Arielle Wilkins’ Black Army Men are where toys meet the revolution
She was shy and art was her sanctuary. In that way, Arielle Wilkins was like many lonely children growing up at the turn of the 21st century. What set her apart was her father — an arts aficionado and cultural rabble rouser who found pleasure driving through the white neighborhoods of Houston blasting Public Enemy with the windows down.
Wilkins’ latest venture is inspired by the United States’ resurgent civil rights movement. The Black Army Men are her contribution to the debate around racism and policing — toy soldiers designed to bring hope and perspective to a war in which the body count is mounting by the day. She is opening up about how she hopes these toy soldiers will shape the way children think about race.
On the reigns of @omarholmon ‘s
“What Happens To A New Black Character Deferred? editorial speaking on the response to outcry and backlash to casting POC in historically white characters roles such as the recent Zendaya/Mary Jane Watson casting news—Stop asking us to focus on the Black and other POC characters we have if you kept them M.I.A., If they stay missing in fiction.
Which inspired a hashtag on Twitter: which POC comic-book characters from the Big Two, Marvel and DC are #MissingInFiction.
A quick shotout to a handful of characters that were killed off, forgotten and left in comic book limbo.Check it out if you get a chance.
My corset log. The small points are measurements of my waist, while wearing corset, on the left y-axis. The narrow vertical bars are the hours-per-day recorded on the right y-axis. Date is on the x-axis.
I’m approaching two years of this adventure! Took a few months off this winter and lost territory. Some of the lost territory was due to weight gain, and I think that is the reason that my present rate of waist reduction seems a little bit faster compared to before.
When I waist train, it really motivates me to eat healthy and to stay away from junk food. I don’t want to spend many hours wearing a stiff corset and then waste the effort by eating unhealthy food. This holistic aspect often gets lost in the general controversy over whether it is healthy or not to waist train.
For my body, I’m thinking that I’d like to be down near 24 or 25 inches while laced. I think that would look feminine, proportional, and would look great in many outfits. In other words, I’m not shooting for as small as I can possibly go.
Last detail: the colors of the small points on my plot are each a different corset that I’ve owned. Everything I’ve purchased so far has come from Dark Garden because they are local to San Francisco and they are awesome. May try some other shops in the future just to get variety, but I am super happy with Dark Garden. It’s fantastic to be able to go into a shop that knows exactly what they are doing and get a super-custom fit.
Yo, why is Black Panther always the go-to in this reverse cast-ism argument? Black Manta would have been the perfect misdirect for that complaint. Whenever I see this “solution” I instantly think of the Black characters that were created by Marvel and DC Comics alike, for just this purpose, that are nowhere to be seen today. The problem with this assembly line of creating more and more new characters is that we end up with an abundant number of diverse characters with potential that become stuck in comic book limbo. “They literally become raisins in the sun, presented for the moment then left to dry out. There are so many characters of color created to have their stories told, once” Comic book limbo is basically the upside down from Stranger Things, where characters hang out in obscurity, which is why seeing a Black MJ, Ben Urich, or Nick Fury matters because if you grew up as a person of color and a comic book fan, you had no idea when you were going to see your favorite character again!
A free update to the 16-year-old franchise made available Thursday will enable players to select their characters’ physique, voice and gait in a way that enables gender customization within the game like never before.
Originally this started as a post talking about Zendaya Coleman being cast to play Mary Jane Watson in the upcoming Spider-Man: Homecoming movie, because for every action, there is an equal, and opposite reaction
Black casting of a historically white character there is an equal, and
opposite internet backlash. I was going to make light of the situation
and talk about how Zendaya would be walking on white tears.
How her MJ would have Peter Parker swinging through NYC listening to Beyonce (or Destiny’s Child), and getting their house party routine down,
but I knew, within a week or a few months time, we’d be right back
here. With a new Black or POC actor being allowed to play the role of a
white character, and I could simply switch Zendaya and MJ out for the
next two and so on, and so on. Every time a Black actor gets cast, the
same minuscule arguments for why the actor can’t do this role appear
(never anything detrimental to the character, mind you) and then comes
the inevitable solution that always gets suggested:
“Rather than create a new and exciting character and exercise
intellectual honesty, let’s just teach PoC that the best thing they can
aspire to be is a white person. Makes perfect sense. And while diversity
is the rallying cry of the year, I think Betty White should play Black
This is the cast of the hit TV comedy Brooklyn Nine Nine:
It is a well-rounded cast. The characters are different people with different dreams and goals and personalities and priorities, and they work together.
