historical poc

the-spockicorn  asked:

Hi, I’ve been considering starting a book in the fantasy genre. I really wanted to give some Native American representation in it, since it's something that I rarely see. However, this story wouldn't take place in America, it would be in a completely different world (though one loosely based off of earth in the 14 hundreds ish?) This is similar to your mixing cultures post, but I wanted to know: is there a good way to give Native American representation in stories that aren’t historical fiction?

Representing PoC in Fantasy When Their Country/Continent Doesn’t Exist

The core of this question is something we’ve gotten across a few different ethnicities, and it basically boils down to: “how can I let my readers know these people are from a certain place without calling them by this certain place?” Aka, how can I let people know somebody is Chinese if I can’t call them Chinese, or, in your case, some Native American nation without having a North America.

Notes on Language

As I have said multiple times, there is no such thing as “Native American culture”. It’s an umbrella term. Even if you are doing fantasy you need to pick a nation and/or confederacy.

Step One

How do you code somebody as European?

This sounds like a very silly question, but consider it seriously.

How do you?

They probably live in huts or castles; there are lords and kings and knights; they eat stew and bread and drumsticks; they celebrate the winter solstice as a major holiday/new year; women wear dresses while men wear pants; there are pubs and farms and lots of wheat; the weather is snowy in winter and warm in summer.

Now swap all those components out for whatever people you’re thinking about.

Iroquois? They live in longhouses; there is a confederacy and democracy and lots of warriors from multiple nations; they eat corn, beans, and squash (those three considered sacred and grown together), with fish and wild game; they wear mostly leather garments with furs in winter; there are nights by the fire and cities and the rituals will change by the nation (remember the Iroquois were a confederacy made up of five or six tribes, depending on period); the weather is again snowy in winter and warm in summer.

Chinese? They harvest rice; there is an emperor appointed by the gods and scholars everywhere; they use a lunar calendar and have a New Year in spring; their trade ships are huge and their resources are plenty; they live in wood structures with paper walls or mud brick; they use jade and ivory for talismans; their culture is hugely varied depending on the province; their weather is mostly tropical, with monsoons instead of snow on lowlands, but their mountains do get chilly.

You get the gist.

Break down what it is that makes a world read as European (let’s be honest, usually English and Germanic) to you, then swap out the parts with the appropriate places in another culture.

Step Two

Research, research, research. Google is your friend. Ask it the questions for “what did the Cree eat” and “how did Ottoman government work.” These are your basics. This is what you’ll use to figure out the building blocks of culture.

You’ll also want to research their climate. As I say in How To Blend Cultures, culture comes from climate. If you don’t have the climate, animals, plants, and weather down, it’ll ring false.

You can see more at So You Want To Save The World From Bad Representation.

Step Three

Start to build the humans and how they interact with others. How are the trade relations? What are the internal attitudes about the culture— how do they see outsiders? How do outsiders see them? Are there power imbalances? How about greed and desire to take over?

This is where you need to do even more research on how different groups interacted with others. Native American stories are oftentimes painful to read, and I would strongly suggest to not take a colonizer route for a fantasy novel.

This does, however, mean you might not be researching how Natives saw Europeans— you’ll be researching how they saw neighbours. 

You’ll also want to look up the social rules to get a sense for how they interacted with each other, just for character building purposes.

Step Four

Sensitivity readers everywhere! You’ll really want to get somebody from the nation to read over the story to make sure you’ve gotten things right— it’s probably preferable to get somebody when you’re still in the concept stage, because a lot of glaring errors can be missed and it’s best to catch them before you start writing them.

Making mistakes is 100% not a huge moral failing. Researching cultures without much information on them is hard. So long as you understand the corrections aren’t a reflection on your character, just chalk them up to ignorance (how often do most writers get basic medical, weapon, or animal knowledge wrong? Extremely often). 

Step Five

This is where you really get into the meat of creating people. You’ve built their culture and environment into your worldbuilding, so now you have the tools you need to create characters who feel like part of the culture.

You’ll really want to keep in mind that every culture has a variety of people. While your research will say people roughly behave in a certain way, people are people and break cultural rules all the time. Their background will influence what rules they break and how they relate to the world, but there will be no one person who follows every cultural rule down to the letter. 

