Hogwarts Founders
» Idris Elba // Lucy Liu // Hrithik Roshan // Angel Coulby

While I do love that whoever made this did a good job matching actors to characters, the one issue I have is that Hogwarts is in England and what founded several centuries ago. I’m not saying that there wouldn’t have been blacks or asians in England at the time, but it’s still a historical inaccuracy to depict them as anything other than white Englishmen, since the culture of England at the time wouldn’t have had room for blacks and asians as anything other than slaves or traders.

Please don’t take this as me being racist, this is just me with a debilitating and incurable need for historical accuracy.

So let’s see. The Sorting claims it’s origins about a thousand or so years ago in it’s song, which implies the 1000s. JK Rowling described them as “medieval," which is about 500 to 1500, again agreeing with our 1000 date. So let’s work with that. We’ve got a pretty decent timeline to work with here. 

There have been black people in Scotland since “classical times,” and black moors present in James IV’s royal court in the 1500s, plus there’s St. Deiniol in Wales in the 500s, implying black people were also in the religious court instead of all just slaves and servants. Therefore, could a strong and fearless future-Gryffindor have ancestry native to the Isles? Hmmm.

Hannibal of Carthage was definitely not white (at least not in the modern sense). As a matter of fact, many Mediterranean descended people are mixed with Central Asians, South Asians, and North Africans so… But anyway, in 1555, black men were learning to be interpreters in London to help with trading in the Ghanian region. Here’s a coat of arms with black people on it dated 1616. Also, literally how do you not know about Dido Elizabeth Belle, an aristocratic lady of Scotland from the 1700s???

The Romani migrated out what is now modern day India and Pakistan in about the 1000s, so add in that they’re wizards who can fly and all that jazz, they could’ve easily gotten there within a year or two and settled in Scotland once they learned white people weren’t treating them very kindly. There you go, that’s how a South Asian Slytherin made it to Scotland just in time to found Hogwarts.

Here’s desi people of color from the Indian subcontinent, called Lascars, who had been sailing in Europe from as early as the 1400s, possibly earlier, still fitting that there could’ve been wizards in the British Isles about a hundred or so years earlier. Art from the 1600s showing brown men in turbans. Here’s an Indian man who in the 1700s ran a successful restaurant in England and taught white people to shampoo their hair lol.

Japanese emissaries came to Europe as early as 1584 and observed there were already Chinese and Japanese slaves among the overwhelmingly black slaves, something blamed on Christianity, which was part of the reason why Japan vehemently became isolated from that point.

Also about East Asia, Mongolian Genghis Khan made it to about Poland-ish in the 1200s, so it’s not a far bet to say the Chinese (who were also conquered by Khan on his way to Europe) could’ve found their way to Scotland around that time or a few hundred years earlier. Along with a smart cookie who would go on to be the founder of Ravenclaw.

Native Americans, of course, have been present in Europe for a while. In the 1500s, Manteo and Wanchese arrived in London. There’s evidence the Vikings and Indigenous Americans were friendly long before when Columbus blah blah, and there’s even evidence of Native Americans in Holland that’s like 2000 years old. Could a kind and loyal future Hufflepuff be one of those mixed race indigenous American-Africans?

ALSO considering the fact that Binns (the history professor at Hogwarts) specifically stated that witches and wizards were being persecuted and Hogwarts was built out of sight of Muggle eyes, it’s completely possible that POC came to Scotland and built the castle happily for other magical humans to have a safe place. Since HP universe is a fantasy anyway, read these article while you’re at it.

So yeah, I understand your implication that you don’t want to be racist or anything like that (bc being called racist is ofc so much worse than actually being ignorant), but POC were not just traders and slaves in the British Isles, they were a fuckton of other things your history books aren’t telling you (or trying to intentionally steer you away from). So me having an all-brown cast for a location in a dominantly-white place I’m sure is irking the fuck out of you, and that makes me so glad to see you confronted with that “incurable” need for historical accuracy you have.

And check out this rad blog: Racebending Harry Potter.

how come the only time people mention the enslavement of black people in Europe is when they want to deny our presence in fantasy fiction?

And that’s what it really boils down to pretty much every time.

Because someone couldn’t deal with a single photoset with characters of color in a FANTASY setting. None of the “fact checking” is really necessary, because that isn’t really the issue. Fantasy fiction isn’t something that should be subject to “proof”, but when it comes to racial diversity, it invariably is every time.

It’s my hope that with Medievalpoc, this endless quibbling about what is and is not “historically accurate” can be done away with, and Toni Morrison’s quote here can become creative people of color’s realities:


I love how the OP is “not racist, just suffering from a need for historical accuracy” and yet feels the need to piss on somebody’s fantasy fancasting, not about the plausibility of wizards who almost certainly didn’t exist but about the plausibility of people of color who not only did exist but demonstrably did exist there.

