Cosplaying is a art form where fans of all races should be allowed to dress up as their favorite character. As we approach the end of February I was amazed by all the beautiful black cosplayers and my heart ached for all the hardships, and racism they have faced. I got the pleasure to interview Ebby, a black cosplayer fighting against the injustices in the Cosplay community.
You can follow Ebby via these social links:
DS: How did you get into anime?
Ebby: I got into watching anime by watching Sailor Moon, and Dragon Ball Z when it was on Toonami back in the early 2000’s and that’s pretty much how my love for anime started. I also remember staying up watching YuYu Hakusho and The Big O on Toonami Midnight run.
DS: Have you ever received backlash for the characters you’ve cosplayed? How have you dealt with it?
Ebby: I’ve received a few racist comments and backlash regarding the characters I’ve cosplayed as so far. I’ve been called “N*gga” Madoka and Kiki. Some people didn’t like the idea of my purple Super Sailor Moon wig, but it was based off a fanart version by AsieyBarbie. Or my cosplay isn’t accurate because of my skin color. Also, someone thought I wanted “cool internet points ” for saying that I am a black cosplayer. But sadly, people didn’t even bother reading, I wanted to inspire other cosplayers part. I want to inspire black nerds and new cosplayers who want to cosplay but are afraid of the racist comments and backlash. Regardless how hard you work on a costume, there will be people would out there will point out even the simplest things bad about your costume. But It’s up to YOU how you handle the backlash. Everyone has their own methods on how they handle these issues. At times I will ignore their comments; while other times I will say a few words or simply kill them with kindness. I know it’s hard to ignore these comments at times, so in my opinion, there isn’t a right or wrong way of dealing with them especially if it affects you personally as an individual.
DS: Who is your favorite character to cosplay?
Ebby: One of my favorite character to cosplay as is Honey Swamp from Monster High doll series. What stood out about her is that I love her color scheme and her personality which is pretty similar to mine. And also I love the reaction from people who are also fans of Monster High series, even children reactions. it really brings a smile on my face.I want to make more improvements and adjustments to her in the future because there’s always more room for improvements. Another favorite cosplay of mine is Anthy Himemiya from Revolutionary Girl Utena. I’ve watched this series when I was younger, so I wanted to make sure that she was absolutely perfect. I’ve made a few mistakes with this costume, but I’ve learned and redid those areas that I made mistakes with. This costume is my pride and joy.
DS: What do you foresee in the future with anime and black community? For example the fandom, storylines, animators etc.
Ebby: I hope that I will see black animated series in the future. There was one series I wanted to see which was Trill League by Anthony Piper it’s pretty much a parody of well known DC superheroes. Also Tuskegee Heirs by Marcus Williams and Gerge Burnham. I see that they’re more black characters in comics, and leading main characters in shows. I hope one day that Japanese animators will do the same; since a lot of us got our influences from watching anime and reading mangas growing up. I see so many black artists, business, and animators are working hard. And seeing them it inspires so many of us to keep achieving our dreams and never giving up.