» 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.
thor is always running into little kids who are thrilled to meet him - he doesn’t really understand the concept of signing autographs, but he starts carrying asgardian toys around in his pockets to give to kids he meets (much to shield’s chagrin - how are we supposed to keep alien tech under control when the god of thunder is giving out magnetic propulsion toys to five-year-olds?)
but one day, he meets this girl who’s nine, maybe ten, and she runs up to him all misty-eyed and immediately asks him if he knows jane foster
and her mother’s embarrassed because “honey, that’s thor, aren’t you excited to see thor?” but the girl just explains that she wants to be a scientist when she grows up, and that jane foster is the astrophysicist (she pronounces the word carefully, as if she’s been practicing) who found out how the rainbow bridge worked - isn’t that so cool? she read about it in kids discover and they watched a documentary in school and dr. foster was in it and it made her think that maybe because she likes planets so much she could be a scientist, too
and thor smiles broadly and tells her that wanting to be a scientist is a noble dream, and he says “if your mother would be willing, i could introduce you”
and that’s how jane foster ends up with a tiny science geek in pigtails trailing around behind her in her lab, asking how everything works. jane can’t really comprehend the fact that a kid would want to meet her, but she likes explaining things and she looks at this girl and can’t help seeing herself. thor is just fucking delighted because to him the idea of jane being a child’s hero makes perfect sense, why wouldn’t it? she’s jane
and years later the girl grows up to be an astrophysicist or an astronaut or an aerospace engineer and she never forgets the time that dr. jane foster knelt down beside her and said, don’t let anybody stop you from chasing the stars, if that’s what you want
jane foster inspiring girls in science, y/y