african american wizards

The Allegiance Academy: Gaudete et vinculae tua!

Of all of the prestigious schools of American wizardry, there are none with such a rebellious and turbulent history as the Allegiance Academy. Originally founded to host and protect black wizards and witches over the course of their education, the Allegiance Academy stands as a stony sentinel off the shores of Georgia. Built around the ruins of the pirated slave-ship Allegiance, the school was founded by four of the most powerful, and some detractors would say volatile mages of the 19th century: “Mother” Irma Cove, Tulia and Tybalt Le Loup, and the ever eccentric Catherine Valentine.

Though forgotten in muggle history books, the four founders of the Allegiance Academy were prominent leaders in the Underground Railroad.Tulia, Tybalt and Irma had all started their lives as slaves (Irma having actually be the muggle-born daughter of Madame Valentine’s personal servant) and while they came to their magic through separate routes, they nonetheless dedicated their lives to the salvation of other black men and women kept in bondage.

Of especial interest to them were those poor children born into slavery who possessed magical talent. Such children, either muggle-born or conceived from the rape of a muggle mother by her wizarding owner, had an especially precarious place in society. Those whites who believed blacks were even capable of magic did not believe they deserved it, and saw wizards and witches amongst the slaves as grave dangers. Those allowed to live past their first manifestation of magic were usually kept ignorant of their powers, and kept bound by unbreakable vows that reduced them below even the roughest muggle. A slave so bound had not freedom, and was forced to always speak the truth and report dangers of their masters. Many a potential revolt was defused by a slave forced to betray their fellows, despite their best attempts to disobey. Shunned by both sides, such wizards and witches often gave in to despair.

The founders of the Allegiance Academy worked hard to find these children before their masters did, and abscond with them before such bindings could be put in place. But as time went on, and the number of free children with magical talent grew, the founders realized their was a problem. It would be more than 100 years before the Randolph-Peyton Institute would be forced to accept black students, and while the Salem Institute was more sympathetic, it was none the less the type of sympathy they preferred to keep at one removed. Even free-born blacks in the north had a higher bar to meet to obtain a place in New England’s prestigious academy than their white counterparts. Valentine did what she could to place the children in friendly homes, and those who seemed in control of their powers were allowed to stay with their families, but there was always a chance that such a child, under the stress of flight to the north, would loose control of their magic and expose the whole party. 

So Irma Cove hatched a daring scheme. Taking a party of trusted allies, she boarded the muggle slave-ship, The Allegiance, and quelled the crew through magic. As she charted their course due south, Tybalt and Tulia ran ahead of them, in the form of hawk and wolf, and gathered all of the wizarding children they’d freed from slavery. On the way south the Allegiance took on these children, and bore them down to a small island off the coast of Georgia. Located east of the St. Andrew Sound a stretch of water charmingly referred to as “The Hole,” this island had long been shunned as a cursed and haunted place by muggles and wizard alike.

Using their magic the wizards set the ship on the center of the island, and around it they raised their school. Tybalt Le Loup, master of transfiguration, spent the next five years shifting the stones of the island around the pirated ship until the fortresslike edifice of the Allegiance Academy stood strong and broad against the southern horizon. Its defenses were potent and varied. Not only was it protected by its thick walls, powerful wardings, and obscure African sorcery (taught to Tybalt and Tulia by their uncle, the famous Le Loup), the school also and four massive cannons liberated by Irma shortly before the Civil War, and a host of tamed sharks (said to be the transfigured slavers that once crewed the Allegiance).

Shortly after its founding, the Allegiance Academy became the first and only school to technically be at war with the American Wizarding Confederation. For more than half a century, from its founding in 1839 until its official recognition in 1901, the school was a rogue organization under siege, and a polarizing point in the politics of the mainland. Today the Allegiance Academy is a strong contender for greatness, easily challenging RPI and SI for national recognition and prestige. It maintains its looming presence, and at its heart the slave ship remains, complete with iron chains and billowing sails: a constant reminder to its students, lest they forget the history of oppression and struggle that forged their proud alma mater.

Despite its apparent gloom and doom, the Allegiance Academy remains a place of safety and comfort to its students, and all those who remain oppressed.

the-autistic-princess-anna  asked:

I'm working on a novel called "Heroes of Pennsylvania: The Synagogue Wizard". My two main heroes are an African-American Jewish wizard and his Spanish-Romani sister. Their names are Ryan and Marie. Is it okay if Marie helps Ryan fight crime? She's based on my two Romani friends.

