From Wands to Bending

Anyone who knows me knows I love The Wizarding World. My entire family does. Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone was the first ‘big girl book’ my daughter read. Her first serious Halloween costume was that of a Hogwarts’s student — she is a true Gryffindor. My wife loves the films — they are our Christmas tradition. We’ve been to The Wizarding World of Harry Potter more than a few times. The books, the world, have been a part of my life since 1998. But like so many others, I am nursing a huge fan-wound because The Wizarding World’s creator, the TERF Who Must Not Be Named, showed their true colors. Those colors have betrayed the very values and ideals The Wizarding World extols. 

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First Impressions of HBO Max

After months of anticipation, HBO Max has finally arrived. And while we’re still a year out from Zack Snyder’s Justice League, the latest entrant into the Streaming Wars has a lot to offer, and a few things to work out. Granted, it’s only been available for a few hours, but many of the bells and whistles promised during a WarnerMedia event in October — such as the ability to combine viewing profiles and celebrity-curated recommendations — were not ready at launch.

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February 2020: Black Wizard History Month

Our mission at Black Girls Create has always been highlighting Black female creators and being a place for discussions of critical fandom, and one way we’ve decided to converge the two themes is with the Critical Companion series.

Inspired by Doctor Who’s plucky sidekicks (most notably, season 10’s Bill Potts), formal literary Critical Companions discussing an author’s breadth of work, as well as our mission to provide a platform for marginalized creators, the Critical Companion series will feature blog posts written by Black writers. We hope those writers are some of you!

In 2018 we had a monthly topic where we accepted two pitches (paid) that represent two aspects of the idea. Now, we are opening up submissions to be a bit less restrictive, but we are still largely looking for pieces that delve into the idea of critical fandom — how do we as fans analyze our favorite things with care and consider the wider world that the fandom either represents or ignores? We always love personal essays about growing up nerdy, early fandom experiences, and pivotal moments in your own nerdy lives.

Pitches are taken on a rolling basis. Posting will typically occur on the 2nd and 4th Thursdays of the month.

Word Count: approx. 700 words

Price: $50 per post

Email: pitches@blackgirlscreate.org

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Relationships, Secrets, Politics, and Nostalgia: A ‘Fantastic Beasts’ Conversation

This year, audiences will grab their portkeys to journey once more into J.K. Rowling’s ever expanding Wizarding World, when Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald comes to theaters November 16, 2018. The sequel continues the enchanting adventures of magizoologist, Newt Scamander (Eddie Redmayne), and his colleagues, as they race against time to prevent dark wizard, Gellert Grindelwald (Johnny Depp) from fulfilling his goal of wizard domination over non-magical beings. The film, with higher stakes than the first movie and a much darker tone, also features a welcome return to a setting we’ve been missing for seven years: Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry.

In anticipation of the film’s release, The Nerds of Color were able to meet with returning stars Redmayne, Katherine Waterston, Dan Fogler, Alison Sudol, and Ezra Miller, as well as franchise newcomer Callum Turner, and producer David Heyman for a fantastic conversation about the film, their characters, and the return of Hogwarts and Albus Dumbledore.

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‘Fantastic Beasts’ and Where to Find Diversity in Hollywood: An Interview With Claudia Kim

“Who Will Change the Future?” That’s the tagline of Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald, the latest eagerly anticipated installment in J.K. Rowling’s Wizarding World franchise. It’s also the biggest question surrounding the fate of diversification in Hollywood casting, and one that Rowling’s franchise might be playing a significant role in.

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Hard NOC Life: Tracking Trailers for ‘Joker,’ ‘Bumblebee,’ ‘Fantastic Beasts,’ and More

This week on Hard NOC Life, Shawn and Keith are joined by We’re Not All Ninjas co-host Melissa Slaughter to run down all the trailers that just dropped this week (there are so many, we didn’t get to talk about Creed II or X-Men: Dark Phoenix)!

