Cosplayers have an amazing gift. They inspire and embody everything that geeks and fans love. They not only love their characters, but bring them to life. This is true of people of all races and they celebrate the diversity. One sad reality though is that some in the community are pushing back against cosplayers that are of the opposite race. They complain about "authenticity". While it's true that the more that cosplayer looks like the original character the better the costume there should be no limits on skin tone.
Cosplay is definied as a movement by fans to dress up as their favorite anime and science fiction characters and are frequently seen at science fiction conventions. I've done it myself and loved every minute of it.
This month, in celebration of Black History Month, a hashtag was organized by Chaka Cumberbatch called #28DaysofBlackCosplay and it's exploded across the Internet. She told Entertainment Weekly "#28DaysOfBlackCosplay was born from the desire to foster a sense of pride, unity and community among black cosplayers. Black cosplayers are a group of people who are used to being made fun of, shut out and passed over, even as cosplay as a whole has gained more mainstream acceptance - cosplay is still just not 'something you do' as a black person … It’s like the hashtag became a rallying cry - everyone wanted to participate.
"It’s been so incredible, heartwarming and inspiring to see all the different pictures and stories. Even more amazing is hearing from people who were too nervous to cosplay before this - but upon seeing all the different examples of black cosplay, are excited about joining in now. If we’ve encouraged even one person to try cosplay for the very first time, then that in and of itself makes this whole thing completely worth it to me, you know?"
Here are 28 cosplay images that prove that (to rip-off Martin Luther King Jr.) a cosplayer should not be judged by the color of his skin but by the content of their character. When possible, I've identified the model.
|Man of Steel|
|Predator by Knightmage1|
|Bane by Raymond Ramos|
|Jade from Mortal Kombat|
|Sailor Moon by Chaka Cumberbatch|
|Elena from Street Fighter|
|She-Ra by kcwebgirl|
|Kasumi from Dead or Alive by schizoalias|
|Iron Fist and Luke Cage|
|Chun-Li from Street Fighter|
|Uhura from Star Trek by Josephine|
|Captain America Father and Son by Keith Sowa|
|Samurai Green Lantern|
|Gamora and Nebula by Jay Justice and Unknown|
|Miles Morales Spider-Man by Nikolas A. Draper-Ivey|
Some images via We Are Wakanda, Princess Mentality Cosplay,
What do you think of the cosplay? Does matter matter when cosplaying?
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