Romani sister helping Jewish wizard brother fight crime

>>  Is it okay if Marie helps Ryan fight crime?

Tasbeeh says: I’m ok if it’s just fighting crime with no magic or other stereotypes involved.

Shira says: Is this guy’s sister adopted? Otherwise I am highly confused as to how a Black Jew winds up with a sister who is not also a Black Jew or at the very least a Black gentile (if he’s a convert or she’s his half sister.) Other than this, go for it; sounds like a healthy brother and sister relationship.

I want you to take a good look at this picture and note the three people of color in the foreground. See them? Good. That is Madam President Seraphina Picquery of MACUSA and two of her Aurors. No, none of them are particularly dark skinned but I think there is a logical reason for that: the insulation and eventual segregation of the wizarding and non-magical communities.

Wizard kind in America, while undoubtedly more progressive on race relations, and not really concerned with blood purity as such, did stick to their own magical kind. Native American wizards welcomed European wizards, likewise I think they would provide a safe refuge for magical slaves and immigrants. Would there even be African wizards transported in the slave trade? The two possibilities for that are horrible to think about, either there were magical slave masters or they took young orphans with no one to protect them. Or it could be that the majority of the African-American wizarding population came from Muggleborns whose magical had laid dormant for many generations. Regardless they would have been welcomed into the fold and joined with European, Native American, Latin American and eventually Asian American wizards and intermarried.

JKR mentions four famous wand makers in her History of Magic in North America. One of them is a Native American, one of them is Latin American, one of them is African African American and the other is a European American immigrant. Seraphina Picquery, an exceptionally talented witch from Savannah, is mentioned multiple times throughout the essays of Pottermore. She is trying guys.

No perhaps there are not people of color walking the streets of New York in the background of the film. It could have to do with the neighborhoods they are in, it could be the fault of the casting of extras or it could have nothing to do with the story. The half a dozen instances we see No-Majs in the film are with the Second Salemers (white, let’s face it religious zealots), inside a large bank, in side the offices of a prominent newspaper, the police force and at the very end going to a canning factory. Except for the last those are all scenes of white authority.

No we do not get to see any evidence of The Harlem Renaissance happening at this time, because we are too busy visiting a goblin run speakeasy and chasing beasts through the zoo at night. I’m not trying to make excuses, I’m just asking you to think critically and not pass judgement on a fictional film before seeing it. Yes Black Lives Matter, yes representation matters and yes they could have done better with the casting. Almost every film could do better. But damnit she is trying. A woman of color is President of the Magical Congress of the United States of America in 1926 and a woman of color is Minister for Magic in 2017. Please stop demonizing the author and creator of the fictional world you claim to love. Thank you.

anonymous asked:

mmm... I think what JKR was trying to do with the 'wizards don't have racism/sexism,etc' is part 'fantasy idealization of fixing things in our world' part a parallel on how some countries are more advanced in certain things than others (exs. How Europe don't have the rampant gun violence the US have or places like Norway have better education, health-care, compared to US) obviously that concept gets murky in 'wizards vs muggle treatment of NA, and wizards not helping NA when massacred'

Okay so like IA broadly that this is probably what JKR wants to do but I’m really not interested in understanding her motivations right now because - and keep in mind that I rarely rarely use this term on here, so I’m not using this lightly at all - a) this reeks a lot of white guilt to me, the kind that would much rather imagine that an issue has disappeared completely than tackle it head on and b) this shit hits just way way too close to home & answers a bunch of questions I’ve had a long long time that I suspected would be answered the way they were but hoped they would be answered elsewise. 

This is really much much more than “'wizards vs muggle treatment of NA, and wizards not helping NA when massacred'”. I’ve been trying to be dispassionate about this ask and give you a well-reasoned answer but I can’t achieve emotional distance from this right now, so instead I’m going to dump back a bunch of questions at you that I’ve had for some time, that fans have raised in response to this and other emotional stuff for me that’s bound up in this that might help explain why people are so worked up about this.

