Dear Black Male Anime Fans, We Need To Talk
Written by Howard T. Smith II
Dear Black Male Anime Fans,
I came into the anime fandom in the late 90s, (thanks to Toonami), and from there it expanded into years filled with bootleg anime merch, wearing Naruto headbands, and of course scouring the internet for anime soundtracks. Almost 20 years later, I’ve noticed a few things that some black anime fans do that I find really odd. While I’m aware that this problem is not exclusive to other races of cosplayers but I’d really like for all of us to stop shitting on black cosplayers, namely female ones.
Black male nerds seem to be particularly AWFUL to black female nerds and it makes no goddamn sense. Of course, I know what all of you are thinking of me by just bringing this up:
And you know what? If you have found yourself dissing a female Cosplayer just because she is black: then yes you are part of the problem and anti-black. What happened to accountability and responsibility? I get it, you may not want to be considered the “angry black nerd” for calling out others. But more often than not, some of you go out of your defend racist rhetoric by other nerds (I’m looking at you commenters on the GITS & AOT live action movie articles) It’s truly disgusting how we black male nerds treat black women, and continue to let them be degraded. I have seen black female cosplayers openly disrespected in nerd spaces. I have seen others mince their words to gain the favor with whomever. A lot of us claim to be pro-black & nerdy, but are very anti-black when it comes to our women who are in the anime fandom.
Seriously, how many times can we as black men bitch and moan about how being a nerd is unattractive to women, but totally miss the fact that our behavior is what makes you unattractive? Have years of anime tropes turned us into inconsiderate man children that think it’s ok to stereotype others, especially our own women?! Where is the solidarity?
Yes, I get it. When you look at a black woman in Anime Cosplay she may not None look exactly like the sailor scout–or whatever waifu she happens to be dressed like– but that still doesn’t mean you get to shit on a black girl for enjoying cosplay. Cosplay isn’t an easy or cheap hobby. To make your own costume requires being skilled in tailoring, and sewing, in addition to the time, effort and money. Perhaps it would be best if you showed a little respect.
Howard T. Smith II
P.S. Here is a great little article from Vice Magazine about the black anime fandom and how much of an impact we have on the genre.