I remember nearly 10 years ago when a bunch of us teamed up with Chaka Cumberbatch to get #28DaysofBlackCosplay off of the ground. This easily could have been a hashtag that would have fizzled out like many others. This could have been something that we all could have just did for the fun of it and let it go. However, after a lot of persistence and support from within and around the Black community, #28DaysofBlackCosplay is here to stay and is eagerly anticipated every year.
Nowhere was this more apparent than at Katsucon. Katsucon is one of Maryland’s largest anime conventions and is held every February at the National Harbor. When it comes around, you have to expect it to be well attended by cosplayers and photographers alike.
#28DaysofBlackCosplay came about to let people know that not only attend these various conventions but there is a place for everyone regardless of their skin color. Cosplay is for everyone and if one wants to dress up as their favorite character, they should be able to do so with no scrutiny. As always Katsucon, showcased the talents of many cosplayers especially those who are people of color.
One of the reasons why #28DaysofBlackCosplay became a thing is simply because of representation in pop culture. There is still a large amount of under represented minorities in many different realms of pop culture. Whether it be comics, movie adaptations, TV shows or video games, we still see a lack of diversity on many fronts. When it comes to cosplay and conventions it’s also not common afterwards to see equal representation on fan websites or cosplay music videos. To be brutally honest, if one had never attended a particular convention and based the crowd population on what they saw from the fan sites or videos, one would think that people of color didn’t attend.
#28DaysofBlackCosplay has given voice to many who thought that cosplay was off limits to them. It’s given a voice to those who were scared to do characters because the characters were seen as primarily white. It has helped build confidence for those who saw examples set and wanted to be able to have fun emulating their favorite characters and at the end of the day, that is what cosplay is supposed to be about.