally, I’ve always been stuck on those first few words: “for a black cosplayer.”
As if the bar was set lower for us, as if we weren’t expected to perform on the same level as white cosplayers. [snip] I lost track of how many times the post was liked, reblogged, linked to other websites — even now, nearly three years after the picture was taken, complete strangers will come up and reference it to me at cons, and it’s even come up in job interviews.
My Venus became the unintentional face of the cosplay race debate online, an unwitting example of “Black cosplayers doing it right,” as if 9 times out of 10, black cosplayers were doing it wrong by default. 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.”
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