This is the first and the last thing I’ll say about this, so keep in mind it’s going to be really fucking long.

i. the worst case scenario

Here’s a starter post. Here’s some things to think about:

  • We’re told that wand magic is largely European and used because it’s easier and because it involves considerably less talent and focus than wandless magic. Somehow we’re expected to believe that wand magic spreading into America and the rest of the world is not in any way something that erases indigenous forms of magic, that this process has not in any way been violent, that this has not in any way scarred the psyches of Native Americans watching their magical practices (so bound up in their cultures) eroded and taken away from them because of the wand.
  • We’re supposed to believe that pre-statute of secrecy wizards weren’t puffed up with their own righteous supremacy the way a lot of europe was when they rationalized their conquering wanderings all across the world. That like somehow, these guys just saw this as fun cultural exchange and never thought ‘wow look at these weird folks doing weird shit’ and that never became ‘lol lets take their stuff for ourselves’. Because wizards apparently don’t suffer from the tendency to exoticize and fetishize people and view them as less than themselves /sarcasm/.
  • The puritans were ‘immigrants’ and the troubles they had with the native americans was ‘conflict’. not like you know, systematic fucking genocide.
  • Somehow despite the existence of Scourers, we’re meant to believe that wizards never participated in the slave trade.
  • Somehow despite the existence of the magic carpet ban, newly instituted, we’re supposed to believe that wizards never had trade practices which specifically targeted non western european cultures, that were specifically exploitative in the same way that colonialism was exploitative
  • Somehow we’re expected to believe that the need for the Statute of Secrecy was uniform across the world when the rest of the world had very different relationships with magic than christian Europe did. Somehow we’re meant to believe that fear of dark magic is equivalent to fear of all magic. Somehow we’re expected to believe that the equal application of the Statute across the world isn’t in any way an exercise of power by colonizer countries over other countries. 
  • Somehow we’re expected to believe that isn’t a metaphor for colonialism, because it’s just wizards showing solidarity.
  • Somehow we’re expected to believe Pansy Parkinson calling Angelina Johnson’s braids ‘worms’ isn’t vaguely racist, it’s just a bitchy girl being a bitch.
  • Somehow we’re expected to believe all of this. 
  • Somehow.
  • Despite the contradictions within canon itself.

ii. the best case scenario

Assuming we let ourselves believe all of the contradictions I’ve listed above, and we assume that no wizards are above all of this and there are actually really good reasons for all of this, it still raises a lot of difficult questions. I’m copying these questions from a chat with @zielenna, and keep in mind this is a thing that has been bothering me for ages about the wizarding world:

  • what do wizards do when the muggle world is persecuting people on the basis of ethnicity?
  • what happened in Rwanda in 1995 when hutus massacred tutsis? what happened in the DRC and later when there were tensions in refugee camps? did wizards just…. not participate in this? were they okay with LETTING PEOPLE WITH SHARED ANCESTRY GET BUTCHERED
  •  OR AFRICAN WIZARDS AND BLACK AMERICAN WIZARDS WHEN THEY SAW SLAVERY (whole communities and tribes destroyed and kidnapped from the continent and taken away to be slaves elsewhere) AND JIM CROW (their fellow black americans treated like shit by white people while somehow they’re treated just fine by their white wizard brothers - but their white wizard brothers won’t let them help, won’t do anything to help???)
  • I mean for fuck’s sake what about half the ethnic massacres that took place within Europe?
  • the Armenian genocide? the fucking holocaust?
  • like do jewish and roma wizards just……… ignore what their non-magical brethren are going through? or like do they just go ahead and keep on loving people like grindelwald because as long as we have magic we’re fine!!!
  • from @zielenna - I too am wondering rn how did wizards from Soviet satellites react to USSR fucking up life there for 40 years.
  • also from @zielenna - or how did Polish wizards react to muggle Russians and Prussians wiping off the country off the map
  • @zielenna - because what does it mean, kinship between Native Americans and Pioneers? how are they kin to 1 another?
  • What about goddamn colonialism. The ruination of three (four? Five?) whole bloody continents at the hand of white colonizers. What do native wix from Africa, South America, North America, Australia and huge swathes of Asia do? Are they supposed to find solidarity with white European & American wizards above their fellow kin? Are they supposed to find solidarity with people who probably are more keen on keeping them from getting involved with the very real hurts their country is experiencing because!!! statute of secrecy!!! (like, given the fact that they made rules to keep wizards from intervening in wwi I WOULD NOT BE SURPRISED). What kind of fucking solidarity is that? What kind of kinship is that?
  • Are Irish wizards somehow supposed to ignore the plundering and division and ruination of their country at the hands of the English? Are they supposed to just… ignore the famines and everything in favour of solidarity with the English? (Is Ireland even an independent country in HPverse or does JKR’s paternalism wrt Scotland extend to Ireland as well?)
  • But I guess that’s the same kind of kinship we get from being part of the Commonwealth amirite? A ‘special friendship’. In which the former colonies suck Britain’s dick and Britain pretends colonialism never fucking happened.

