What I am about to write is probably one of the most emotionally driven posts ever. It’s because of the feedback on this subject, and how my personal Facebook became a war zone about it. It wasn’t originally, but when you’re dealing with someone who is a bully, it makes things quite more complicated. I don’t expect a lot of people to to take my side on this. What I do expect is people to simply understand my point, is all. And what am I talking about? This notion of 28 days of black cosplay.
Waking up last Sunday to someone telling me about it, I pretty much exploded. It didn’t help that I didn’t have my coffee yet. I said that it’s bullshit. And it still is. The fact that this is going on concurrently with Black History Month bothers me. Black History Month is when we talk about famous black people who did amazing things. People like W.E.B. DuBois, Harriet Tubman, Maya Angelou, Crispus Attuckus, Madame C. J. Walker. That’s just a handful of black people who gave back. These are people who we talk about who are/were prominent names in Black History.
So I ask you all this… Who are the black cosplayers we are going to talk about in history class? The answer is no one. I cannot think of any black cosplayer people are going to talk about in that sense. Now, if this was to happen after Black History Month, as a celebration to extend, then I would not have a problem with it. The fact that this is going concurrent with Black History Month will give people the wrong idea. That’s one of the two problems I have with it.
Now, as for the second problem… This goes back to my Facebook post where I said cosplayers like me, Card Captor Will, Honey Bunny, Byron Spiegal, Black Chocobo Rock would never be posted. I said that in a joking sense, but in the reality of it, we wouldn’t. It feels as if the current state of the community don’t remember us and what we did. And as one person asked, what did we do for the community? Simple. We did all the cosplay related things when people assumed it wasn’t okay. We cosplayed, ran panels, helped run masquerades, we did all of that. If the 28 Days of Cosplay mentioned along the lines of cosplayers such as us, then okay. Just be like “thanks guys”. We all cosplayed during a time where there weren’t many black cosplayers. We did it for fun, not to make a point of being black cosplayers.
I know that to some in the community they may feel that what my reasonings aren’t good enough. Well too bad. Hell, there are black cosplayers on 4chan who are against this. They feel that this isn’t being done for the right reasons. They feel that this is a ploy to stay relevant. One person said that the reasoning for this is because there isn’t enough black cosplayers out there. Listen, when I started in 1999, there weren’t that many black and minority cosplayers. But over the last ten or so years, times have changed. There are a high number of black and minority cosplayers out there at conventions having a good time. If you’re not seeing them, maybe you’re blind, I dunno.
This posting was a bit of an emotionally charged one. Where this found me a quandary of doubting myself, of who I am. I found myself being bullied because I did not agree with the intentions of this. I had to remove myself from the situation for a few, get my confidence back, have my friends remind me of who I am and where I came from.
So let me say this…
Harry, I don’t know you. You don’t know me. I do know that your black pride is lot stronger than mine. I do not have a problem with you, never have, never will. Let it be known that I showed you all the respect in the world, something you did not show me. Seeing your responses to me shows how belligerent, ignorant, childish, and arrogant you are… Just because you couldn’t accept my decisions on how to handle the situation. You know what, Katsucon is this week. I am still more than willing to bake bread and discuss things with you like you previously suggested. But something you did say is correct. I’m not your brother. Anyone who isn’t willing to understand or respect someone else’s views is not a brother to anyone. Also, calling for backup doesn’t help your cause. I held my own against you, but you needed help. I may not have fared well, but I went down swinging.