Fandom Racism 101: Introduction

The first time I used the hashtag #WhatFandomRacismLooksLike, it was March 2018 and the Marvel Cinematic Universe fandom post-Black Panther was hell. Despite everything that Black fans in the fandom had been trying to prepare ourselves for from the fandom, the fandom’s immediate focus was on either the minor white male characters who were in the film on any level or on diminishing the value of Wakanda.

As a result of what I kept seeing, I decided to write articles about what racism looks like in fanworks as well as in the behavior on display by fans towards performers and fans of color alike. I’d been doing it on Tumblr from 2012 and on my website since 2015, and I figured that as someone seeing all of this nonsense happening right in front of my salad, that I should just keep at it.

So here we are 2020 and well… it’s clear that that a lot of people in transformative just don’t care. They clock the racism and since it doesn’t affect them, they don’t do anything to stop it and sometimes find themselves participating in it or boosting the folks doing it.

But thankfully, I’m not writing for those people.

Never have, never will.

I’m writing for the people who haven’t quite figured out how to clock a racist dogwhistle wrapped in rah-rah sex positive White Feminist ™ language or in the double standards between people of color and their paler peers. I’m writing for the people who want to learn to recognize racism in the various forms it takes in transformative fandom and how to avoid it while keeping your groove ongoing.

I’m writing for people who care.

Because I care.

And that’s what Fandom Racism 101 is about. Fandom Racism 101 is going to be an ongoing project looking at racism in transformative fandom spaces – home of fanworks, ship wars, and a lot of the stress I deal with online – and how to recognize, push back at, and avoid being a part of all of that nonsense.

The main goal of Fandom Racism 101 is to provide interesting insights on these issues in transformative fandom as well as clear solutions to handle them. Maybe you’ve had trouble with the Lit Theory Takes I sometimes deliver in What Fandom Racism Looks Like installments despite my best efforts to make it accessible…

You shouldn’t have that problem with Fandom Racism 101.

(Now, if you have an issue with my snarky tone or with the very nature of someone being critical of fandom? You’re still going to run into that wall here and there’s nothing I can or care to do about that.)

Fandom Racism 101 will be a twelve-part, publicly available series looking at different aspects of race and racism in transformative fandom’s fanwork output. At least four of the twelve posts will be guest posts from fellow fans that I’m fond of who I’ve wanted to have write for my site for ages.

If you’re interested in writing a guest post under the Fandom Racism 101 banner on my site, feel free to send me a message on my contact form or in my DMs on Twitter so we can figure something out! (My goal is to pay my writers so if you write for me, I’ll make sure you’re compensated for your work!)

I hope you’re excited to learn!

Class will be in session June 2020!


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