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The Final ‘Fantastic Beasts’ Trailer is Out Now and Action Packed

The trailer for Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them: Crimes of Grindelwald is finally out! Here’s hoping the movie can keep up with all of the plot lines that the trailer packed in. Below is a rundown for a few magical extras in this fantastical sequel. Spoilers start now!

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My Steps To Creating Characters And Building Worlds

Originally published at Twinjas Book Reviews

One of the questions I’m constantly asked (which admittedly I never get tired of answering) is what  my process in terms of world building and developing complex characters.

My approach to world-building and character development ultimately corresponds to my overall approach to storytelling. As a writer, I personally belong to the school of character = story. What truth do we discover along the character’s journey? More than that, whether it’s fiction, articles or blog posts, I generally have three mandates which I dub E-Cubed: Enlighten, entertain and empower.

Needless to say that E-Cubed has led to other techniques which has only enhanced my storytelling abilities over the years.

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Fantastic Beasts is Not So Fantastic with Diversity

Update 11/25/16: The original version of this post stated that Tina was simply white. I have since realized that Tina’s full name is Porpentina Goldstein, and that she and her sister Queenie are likely of Jewish descent (and thus both have only conditional whiteness). I have updated the post with this information in mind. 

The Harry Potter universe is a world that’s followed most of us since we were kids. While in many respects it’s aged along with us — we see Harry grow up and have kids, and the film Fantastic Beasts is certainly aimed at an older audience — in other aspects it has remained disappointingly behind the times. In particular, Fantastic Beasts is yet another example in the Potterverse of how marginalized folks, particularly queer people and/or people of color, continue to be exactly that: marginalized.

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An N.O.C. Halloween: Our Children’s Edition

Amongst my friends and family, it is no secret that the only holiday I care about is Halloween. No, it isn’t just because the candy is free and flowing — although this is a huge bonus. What I love the most about he holiday is that there is this unbridled demonstration of ingenuity, creativity, and imagination. People get to step a little outside of their mundane lives and step into the realm of the fantastic.

Another thing I love are the costumes. I don’t think I’m alone in this, especially amongst my fellow NOC. While many of us were too busy to dress up, we made sure that our children did.

I would like to present to you the NOC Parade of Costumes: Our Children’s Addition.

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NOC Recaps The Flash: The Do Over

“I ran back in time because Zoom and my dad and things and I got to live with my parents and it was all good but then it wasn’t so I came back but everything is different and I want everything to change back.” – Barry Allen during this week’s panicked voiceover

Barry flips his shit so hard that he flips it all the way to Star City. All over Felicity. Who, like us, is like, “You just, like, run back in time? All the time?”

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Harry Potter and the Magic Loving Black Girl

Not so long ago, my family and I went to The Wizarding World of Harry Potter at Universal Studios, in Southern California. In a word, it was amazing. Despite my being too broad-shouldered (and totally crushed) that I couldn’t fit into the seat for “Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey” (my wife and daughter said it was the single best ride of their lives), the trip was worth the drive to get there. So was waiting in the horrendous lines. What rendered moot any complaints of inconvenience was the near-constant look of awe and wonder on my daughter’s face.

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10 Things to Consider If You Haven’t Read Harry Potter and the Cursed Child Yet

The script of Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, the eighth and probably final story about Harry Potter, was finally released yesterday. Written exclusively for the stage by Jack Thorne, JK Rowling, and John Tiffany, the London play is nearly all sold out through December 2017, and Potterheads everywhere celebrated the midnight release with costume parties. Fanfare aside, the big question is, is it worth the read? Here’s ten things to consider (without plot spoilers!):

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Magic in North America: The Harry Potter Franchise Veers Too Close to Home

by Dr. Adrienne Keene | Originally posted at Native Appropriations

Remember back in June when it was announced that the new Harry Potter prequel-of-sorts had an American Wizarding school? Remember how I was concerned? If you don’t, here’s a link to that post.

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Five Movies To Watch On Christmas

Finding something decent to watch on Christmas can often be a challenge. Reruns have no appeal, neither do cheesy holiday specials, and you probably couldn’t care less about sports.