These two are Amy Santiago and Rosa Diaz, two Latina women:
Although they are both Latina women, they are very different characters. Amy is a nerdy, easily-excited perfectionist and Rosa is a blunt, tough-as-nails badass.
If I were to ask “what’s your opinion of the Latina character on Brooklyn Nine Nine”, you would have to respond with “which one?”.
These two are Captain Raymond Holt and Terry Jeffords, two black men:
Although they are both black men, they are very different characters. Captain Holt is strict and humourless, Terry is a musclebound teddy bear.
If I were to ask “what’s your opinion of the black man on Brooklyn Nine Nine”, you would have to respond with “which one?”.
A lot of people don’t like “tokenism” in fiction. And, it’s true, if you’re adding in a black character just for the sake of representing all black people in your fiction, it can be an example of poor writing.
But, when you watch Brooklyn Nine Nine, none of the characters above feel like token characters.
Now, if I were to remove Amy Santiago from the show, many people might think of Rosa as the token Latina. And, as the only Latina, many people might think that she was there to represent all Latina women. They might say “Is that really what you think all Latina women are like? That they all wear leather jackets and grunt in monosyllables and beat people senseless? What a terrible stereotype!”
If I were to remove Captain Holt from the show, many people might think of Terry as the token black man. And, as the only black man, many people might think that he was there to represent all black men. They might say “Is that really what you think all black men are like? That they’re all vain, overmuscled behemoths, tamed into domesticity? What a terrible stereotype!”.
It is precisely because the show features multiple examples of each of these demographics that they escape stereotyping. If you see one Latina woman who exhibits aggressive traits, you might think that all Latina women have anger management problems. If you see two Latina women, though, and one is aggressive and the other isn’t, you would not reach that conclusion. It would be impossible for someone to watch an episode of Brooklyn Nine Nine and come away thinking “ah yes, now I know what all Latina women are like” or “ah yes, now I know what all black men are like”.
It is fine not to approve of tokenism in fiction. It’s fine! Including a character purely to check that character’s ethnicity or gender or disability or sexuality off of a checklist can be terrible writing. Token characters can perpetuate negative stereotypes, or even help to create new ones.
But, if you don’t like token characters, the answer isn’t less diversity.
If your argument is “because that’s the way it’s always been,” you don’t have an argument. Making fictional characters white is not a time-honored tradition of religious significance. Your comfort zone isn’t detrimental to the character either. Look at the formula for all the Marvel movies so far too. The majority are cis white male leads, with the Black friend (Rhodey [Cheadle], Falcon [Mackie], Karl Modo [Ejiofor]). So, what you really trying to say is, it’s cool when we’re the support, but we can’t be the lead, *Cough* EvenThoughBladeActuallySetAllThisShitOffButWhatever *Clears throat* or a major character because a Black person displaying emotions just doesn’t translate to your “comfort zone” and it’s going to be Rue-gate from Hunger games all over again.
When castings like Zendaya’s MJ for Spider-Man Homecoming get announced we always get bombarded with the “Why Can’t You Enjoy the BLACK/POC characters you already have?/Why can’t Betty White or Tom Hanks be Black Panther?!” Crowd. Here’s a look at a sort of comic book limbo of a few characters that are missing action aka missing in fiction.
When we talk about Latinx Representation we should ask ourselves, which Latinx? It’s interesting that, despite Jane the Virgin being about a Venezuelan family (played entirely by Puerto Rican actresses) and the Salazars on Fear the Walking Dead being Salvadorian (played by a Panamanian actor and a Swedish actress!), both stories are similar in that they are generically about “immigration.” But there’s nothing to make them specifically Venezuelan or specifically Salvadorian. Because to Hollywood, and to the average viewer, there’s no difference. Latinx are simply generic, interchangeable brownish people from that ever-nebulous part of the world that’s “South of the Border.” And don’t they all pretty much have the same story? Don’t they?
Teresa Jusino on recognizing the often-erased diversity of Latinx experiences on & off the screen (x)