Telling people that they can’t have fiction about people like them because you need “historical accuracy” in their fantasy is, at best, selfish as fuck; treating people of color like anything they produce is yours first and foremost, not theirs, is well into racism territory, both in what it does to them and that you feel you can and should do it.

Also, citing a need for historical accuracy to support a very simplistic, naive, utterly unresearched position that boils down to “my assumptions make sense to me so nothing else could ever be right” plus “it can’t have been different from what I think because nobody ever told me” is self-servicing bullshit. Historical accuracy means you look at what IS rather than just assuming what you want to see. Granted, history is historically shitty at this. OP is nothing new. But OP is also applying more stringent standards to someone else’s fiction than to hir own understanding of history. And that’s no good.

That’s a pretty good summation. And that’s the thing-none of this is really about history at all.

This reality is a bit harder to swallow: There are more white people in the US and Canada because the US and Canada were established using the systematic genocide of Native peoples, the theft of Native lands, and the labour of enslaved peoples in the past and immigrant peoples currently who were and are never meant to stay or survive.

And now you’re uncomfortable. Good.

When you accept and acknowledge that census figures reflect a long history of marginalization, it is preposterous to use these same figures as the benchmark to which you measure the inclusion of marginalized people.

There’s a great piece in the Toast about representation and diversity (‘Proportional Representation’ Has No Place In Diversity Discussions by Léonicka Valcius) today. (via whineandbeer)

Anthony Mackie | Black and White TIFF Press Conference {x}


So I went to Target today to look for a space heater (too early in season, boo)

and decided to check out the Disney section because hey, it’s my blog, and I needed a few things for a future giveaway.

I guess it’s not shocking considering all the posts that I’ve reblogged about a lack of PoC representation in stores but the extent in this store (located in NY state) was astounding.

No PoC. Not even on packaging. There was one exception I noted there (the Tiana doll that’s part of a larger set), and another while looking in the photos (I didn’t really look through the mini stuff that’s out of the way on the racks but you can at least see Tiana on packaging of one item). That’s IT.

Out of four princesses of color, the ONLY one that appears on packaging or as actually merchandise is Tiana. 

And don’t give me some BS about favorites because if Mulan and Sleeping Beauty had to face off for popularity/favoritism, Mulan would definitely win. Also note that the 2nd photo is mostly “classic” princesses, not the 2 newest movies that will naturally get more shelf space.

So, shocking? No. But really sad. There were two larger sets that featured multiple princesses and as you can see in the third photo, for one castle not a single princess of color is featured. Just white princesses, as if they’re more “real” and “princessy” than the PoC.

Sad also because this region is only about 50% white demographically yet all these kids only get to see/have the choice of white princesses. Also, idk if it’s obvious from the way I shot it, but this was an entire half side of an aisle.

Target, you could do better.

* * * * * * * * 

Food for thought:

-this post is extensive and about the history of black dolls in America. Pretty interesting. They do reference the infamous racial doll experiment if you were reminded of that

-post about representation/dolls/Barbies on Jezebel

True story:

A few months back I was also at Target, in this very aisle trying to figure out what they did to Merida’s face on one particular packaging sample, when two Black women began pushing their cart down the aisle. After a moment’s pause, wherein they took in the merchandizing, one of them says, “This is the white girl aisle! Where are the dolls for Black girls?”

The two women laughed between each other, but the message was clear. Other than a measly single appearance of Tiana, the merchandizing featured only the white Disney princesses. Two women came ready to spend their money, and the store didn’t offer them anything because they were not white. While this sort of practice is hardly new information to me, it was painful to watch the effect of it in action; I can only imagine what it was like for them to experience it directly, and to have reached a point where all they could do was laugh about it in practice.


"The Sapphires" is due to be released on DVD in the US soon, with a highly altered cover. Gone are the four Aboriginal female stars, moved to the background and colour-tinted to make way for the white, male co-star. 
No matter the reasoning behind the change, the racism and sexism in the “need” to alter the original is worrying. At least I thought so, until the white, male editor from The Age told me it wasn’t.
So relax guys, our little world is all safe and free. We’re not racist or sexist, just "smart".


"The Sapphires" is due to be released on DVD in the US soon, with a highly altered cover. Gone are the four Aboriginal female stars, moved to the background and colour-tinted to make way for the white, male co-star. 

No matter the reasoning behind the change, the racism and sexism in the “need” to alter the original is worrying. At least I thought so, until the white, male editor from The Age told me it wasn’t.

So relax guys, our little world is all safe and free. We’re not racist or sexist, just "smart".