#28DaysofBlackCosplay inspires cosplayers to embrace diversity

Alyssa Ochss

As a celebration of Black History Month and people of color in the cosplay community, black cosplayers have created the hashtag #28DaysofBlackCosplay.

This hashtag has spanned over Twitter, Instagram and other social media platforms to celebrate the cosplayers who post. Every day for the month of February, cosplayers and others can post about themselves and/or black cosplayers they feel deserve the recognition.

This hashtag is not just limited to prominent cosplayers, but to anyone and to any gender. Anyone can post about this hashtag in celebration and support of cosplayers, their journey and the month in general.

Before they start posting, black cosplayers might write a little paragraph of what they do and how they started cosplaying. When one person does it, others can follow suit and be inspired to post their own story. This creates the cycle of being proud of what they have created.

With all that is happening in the cosplay and anime communities, this is a great way to celebrate person of color (POC) cosplayers who are often forgotten and lets everyone know not all is bad in the cosplay community. It introduces people to the cosplayers and gives them a worldwide platform.

The work of the cosplayers is gorgeous. They wear their costumes with pride and they are unashamed of themselves and the community around them. Seeing them makes me want to better my craft as a cosplayer, and I want to support them even more.

With cases of blackfacing on the rise and POC cosplayers getting told their skin color is not “accurate” to the characters, this hashtag is a great way to prove all naysayers wrong. It is important  to support the cosplayers and for others to get to know them.

Seeing black cosplayers cosplay a character that is portrayed as white might give young POCs the confidence to cosplay themselves. “Representation matters” is a common phrase, and I believe it’s true. These cosplayers who have defied the racist posts and discriminatory comments have truly given the next generation someone to look up to.

I hope they continue to represent well and show others that they are not confined to a certain group of characters just because of their skin tone.

I’ve learned about so many new cosplayers through this hashtag, and I have been introduced to their stunning work. It is truly inspiring to see these powerful men and women stand up for themselves and show the cosplay world they are still here.

This hashtag is going to last the full 28 days of February, but that doesn’t mean to stop supporting black and other POC cosplayers after it ends. Supporting them and showing off their amazing talents is a year-round thing, and shouldn’t stop after one month. We should give POC cosplayers year-round support by following them and cheering them on through difficult times and supporting the process of making their cosplays.

Go check out the hashtag to see many fabulous cosplays and the people behind them.