Fandom and its hatred of Black women characters
Reposted from Racialicious, By Guest Contributor RVC Bard, originally posted at Ars Marginal
What do Martha Jones, Tara Thornton, Guinevere, and Mercedes Jones have in common?
It is interesting to note that the comics industry doesn’t have this problem. Mainstream black female characters such as Storm, Misty Knight, Amanda Waller, and Vixen are generally well regarded and beloved by fans. But it is also interesting to note that none of these characters have ever been written by a black woman. Marvel has never had a black female writer and black female writers at DC have worked on books featuring characters of white, Latino, and Asian backgrounds. Could it be that comics has been able to avoid this phenomenon in fandom due to the fact that actual black women are divorced from their own representation in mainstream comics? Do fans actually feel more relaxed experiencing a white interpretation of black cultures and characters that is devoid of any input from black people?
Judging from how fandom has reacted to black male writers in the mainstream industry, I’d argue that this very well may be the case. Though given that there are no longer any mainstream black female writers (like their male counterparts, women such as Robinson and Henderson have moved on to television and film), it would be impossible to test this theory.
(This post seems rather bleak, but only because its focus is on the mainstream. As always, there are black women self-publishing fantastic stories outside of the mainstream. Storm and Vixen are great, but there are also great stories beyond the major publishers. Please check them out!)