I’m Stitch and I’ve been running Stitch’s Media Mix since March 2015.
I created my site as a place for fandom and media criticism after being frustrated by my inability to find a safe, welcoming place where I could be a part of these conversations in the fandoms that I was trying to participate in.
I love being in fandom and I love the act of being a fan, but I feel as though there’s room for improvement that is always being overlooked. I’d love to be able to change certain things about the overarching institution of fandom, but for now, I’ll settle for educating and snarking my way along as I figure out how to bring change to and spark conversations in my main fandoms.
Using my academic background – a BA in History and have my MA in English/Literature – alongside my experiences as a queer Black person in fandom, I try to tackle the media I consume and the fandom spaces I inhabit from a critical and faintly snarky angle.
One thing I and other Black K-pop fans – especially those a bit further along on our own journeys to unlearn internalized antiblackness – have come up against as we make our way through these fandom spaces and enjoy content form performers is that we’re constantly put into positions where it feels like we have to choose between our identities as fans of a group or the industry and our identities as Black people.
So when a performer or a group of performers does something that’s antiblack or that makes Black fans feel like they’re not being seen as actual fans or even as people, that sort of feeling rears its icky head.
When I used to be on Tumblr, I’d get a lot of messages and reblogs from people who made it a point to let other people know that I didn’t speak for all POC.
I was never arguing that I did, of course, but it was imperative to these other people of color to let me and white people in fandom know that they were here, they weren’t white, and that they thought I was full of shit about fandom racism.
Which is their right as people on the internet, let’s be real here.
But it’s interesting:
I, a queer Black person with most of a lifetime in fandom and an entire academic career focusing on media criticism and representation, couldn’t possibly speak for every single person in fandom when I talked about racism I witnessed in fandom… but they could speak over me in order to let other people in fandom know that I was a POC Not To Be Trusted.
“Pick Mes” have a home on the internet. It’s a term borne from African American Vernacular English (AAVE) that calls to mind the mental image of people jumping up and down and begging to be picked for a game. (“Pick me! Pick me!”) Only, in the usual context, it’s someone leaping up and down and trying to get the attention of someone that treats them with disdain.
You can probably tell from the
spoopy header I made just for this, but October is my favorite month of the
I’m gonna be real here: it’s Halloween
month and Birthmonth wrapped up into one super spooky package and I
always tend to go overboard with everything. It’s what we all deserve, after
all. October is the real spiritual start of fall here in the US (sorry September)
and I put my all into being the embodiment of that spooky, post-summer
I grew up reading Harry Potter in the Virgin Islands.
I think Rowling’s work was the first “witchcraft and wizardry” book I read as a child. Despite all of Rowling’s many (many) faults, that book series that’s now viewed as part of the Western canon helped nudge me on towards a deep love of urban fantasy that’s still obviously present to this day.
One of the coolest things about witches and wizards in urban fantasy is that there’s often an element of “anyone could be one” across the narrative. Even in blood-focused societies, there’s always a Hermione who doesn’t need to be genetically gifted because she has skills.
Note: This timeline is an attempt on my and Jaeyoung’s parts to show a trajectory and some major moments for hip-hop that potentially put these cultures into conversation.
As a result, timeline does not cover every single event that happened across Black and Korean hip hop history. Otherwise, it’d be book-length and I would be a hot mess from having to wade through my sources even longer.
(Please let me know if you need or want a PDF copy of this timeline and source post!)
While the foundations of hip hop music were laid in 1972/1973, multiple sources claim that the genre didn’t take flight until 1974. Further sources claim that Keith “Cowboy” Wiggins (from Grandmaster Flash and the Furious Five) actually came up with a name for the genre four years later in 1978
1978 – “Rap music” as a term coined in the United
This source claims that in 1978, the music industry coins “rap music” and shifts from DJs towards MCs. However the etymology of the word “rap” and the African (and African American) tradition of rhythmic speech (often) alongside beats dates back way further and we have evidence of Black artists dating back to the Sixties performing a spoken word style that they called “rap”.
