I wanted to briefly talk about this trend called #Blacktober and how I feel that it’s a missed opportunity for originality and highlight obscure Black characters lost to time!
So if the name hasn’t given it away, #Blacktober is a month in which many artists partake in sharing one art per day during a particular theme. This ranges from protagonist to antagonist. The whole idea is to turn non-black characters into characters that look like them! Esseaitly to let the world know Black people exists! That’s where they lost me! It’s nothing serious and in the grand scheme of things affects no one or harms anyone (debatable as I feel it harm the psyche of Black people) but I feel like this month could’ve been a prime opportunity to create original characters, promote original works and overall shine a light to an otherwise ignored sector in geek culture. Instead, it’s wasted promoting already well-known characters!
Many of these artists have shown themselves to be extremely talented, so to me, it feels like their talent is being wasted recoloring or re-imagined already established “white or Asian” characters when they could just create something original! I mean, so many of the weird characters we’ve seen over years, started out as fan arts and turned into a cultural phenomenon, this could have been a prime to bring something like that to light again
As I said, it’s just a minor pet peeve of mine that I wanted to share! At first, I wanted to gather all the original works of art and share them at the end of the month but most of it is just Black-washed characters.
Truth be told, if your explanation for #Blacktober is “it’s empowering“, then I’m sorry to tell you but there’s nothing empowering about it! At all! What’s more empowering is creating original characters, give them a backstory (since it’s your work, you have the ability to tell your story), and watch as many people fawn over your new work! Or use this month to find obscure Black characters that many people may not have heard of, redrawn in your vision, and shine a new spotlight on those characters!
Anyways, that’s just my opinion on it! It’s all fun I guess but I can’t help but feel disappointed that many Black creators are choosing to take this path. Let me know what you guys think!
Update: 10/10/2020 — I made a video a few days after this blog, and near the end of that video I shouted out original works that people can check out.