I don’t know how to answer these questions in light of what JKR’s been telling us because everything she’s told us so far plays the Statute of Secrecy goddamn straight and assumes that wizards are just going to magically feel kinship across racial and ethnic borders irrespective of whatever the hell their muggle brethren are doing which is just NOT HOW THIS SHIT WORKS AT ALL. 

iii. my lack of objective distance from this:

so here’s the thing. I can’t be objective or dispassionate about this because everything JKR says is bound up in webs with things that other people have said and done, that other media has said and done, that is written into the history of my country and is written on to me in the way I constantly struggle with my identity. 

  • I keep remembering my human rights class people not being able to argue against ISIS because colonialism and their allyship involving preservation of culture over actual human rights & helping the marginalized with their struggles against oppressors even in formerly colonial countries and I could see the caution and the way guilt was written on them & the way my prof kept pushing them to fight for it but no. It just remained that weird cautious kind of guilt where they’d much rather say the correct, prescribed words of allyship than actually engage with the complicated question of rights in former colonial countries.
  • i keep remembering the time my friend sent me a syllabus for history in the UK in the gcse system which described the indian independence movement coming totally out of left field with the rowlatt act in the early 1900s and totally ignoring the fact that there had been tribal movements, constant battles, THE MOTHERFUCKING REVOLT OF 1857, the number of times we’d protested the Dalhousie act, all those struggles were erased in favour of describing it like we were ungrateful and magically rose up all of a sudden like we hadn’t always been fucking fighting against this, like we magically decided colonialism was bad one day and started fighting against the British for no good reason
  • i remember the time my mother was forced into a conversation by a Scotsman who insisted that colonialism benefited us - 
  • the way david Cameron refused to apologize for colonialism, the way Britain still refuses to actually accept its role as a colonial empire and 
  • the way no one knows that dadabhai naoroji estimated the amount of wealth stolen from us ALL THE WAY BACK IN 1910 so we still continue to have conversations about whether or not colonialism had some benefits for us - and this is a mainstream enough belief of the British (sure it was bad but there were economic benefits)
  • the way the economist thinks it’s a fucking joke to illustrate every article about india with ELEPHANTS but they’re totes not racist
  • the way the commonwealth has a ‘special’relationship with the UK but it’s the EU that gets all the actual meaningful economic benefits - we get loans and aid from DFID which we either have to pay back with interest & in currency stronger than ours (so we’re always paying back more than we get) or we do the economic reforms they want us to so that their businesses profit
  • the way our experiences and histories are constantly undermined and interrogated and asked - are you sure it was that bad? Are you really sure? Are you really really sure? But what about these facts? Are you still sure? Are you sure those scars are the result of that? Because we meant well. Because we’re your friends now
  • Wizards aren’t racist because of mutual kinship, its just that wizards of non-white western ethnicities are expected to shut up and not ever experience ethnic or racial solidarity because magic. trumps. all.
  • Fans of colour are expected to rejoice in how super-progressive this world is, which instead of grappling with their experiences & histories head-on, tells them these histories & experiences never occurred, were never real, don’t exist in this world because magic. trumps. all. because somehow wizards of colour, non-western, non-white wizards could turn the other way while their fellow muggle brethren were being slaughtered/killed/persecuted/systematically made extinct/forced to assimilate/starved/i don’t know insert literally any form of violence here. 
  • because magic. trumps. all.

I find it really hard to disentangle all of this from the tweet JKR made & the pieces she’s written on North America, where colonialism is just totally elided, airbrushed, swept under the carpet - even the muggle bits of it - so she can tell a nice linear story. 

So yeah, I’m sorry but it’s much more than a ‘murky’ issue or a ‘problematic’ one, it’s something that’s made me see red, that’s made me feel so angry I feel like crying, that’s just left me really exhausted wrt HP because dear god, I don’t want to engage with this or with any of the Discourse TM that will emerge from this. 

Anyone else wants to add on to this please feel free.