Lord of the Rings.
You are looking at some of the biggest selling science fiction – slash – fantasy movies that were ever created. These movies are awe inspiring, masterfully crafted and were delivered to us in a way that sinks in deep, wiggles in between the soft folds of our memories and has never let go.
When you think of epic movies, naturally one of these movies will come to mind. When you think of science fiction, when you think of fantasy, one of these movies will come to mind. And I absolutely love. these. movies.
So, are you expecting a blog post about the wonderful feels that are evoked when these movies are played or even talked about? NOPE. This is actually about the LACK of science fiction – slash- fantasy movie that star black and or minority people.
Wait! This isn’t some rah rah fight the power post. If you think it is, you don’t know me very well. You’re speaking to someone who fought a LONG and LONELY battle with an extreme attraction of things as culuh’d folk would like to call “non-black stuff” for 19 years.
Anime, foreign films, fantasy novels, KPop, ect. And in my experience (such as trying to start a dialogue or mentioning it to friends, all equipped with very confused looks) I’ve encountered a good chunk of minorities that for the longest of times have had an acute aversion to things such as Star Wars, Anime, Manga, Fantasy novels yada yada yada. It’s only been recently that I’ve seen my people take an interest in it as a whole. And I’m fucking excited. You have no idea. 10 years ago, if I mentioned Sailor Moon in a conversation, I had to deal with either girls who’ve only seen the English Dub or fall back on Tito, Lenzy and ‘nem to keep my brain occupied.
I am saying all of this TO SAY that now that we’ve finally, finally hopped aboard the good ole fantasy land train in masses, we can slowly start to see more participation in that genre from minorities. However, the occurrence of a black person as the leading role is rare. Wesley Snipes in Blade, and um…Will Smith in Hancock and…um….
We’ve had a small number of ensemble cast roles: Mace Windu in Star Wars, Lt. Uhura in Star Trek (both the show and the movies), Morpheus was DAMN close, and President Lindberg and Ruby Rod in Fifth Element.
However, now we have After Earth. NOW WE HAVE AFTER EARTH.
Staring, what? TWO black men. In a what? SCIENCE FICTION MOVIE. That’s what? PRODUCED BY A MAJOR PRODUCTION COMPANY. That’s not what? STEREOTYPICAL TYPE CASTING! *WHOOT WHOOT*
After Earth is a story about a father and a son who have survived a crash landing on Earth 1000 years after our population has abandoned it. The movie stars Will and Jaden Smith in the prodigal roles. They even have cool fucking names! Ranger Kitai Raige and General Cypher?
And outside of the fact that this movie looks like it is going to be fucking awesome, let me tell you why I’m so excited, why I am so proud, why I am willing to promote the living shit out of After Earth. I believe in this genre. Science Fiction and Fantasy is a realm that has endless possibilities. It is boundless. You can reach outside of stereotypes, out of limitations, out of prejudice to create a world that does not see these things. You can create a perfect world and I don’t CARE how unrealistic it is, there is so much life inside of fantasy. And for years we have not seen it.
I want this to be the start of something big. There is a movement. Sites such as http://blacksciencefictionsociety.com/ and Tumblrs such as http://cosplayingwhileblack.tumblr.com/ share in this sentiment.
I want to see more minority writers interested in science fiction, more minority producers interested in the genre, more minority actors willing to step up to lead roles and say fuck the casting directors ideals of what Hollywood wants in a leading man or woman. I want us to take advantage of this. I want to see more black coshttp://cosplayingwhileblack.tumblr.com/players at ComicCons and more black people at Anime Con. I want my children and your children to have their own Harry Potter, their own Anakin, and their own Frodo. Ones that look like them. Why? Because we deserve it.
And damn it, we will have it.
*steps off of her podium and slinks back into the crowd*
OH! Enjoy the trailer 🙂