Step Six


Step Seven

More sensitivity readers! See step 4 for notes.

Step Eight

Rewrite— and trust me, you will need to. Writing is rewriting.

Repeat steps seven and eight until story is done.

Extra Notes

I’ll be honest— you’re probably going to need a certain amount of either goodwill (if you’re lucky enough to make friends within the group you’re trying to represent— but seriously, please do not make friends with us for the sole purpose of using us as sensitivity readers. It’s not nice) and/or money to get to publishing level. 

The good part is the first three steps are free, and these first three steps are what will allow you to hurt others less when you approach. While you’ll still likely make mistakes, you’ll make a few less (and hopefully no glaring ones, but it can/does happen) so long as you do your due diligence in making sure you at least try to understand the basics.

And once you feel like you’ve understood the basics… dive down even deeper because chances are you’re about to reach a tipping point for realizing how little you know.

People will always find you did something wrong. You will never get culture 100% accurate— not even people who were born and raised in it will, because as I said in step five: cultures have a huge variety of people in them, so everyone will interact with it differently. But you can work your hardest to capture one experience, make it as accurate as possible, and learn more for next time.

~ Mod Lesya 



This is a directory of period/historical/fantasy fcs organised by gender, age and time period. I have been working on this since August 2015 and there are currently around 300 fcs in the directory, with over 100 still to be added! If you have any suggestions please drop me a message and I’ll add them to the next batch of fcs. 

Also, please like, reblog and make use of this fc directory because it has taken me months to put together and I would love to see it helping people!

If You’re Mad About Fantastic Beast’s Whitewashing of Harlem, Why Not Watch Timeless?

So, it’s a brand new time travel show on NBC; still finding it’s feet but I swear every episode has been better than the last and I’m so excited to see where it ends up. 

1. The incredibly gifted Malcolm Barrett plays Rufus. Rufus is a flawless human being. He’s sweet and smart and awkward and scared shitless but keeps trying even though he’s in way over his head. He gets at least one positively epic moment per episode. 

2. Race is brought up in every single episode, because Rufus has his own perspective on historical events and the show bothers to treat that as relevant. His white teammates, Wyatt and Lucy, are made aware of their white privilege while time traveling (for example, in the Lincoln assassination episode, Lucy is constantly reminded that the racial issues she can see in abstract terms are personal to Rufus).

3. Frequent encounters with historical POC, from Colored Regiments to Black Panthers to Shawnee chieftainess Nonhelema (god, I was so sure that episode was going to disappoint me with Scary Indians TM. Then they were like, “Nope, gonna teach you about this amazing Native woman who you never heard of and also portray her grievances with the white invaders as totally legitimate.”) The show constantly reminds us that POC were also doing things throughout history and those things were important. 

4. In modern time, all of the main cast back at base are POC. Two are WOC.

5. POC in the background. When the background is mostly white except for a few Black servants, at some point it will be pointed out that this isn’t because white people are “normal” but because segregation/discrimination was a thing. When the setting was actually diverse, they show that. Like in the Alamo episode; it had many white American and white immigrant defenders, but also some Mexicans and Blacks. Your average portrayal would completely ignore them. On Timeless, they explicitly talk about the free Blacks in Mexico. Even when Crockett or Bowie is talking, the background still has Black and Hispanic actors. 

6. I kept worrying that they’d start out well, but eventually sideline Rufus and focus on just Wyatt and Lucy, especially since they initially bond more with each other while he is very protective of them. But recent episodes have also had them fighting to save him, the whole group bonding more and Rufus consistently getting the most interesting characterization and storylines. 

In conclusion, in addition to being a fun sci-fi adventure it’s sci-fi that remembers to treat POC like a normal part of history. Please support it so it stays on air

still star crossed is honestly just good clean fun it’s a goofy, tropey, humor-filled romance and i can’t believe that some people look at it so critically. it isn’t “defacing shakespeare’s legacy” or any other bullshit, it’s just a show you can watch without having to think super deeply about while still caring about the characters. i can’t believe so many people go out of their way to criticize this show to hell and back when it’s just supposed to be fun!

anonymous asked:

Do you know of any lists of POC actors/actresses in period films, please? Thank you.

