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
Continue reading “February 2020: Black Wizard History Month”
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.
Continue reading “Relationships, Secrets, Politics, and Nostalgia: A ‘Fantastic Beasts’ Conversation”
It‘s almost Tony Awards Time, which is a Broadway nerd’s Superbowl. And through the luck of the great wizard Dumbledore, I got last minute tickets to see Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, which is nominated for a solid 10 … Continue reading Review: ‘Harry Potter and the Cursed Child’ on Broadway
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.
Continue reading “Harry Potter and the Magic Loving Black Girl”
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!):
Continue reading “10 Things to Consider If You Haven’t Read Harry Potter and the Cursed Child Yet”
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.
Continue reading “Magic in North America: The Harry Potter Franchise Veers Too Close to Home”
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.
Continue reading “Harry Potter and the Fact That Hermione is Black”
[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.
Continue reading ““Eventually” Isn’t Enough: The Lack of Diversity in Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them“
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.
Continue reading “An Open Letter to J.K. Rowling about the American Wizarding School in Fantastic Beasts“
The flip side of the discussion of opening up the speculative fiction genres to more writers of color telling stories about characters of color is the phenomenon of white writers employing characters of color. Such works are not automatically or inherently problematic when done sensitively and skillfully; indeed, the diversification of the worlds of white creators to reflect the real diversity of our own is necessary. Speculative fiction abounds with examples both bad, like the racial allegories of Tolkien‘s Middle Earth, and good, like Le Guin’s Earthsea series, Stephenson’s Snow Crash, or Gaiman’s Anansi Boys.
Continue reading “Talking Back to White Creators: Rachel Rostad’s “To J.K. Rowling, From Cho Chang””