Born in 1957 to a Korean mother and an African American GI, Insooni is a soulful diva that remains one of the most well-known performers in Korea. She’s a still-active singer who performed at the 2018 Winter Olympics. She’s important to mention at this point of the project because she’s also a household name and cultural icon within Korea now and a sign that Black people from Korea are known to the citizens.
Last year, I said I wasn’t going to do this again.
I made a whole thing about it.
I was going to pretend that y’all were capable of seeing a racebent character – usually played by a Black character – and not going into a frothy rage. Y’all were going to pretend that it’s not about race, but that redheads/blonds/people with freckles all deserved representation that couldn’t come from a Black person in a wig or with a stellar dye job playing them.
Black Women, Hated: Layers of Misogynoir in Fandom Spaces
As fandom spaces become even more active in asking for and creating positive representation about underrepresented identities (i.e., disabled people and queer people), one notable weak spot in fandom representation politics revolves around the reception towards and portrayal of Black women in fandom. Black female characters, performers and fans have been subject to years of racist treatment across fandom – including in the arguably more progressive spaces of transformative fandom – that falls under the umbrella of anti-black misogyny or misogynoir (Bailey 2010). This includes erasing Black women from fan works and fandom spaces, assigning negative labels to Black female fans, and a whole host of other toxic practices ranging from relatively minor microaggressions to openly racist behavior and rhetoric.
Building on recent work on black women fans and fandom misogynoir (Johnson 2015; Arcy & Johnson 2018; Warner 2018), , this paper will consider misogynoir in fandom spaces as a pervasive problem that has infected multiple fandom spaces and thrives, unchecked, even in parts of fandom that are traditionally assumed to espouse more progressive politics than male-dominated, white “geek” spaces. Some examples of this misogynoir can be seen in the way that Black female characters are cut out of canon and killed off in fanworks, how non-Black fans actively make excuses for the harassment Black female performers get, and how Black women in fandom are labeled as troublemakers or “antis” for expressing their thoughts about Black characters in fandom. These are all mild examples of what misogynoir in fandom looks like. Additionally, beyond exploring what fandom misogynoir looks like in 2019, a significant goal of this paper is to provide solutions for changing how fandom talks about and to Black women.
I know what you’re thinking: this my third or fourth “Fleeting Frustrations” post in a row to talk critically about fandom or something a particular fandom does. I know it doesn’t seem all that fleeting and well… you’re right.
Because every single time I try to settle in the squee and have fun in my fandom(s), I’m reminded that Black people and characters aren’t respected in fandom.
This latest incident?
A Black Panther post-film story that pairs M’Baku up with a white female reader and portrays the Jabari as primitive and an author who apologizes to the person who requested the story – not the Black fans rightfully offended by the racist fanwork.
If you’re online, you probably have heard about the incoming talent for SNL’s future lineup.
One new face was Bowen Yang, who’d be the first Asian performer on the show’s regular lineup in its 44 year history. Another was Shane Gillis, a comedian with a reputation for using racist jokes and other offensive statements as part of his act and in his personal conversations on his podcast.
One of the Democratic candidates for president, Andrew Y@ng – who aspires to appeal to whiteness at pretty much every step of the way – received some of Gillis’ ire as Gillis used a racial slur to refer to him earlier this year. He addressed Gillis’ racism in multiple tweets earlier this week/end.
I’m a writer in my late 20s, trying to figure out love, life, and how to get the most out of my TWO (2) degrees. I love research and I’m the kind of nerd that likes analyzing the heck out of every single piece of media I consume so expect a lot of that here.
I’ve got an an opinion on basically everything. If you like strong opinions, candid talk about mental/physical health and trauma, and the occasional ode to fictional characters, then you’ll probably love me.
This blog focuses on analysis of nerdy media, book reviews, and lots of commentary about race in fandom and the source media that spawns our favorite fandoms.