Fear not. The following are five film suggestions that are appropriate not only for Christmas but basically any day ending in ‘y.’

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Harry Potter and the Fact That Hermione is Black

Hermione Granger means so much to so many girls, myself included. She’s smart and brave — the smartest witch of her age — and saved the world. She’s someone who prefers books to people (except a select few) and can be brass and bold at times when girls are usually told not to be. She’s a role model and a mirror. And because her race is never specified in the Harry Potter series, many girls around the world can picture someone who looks like them as her character. She was of course, cast as white in the Hollywood adaptations of the books — because Hollywood gonna Hollywood — but that doesn’t mean that she has to be white in all adaptations of the series. Buzzfeed already showed us the mounds of Hermione-as-black fanart that exists in the world. And now that dream that so many of us had is coming true.

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“Eventually” Isn’t Enough: The Lack of Diversity in Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them

[Ed. note: Since EW.com just revealed an exclusive first look at next year’s Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, we’re reposting this piece that originally appeared on The Mary Sue in September.]

All Potterheads were excited when it was announced that a new movie was coming out (even if we were sad it wasn’t a Marauders prequel). And some fans were excited because with a new cast, it meant an opportunity for people of color to become main characters in a series whose fans span the globe.

J.K. Rowling herself spurred many of the theories that Fantastic Beasts could feature a more diverse cast than the Harry Potter franchise. (The film series as a whole only features 0.47% of lines spoken by people of color, according to the Every Single Word video series.) Over on Pottermore, she described Newt Scamander’s (author of Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them) grandson Rolf as “swarthy,” a word which means “dark-skinned.” Many fans figured this could mean that Newt himself could be black.

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An Open Letter to J.K. Rowling about the American Wizarding School in Fantastic Beasts

by Dr. Adrienne Keene | Originally posted at Native Appropriations

Dear J.K. Rowling,

I am unabashedly a huge Harry Potter fan. I first encountered Harry when I was in Junior High, volunteering at the public library (nerd status, I know). The children’s librarian handed me book one, and I was hooked. I even used to frequent Harry Potter message boards back in the day with my friend Kathleen (we were “Parvati” and “Lavender” cause we also shared an interest in divination, ha). Anyway, all this is to say, Harry holds a sacred spot in my heart. But I’m not one of those fans who can recite things verbatim, or remember every tiny detail, so if I’m missing something, I hope one of those fans will help me out.

I’ve been interestedly following the news that there is a new Harry Potter prequel-of-sorts in the works, for Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, following “magizoologist” Newt Scamander. I hadn’t been following it closely, but a few days ago, I saw your exchanges on Twitter about the name/location of the American Wizarding School — and I started to get a bit concerned.

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Love Actually: Ground Zero for Geek Icons

When Love Actually premiered in cinemas over a decade ago, who knew it would be one of the most influential — and divisive — holiday movies ever made? You might think I’m being hyperbolic, but this movie is consistently one of the best selling DVDs and blu-rays every year1 and gains legions of new fans from multiple airings on cable and Netflix — though not for much longer. It’s also responsible for spawning an entire sub-genre of similar romantic comedies like Valentine’s Day and the equally awful New Year’s Eve. Love it or hate it, this flick evokes extreme feelings either way.

So why am I writing about Love Actually? It’s not like romantic comedy is a topic that’s covered on the NOC. Well, for one thing, most of the movie’s sprawling cast of British actors have gone on to become icons of the Comic-Con set. The stars of today’s biggest genre properties can trace their lineage back to this flick, and it’s amazing.

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NOC Origin: If I Had a Horcrux, it’d Probably be My Terminator Boxset

So my version of a nerd is a person who passionately and purposefully seeks out the way- more-than-necessary knowledge about a strangely specific subject1. There are barely-there nerd memories of inventing my own Pokémon with their successive evolved forms, obviously, Toonami afternoons of Dragonball and Dragonball Z, explaining The Adventures of Lois and Clark to my grandmother, and losing my elementary-aged shit when Hercules and Xena had their first crossover.

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