Although we’ve always known and have long since identified the lack of positive roles in the depictions of African Characters, Black Panther and the thought of Wakanda being a Real possibility has truly opened our eyes to the lack of representation for the African Community.
With a lack of Characters for our community, this creates a deficiency in the involvement of creative expression such as Cosplay. We’re often left to dress ourselves and our children as European inspired characters making it, for lack of more eloquent words awkward, uncomfortable and for some mortifying to participate in. Meanwhile every one else in the world is able to easily adapt to their characters’ persona, creating joyous memories.
Quite frankly, we’re tired of being told by society what we can do OR what “Being black” looks like!!! We need and want the ability to express ourselves for ourselves in whatever way reigns true to us. At this point we have to make our own way and we’re going to do JUST that!!!
With a need for more realistic representation of the African community, as a whole, becoming ever so apparent; A broader range of Afro-centered story lines are not far away; as new characters emerge we are introduced to new ideals of what African’s look like in Modern society. With the implementation of new Characters we’ll be introduced to new creator’s such as Jordan Peele of Get Out, Ava DuVernay of Queen Sugar, or Alchemist of avataralch.com. With all the work being done from just these 3 we know there is certain to be an abundance of opportunities for Afrocentric cosplay in the near future.
Cosplay although at first glance seems to have no purpose, is a way for the participant to dream and live an alternate reality. This opens the mind to greater possibilities that can only be unleashed when cosplayers have the ability to envision themselves in their character. This simple fact is why Afro-centered or Afrocentric-cosplay and character creation is so important. Afro-centric cosplay is simply cosplay with African based characters. With our own characters we can participate in imaginative recreation without feeling awkward. Instead we can be fierce, empowered and more creative knowing our characters completely encompass and embody us wholeheartedly. Thus we can experience the full effect of Cosplay.
Afro Centric cosplay is going to be a hit! We need to establish a few guidelines. First of All we want to see our hair represented correctly. I don’t know about you but uh I’m tired of seeing African women wearing straight stringy hair when it doesn’t accurately represent our hair or texture. Lets just say I want to see our hair the way we like it! Braids, Cornrows, Afros, twist-outs the works! So I’d like to share a few Anime characters with hairstyles that More accurately represent what Afro-Centric Anime/Cosplay should mimic in the coming future.
Love the hair on this Avatar by avataralch
These lovely characters show diversity in hair types. These characters are a better representation of Afro Feminine and Masculine characteristics. Seeing ourselves depicted in characters and roles representative of our diverse social and economic statuses, play a part in societies perception of our communities as well as establishes an understanding of our vastly distinct impact on society in a leading influential medium. It gives our voices a face that matches its originator and adds significant value to our position in society. Admit it or not it’s necessary.
I’m glad to say that we are so close to changing the barriers and limitations placed upon us and I cant wait to see Afro-Centric Cosplay realized in mass.
Until Next Time Stay Healthy Happy and Always Loving