The hashtag #29DaysOfBlackCosplay, which did the rounds throughout February celebrates the excellence of black cosplayers. For those of you who don’t know, cosplaying is the practice of dressing up as a character from an anime, TV show, comic book, movie, or some other mythical universe. DANA DA SILVA rounds up some of her favourites from Twitter.
The hashtag was originally started by Chaka Cumberbatch, 28, who intended it to unite, inspire and showcase black cosplayers of all sizes, ages and shapes.
Speaking to IGN she said, “This is about lifting each other up instead of waiting for anyone to do it for us. It’s about giving light to black cosplayers of all ages, shapes, skill levels and sizes. It’s about making this community a little more welcoming than it was when we came into it. And most of all – it’s about positivity. Many (if not all) of the cosplayers taking part in the campaign this month have had negative experiences while cosplaying due to our race.”
When posting their cosplays online, black cosplayers generally receive racist comments. Some people think you need to look like a character right down to the height, weight and skin tone.
Writing in 2013, Cumberbatch said photos of her in full cosplay mode had captured the attention of many internet users, especially racists.
“After my pictures started making the rounds on deviantArt, tumblr and 4chan, it became pretty clear that my cosplay brings all the racists to the yard, and they’re like…white cosplay is better than yours,” she said.
And so, the motivation behind #29DaysOfBlackCosplay is clear.
The project was also created to tie in with black history month, which celebrates the many achievements and contributions of black people from Canada, the USA and the United Kingdom.
1. The Incredibles
— ShazzaCatLady (@CatladyShazza) February 18, 2016
— Mr. MMA (@SmooveSalsero) February 19, 2016
3. Manga character, Sailor Chibi Moon
— cosplay in america (@cosplayamerica) February 5, 2016
4. Kida, from Disney’s Atlantis
— Black Nerd Problems (@BlkNrdProblems) February 2, 2016
5. Superman and Wonder Woman
— Bishop Cosplay (@BishopCosplay) February 12, 2016
6. Everyone’s favourite plumber, Mario
— cosplay in america (@cosplayamerica) February 12, 2016
7. Yuna and Tidus from Final Fantasy
— Magic City Geeks (@MagicCityGeeks) February 16, 2016
8. Assassin’s Creed
— John Marston (@SowaTheArrogant) February 16, 2016
9. Queen of the Damned
Akasha – Queen of the Damned by Princess Mentality
Photo by Hell Or High Water Photography pic.twitter.com/KBGVU0389g
— SuperheroesInColor (@HeroesInColor00) February 6, 2016
And the cutest for last…
10. Storm from the X-Men!
— Latoya Simmons (@lsimmons_7) February 11, 2016