A masterlist of 240+ POC who have starred in period and fantasy roles categorized by ethnicity and gender. Their roles as well as their ethnicity are clearly denoted; if there are any mistakes or wish to make additions please politely message us! LIKE/REBLOG if this was helpful! -C&The Other M

Keep reading

Friends, readers, Booklrites, lend me your ears. I decided to read Alexandre Dumas’ La Reine Margot (after a binge on the film version) and it turns out to be the most amazingly smutty, OTT thing. Why do I ever forget how much I love Alexandre Dumas? I’ve been reading him for half a lifetime and I am here to tell you all, if you do not yet know him, please do yourselves a favor and sample the work of this joyous, funny, compassionate, and irreverent storyteller.

But I digress. I was going to tell you about the glorious smut of La Reine Margot. FEAR NOT.

The Characters

  • The intro to our clever, TDH hero (La Mole) includes the following details
    • He has a “gentle, melancholy” smile that lights up his whole face
    • his lower lip is “full and perfectly formed” THANK YOU FOR THIS CRUCIAL DETAIL, Papa Dumas. Do you want us to fantasize about kissing this character before we even know him? OKAY.
  • Our OTHER handsome protagonist (Annibal) is a humorous, constantly hungry Italian who also has other appetites and swears all the time and has a cheeky grin and red-gold curls
    • In other words, if the skinny, melancholy dude with the perfect mouth doesn’t do it for you, DON’T WORRY, Papa Dumas has you covered
  • ALSO, Queen Margot is tall, dark-haired, proud, medically skilled, incredibly brave, and absolutely unashamed of having sexual desires
    • she also knows Latin and Greek
    • and has beautiful shoulders 
  • The queen’s smart, sarcastic BFF Henriette decides she wants the Italian at first sight, and promptly takes him into her house, feeds him, and starts swearing like him
    • or at least true lust

The Plot

  • When La Mole first meets Margot, he is so stunned by her beauty he can’t figure out how to move or speak
  • Then she teases him about this
  • Then Dumas describes how, to hand over a letter to her, he SLOWLY UNBUTTONS his leather jerkin and reaches beneath his undershirt and…
    • is he watching her watch him undo the buttons?
    • is he undoing the buttons slowly on purpose?
  • Then she puts the letter “still warm from his chest” down her own dress
    • while holding his eyes steadily
    • intentions pretty damn clearly telegraphed
    • it’s only Chapter 3
  • The next stage in their relationship involves incredible hurt/comfort sequences 
  • As matters progress further, Annibal and La Mole duel while wounded; Henriette and Margot watch them eagerly
    • (this is much kinkier than I expected)
  • Margot & La Mole’s first sexual encounter takes place with her masked because, y’know, deniability (she’s the queen and married)
  • The next morning, she ASKS HIM TO DESCRIBE IT TO HER 
    • while maintaining a perfect poker face
    • (this is much, much kinkier than I expected)
  • The 4 lovers double-date by eating pastries in the bedroom!!!
  • Margot and La Mole discuss Latin grammar as foreplay (I LOVE THEM)
  • Meanwhile La Mole and Annibal develop a great friendship/romance
    • Annibal compares their relationship to those of Damon and Pythias, Nisus and Euryalus, AND Pylades and Orestes
    • just in case anyone didn’t get it the first time
    • Annibal and Henriette offer La Mole a threesome; La Mole blushes
  • Margot confesses her love for La Mole in the presence of her husband
    • All three then continue to plot politics together
    • And then her husband tactfully leaves them alone 
    • I love them all???

Hello!!! I present, the second set of prompts from the wearywnet! I’ve noticed time and time again that most popular historical fiction/historical fantasy revolve around the western world and Europe. This week, I’ve brought together six prompts that finally focus on historical fiction of untold places.

  • A woman feared to be the deadliest Daimyo of feudal Japan leads her estate in respectful supremacy, until the council of Shogun’s call upon her and unlikely comrades to defeat a demon army seeking revenge on the Empress
  • It is 1050 AD and Cairo’s elite universities are buzzing with intelligent youth that have travelled far to acquire innovation
  • A Mexican village prepares for Dia de los Muertos, all the while noticing a strange energy in the air, and so began the celebrations
  • The son of an Indian chief runs away with the circus, finds that he is adept with snake charming and begins to study venom. While he gains popularity in the black market for his poisons, escaping his family’s power doesn’t seem to be as easy as he’d thought
  • During the reign of the Yuan dynasty (1277 AD, China), Song loyalists preferred death over being ruled by the Yuan. While Empress Dowager Xie secretly sends the child emperor’s two younger brothers to Fuzhou in hopes of saving the heirs of the line, the child emperor survives the Battle of Yamen. He searches for his younger brothers to reclaim their empire together
  • A wealthy Omani merchant trading on the coastal regions of the Indian Ocean is captured as a suspected privateer. His skill at fooling the English court and escaping into thin air forever raise questions on his true identity

Anyone is welcome to use these prompts, and if there are any requests for prompt sets next week, let me know. You can tag your writing with ‘wearywnet’ so we can see.

Have fun writing loves!

white people, who intend to use (dreadlocks, tribal tattoos, afros, “chola inspired makeup”, mehndi, bindis, sugar skulls, hula skirts, sombreros, intentional darker shades of foundation, Native American headdresses, Historical PoC icons etc…) in their Halloween costume,  Please get away from me. Culture is not a costume, be something yours for once on Halloween. Looking for something funny as a costume? Donald Trump, he’s a joke be him for Halloween. Looking for something cute? A mermaid, they’re mystical.
Please respect other people’s cultures, don’t appropriate, then ask why we(PoC) are hostile towards you. Do not mock one of the important things in our lives. 

Queen Seondeok of Silla was Silla’s twenty-seventh ruler, and its first reigning queen in 632. She was the second female sovereign in recorded East Asian history and encouraged a renaissance in thought, literature, and the arts in Silla.

Seondeok’s reign began in the midst of violent rebellion and fighting from the neighboring kingdom of Baekje. Yet, in her fourteen years as queen of Silla, she used her wit to her advantage. When Baekje invaded, she sought an alliance with Goguryeo. When Goguryeo also turned on Silla, she strengthened ties with Tang China. She kept the kingdom together and sent royal emissaries and scholars to China. She is also credited with the initial formulation of a Korean chivalric code and sent young Koreans to China for martial arts training.

She built the “Star-Gazing Tower,” or Cheomseongdae, considered the first dedicated observatory in the Far East. The tower still stands in the old Silla capital of Gyeongju, South Korea. She also worked towards relief of poverty.

In the first lunar month of 647, Bidam led a revolt with the slogan that “female rulers cannot rule the country”. Samguk Sagi says that during Bidam’s uprising, a star ‘fell’. Bidam used it to encourage his followers, saying that it was a sign of the end of the Queen’s reign. On the other hand, Kim Yushin advised the Queen to fly a burning kite to signal that 'the star is back in its place’. After that, Kim Yushin’s army defeated Bidam’s rebel faction. only ten days after Bidam’s uprising, he and 30 of his men were executed by Queen Jindeok of Silla on 26 February (Queen Seondeok died on 17 February, Jindeok was then proclaimed Queen of Silla).

anonymous asked:

hey, I might be in the market for a house soon but I live in area where real estate is booming. Do you have any tips on buying a house responsibly (i.e. I don’t wanna be another gentrifier) while still finding a decent price for my sake? I know you hate getting asks about advice but you seem to be passionate about this topic and have experience with it, so a point in the right direction would be super helpful.

I think two things are really important: knowing your city and its history and learning to recognize impending gentrification.

Read about the history of your city. Dig deep because mainstream media and history docs like to hide our ugly past of colonization, racism, redlining, and segregation. Find books about the city or neighborhoods by POC and read them. Understand why some neighborhoods are primarily POC - in Seattle, a lot of it has to do with redlining and white flight. Learn the old names of the streets and neighborhoods before colonization/gentrification continued to happen.

Once you have a good grasp on that, read everything you can about gentrification. Pay attention to terms like “urban renewal” “up and coming” “on the rise” “cleaning up the neighborhood” etc. If you really want to dive deep you can check construction permits on your city’s website and see if they’re about to tear down a row of homes in a historically POC neighborhood to build a bike-repair-shop-coffee-shop-hybrid and be way ahead of the game in not moving to that neighborhood as a white person. 

Realize that there are hidden pockets of your city that are still good, interesting, and less expensive without contributing to gentrification. Find a realtor that is conscious of this, who’s lived in your city for a long time, that will help you navigate it. 

I know I’m going to get shit for this post but please keep it to a minimum, I’m having a rough week. 

Reasons to watch Still Star Crossed:

- Majority of the cast are POC
- It explores the story of what happens after the events of Romeo & Juliet
- Beautiful (if not exactly historically accurate) costumes
- POC in period costumes!!!
- Shonda Rhimes is an executive producer

Why POC in Witchcraft matter

Okay, so disclaimer. I am a white ass bitch. But let me put down some truth on this matter.

POC are constantly ridiculed for alternative culture to what white america deems is okay, and yet somehow SOMEHOW the witch community…. a place for people who have been historically persecuted for their beliefs and lifestyle??? (specifically older/traditional witches) still finds a way to shit on black/latino witches whom decide to practice in a fashion similar to their ancestors.

I don’t know if little miss Mary Lou and Betsy know this… but poppets and various other magickal/occult items come from practices such as West African Vodun, Cuban Vodu, Dominican Vodu and various other African spiritual concepts/religions that were spread throughout by POC historically and thus developed into rootwork/Hoodoo. So please STFU and respect POC witches following a path similar to what their heritage is, or respect them if they follow a path far from their heritage. Just plain and simple:

Respect POC witches.


It’s very interesting how people say Black panther isn’t diverse, while I agree it’s not exactly “racially diverse”, it’s certainly ethnically diverse. There are so many different African cultures and identities they represent, not to mention many of the actors have several ethnicities. Lupita Nyong'o is Mexican-Kenyan , Letitia Michelle is a Guyanese born , British girl, Chadwick boseman is a west African descent American and the list goes on. Y'all can at least recognize that aspect of the film instead of haphazardly throwing around how black panther isn’t diverse. Maybe not to you, but it sure is to a lot of other people who have mutiple ethnicities. I don’t get how people can make such a big fuss about being Italian or German or whatever and being proud of that, but yet the cast of BP got the same thing here and suddenly it’s racist ? What happened to celebrating diversity among cultures and exploring the complexity of African tribes , or is that not important because it doesn’t involve non black people as much? You guys always say it’s not historically accurate to have poc in medieval Europe, now we’re in Africa and y'all are upset there isn’t enough Caucasians running around? Are we gonna complain about how there isn’t enough Mexicans in the Mulan movie so it isn’t diverse now? Make up your mind guys.

One of the first things I did when I just discovered Sherlock and joined fandom was looking up whether something was written about the series in academic journals (because I’m a nerd just like that). That was nearly three years ago, and I found a handful of articles and a couple books (already!). I remember being super frustrated and even offended at how critical was some of that scholarship. Several articles I read argued that, behind all the suave and catchy appearance of “21st century London”, the series belied troubling, deeply conservative and exclusionary agenda: from queerbaiting, unproblematic promotion of surveillance and general fascination with the Deep State to the lack of POC representation and frankly colonialist attitudes expressed in some episodes. At the moment, I was totally sold on LiST and others’ metas and very excited about the series, so I dismissed all those critiques thinking the scholars who wrote them just weren’t seeing what we the fans were, and that they were wrong and Sherlock was NOT an outlet for voicing conservative sentiments.

Three years later, the series is more or less over, its ending - S4 - a legit disaster, and we are being treated to the snippets of the writers and producers’ reactionary beliefs all the fucking time. There was Sue Vertue’s “we were never going to make the show about ‘this’ [gay representation, and she couldn’t even say the words]” at the Sherlocked USA, and Mark Gatiss’ claim that including black characters in a historic setting would be inaccurate (he was talking about Doctor Who! Which I guess must be a bloody documentary to him and should be assigned in middle school as such). And now there’s Moffat saying that making Doctor female would alienate the Brexit voting viewership. Oh Steven, so nice of you to care.

So yeah. I would say to the three years ago me to cool down a bit and trust her fellow academics, but she probably wouldn’t listen anyway. She was too excited. Being excited and hopeful is not a crime or mishap, and I don’t regret it a single bit. But also, what a sobering experience it has been: discovering these presumed liberals’ conservatism and realising that no, if someone believes POC in historic tv is “inaccurate” or that Brexit voters’ opinions should be considered when writing for a sci-fi series, they will bring you no revolution. Ever.