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The Dark Fantastic
The Dark Fantastic: Race and the Imagination from Harry Potter to the Hunger Games | Ebony Elizabeth Thomas
Reveals the diversity crisis in children's and young adult media as not only a lack of representation, but a lack of imagination. Stories provide portals into other worlds, both real and imagined. The promise of escape draws people from all backgrounds to speculative fiction, but when people of color seek passageways into the fantastic, the doors are often barred. This problem lies not only with childrens publishing, but also with the television and film executives tasked with adapting these stories into a visual world. When characters of color do appear, they are often marginalized or subjected to violence, reinforcing for audiences that not all lives matter. The Dark Fantastic is an engaging and provocative exploration of race in popular youth and young adult speculative fiction. Grounded in her experiences as YA novelist, fanfiction writer, and scholar of education, Thomas considers four black girl protagonists from some of the most popular stories of the early 21st century: Bonnie Bennett from the CWs The Vampire Diaries, Rue from Suzanne Collinss The Hunger Games, Gwen from the BBCs Merlin, and Angelina Johnson from J.K. Rowlings Harry Potter. Analyzing their narratives and audience reactions to them reveals how these characters mirror the violence against black and brown people in our own world. In response, Thomas uncovers and builds upon a tradition of fantasy and radical imagination in Black feminism and Afrofuturism to reveal new possibilities. Through fanfiction and other modes of counter-storytelling, young people of color have reinvisioned fantastic worlds that reflect their own experiences, their own lives. As Thomas powerfully asserts, we dark girls deserve more, because we are more.
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annamatopoetry
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Overall really nice. Took me Forever to read because I had a Really Bad Week early on where my ankle was bad enough that I didn't particularly want to do anything, just stared into a wall. Anyway. Thomas summaries the role of black characters in fantastic (literal sense) media and illustrates it with examples from three properties (and fandoms.) Informative and inspiring. Under normal circumstances a quick read. strongly recommended for everyone.

9 likes1 stack add
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annamatopoetry
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I had to renew it :/ mainly because it was due today, and the quarantine time the book has to spend before being handled goes into your loan time, so I wasn't able to return it on time anyway.
still good, also iced coffee.

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annamatopoetry
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- I don't know why I'm taking forever to read this book, but I gotta finish by Saturday so. It's not long.

- I was thisclose to dropping a bagel sandwich on a library book but I saved it at the last moment.

- iced coffee!!

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annamatopoetry
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not sure why it's taking me such an eternity to read this, but today was sunny and I was able to grab a hand pie for lunch and eat outside.

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annamatopoetry
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I used to take better coffee photos. not sure what happened other than the coffee shop may have been more photogenic than my dining table?
Anyway guess whose ankle is doing WORSE after a steroid injection instead of better, and will probably have to have surgery again? at least hopefully this time it can be done before summer so I won't miss a third summer in a row.

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annamatopoetry
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sunny but cold reading l lunch. Tofurkey sandwich already eaten. I should have worn another sweater.

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annamatopoetry
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First library book in a year! they expanded contactless curbside pickup hours, which, to be fair, is only a few (physical) steps away from my normal library habits (order, pick up, check out); I haven't browsed libraries since I moved to the US. Dewey and I are not friends. Didn't get as much read in this as I was hoping to, I have a bit of a headache and light sensitivity and will switch over to podcasts.

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eve
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“An emancipatory Black fantastic requires interrupting the dark fantastic cycle in order to create new paradigms.”
- Ebony Elizabeth Thomas // Hermione fanart by Sophia Canning 🧙🏽‍♀️

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MandaMT
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Another favorite from this year.
I hadn‘t read much literary theory since college. I couldn‘t resist this one through- Diverse perspectives in youth fantasy and SciFi? Yes please. Highly recommended for book nerds, middle and HS English teachers, writers, game designers, and any number of other creatives. The overview of monster theory was fascinating. It was eye opening to see the patterns of othering from folklore to modern texts. 👇

MandaMT I reread the chapters on Rue‘s role in The Hunger Games and diversity in Harry Potter multiple times. The inclusion of fan reactions and diversity issues within fandoms was really exciting. (Again, not a lot of theory in the past few years. Is this common now? Cause I love it)

2y
15 likes1 comment
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MandaMT
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One more purchase for #blackpublishingpower. I‘m excited for this one!

14 likes3 stack adds
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annamatopoetry
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One of my favourite podcasts, fansplaining, featured Ebony Elizabeth Thomas today and now I have a new TBR.

SW-T Might have to try this podcast! Sounds very interesting. 3y
6 likes1 comment
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Anita
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alayarachel
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Pickpick

Beautifully written, vital work. The first chapter alone is an excellent and extensive collection of ideas and resources to think through literature, fantasy, imagination, white supremacy, and race.

3 likes1 stack add
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balletbookworm
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Pickpick

A very thought-provoking examination of race in media and YA speculative fiction through the lens of the Dark Fantastic (spectacle, hesitation, violence, haunting, and emancipation). Thomas uses four key Black characters - Rue from The Hunger Games, Gwen from BBC‘s Merlin, Bonnie from CW‘s The Vampire Diaries, and Angelina Johnson from Harry Potter - to explore this cycle and how fanfiction/counter-storytelling are changing these characters.

balletbookworm This monograph sits between popular lit-crit and academic theory so be ready for a more formal argument. 4y
18 likes2 stack adds1 comment
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Callsie
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Mehso-so

This is some pretty heavy academic analysis. The first 2 chapters definitely the strongest. Big block quotes on almost every page if that kind of think scares you like me you may want to skip this one!

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heikemarie
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Mehso-so

I really tried. I didn‘t publish this review on my blog because I don‘t want to discourage its distribution - I won‘t write a starred review on Goodreads either. The gist of it is that the author is clearly extremely well read on the subject, but provides absolutely no new information. Reads like a dissertation. It would be a pan except the topic of racial equality and equity within fantastic lit is too important to throw any contributions away.

heikemarie The cover is glorious though. 4y
44 likes2 comments
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heikemarie
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I hit #24in48 relatively early last night and promptly turned around and fell asleep. Thanks to audiobooks, I already had my outfits picked for the week, healthy breakfasts made, and lunch and snacks packed! That‘s a #sundaywin in my book. This book is really great so far, but very scholarly and dense, so I think I may be chipping at it for a while.

Jas16 🎉🙌🏽📚🥳 4y
Librarybelle Congratulations! 4y
MrBook 😱😁👏🏻👏🏻👏🏻👏🏻👏🏻👏🏻 4y
LMJenkins Good job! ⭐️📚✔️ 4y
hes7 Yay! 🎉 4y
49 likes5 comments
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heikemarie
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Here‘s a #shelfie for you during what‘s my first full hour of #24in48 - settling in for the long haul!

charl08 They have 3? Really? 4y
akckitty @charl08 😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂 I just noticed what you were pointing out 4y
sprainedbrain Cute shelfie, but I‘m dying at these comments! 😂😂😂 4y
akckitty @heikemarie I'm a much happier person now that I've been elightened ☺️ 4y
63 likes5 comments
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heikemarie
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I‘m starting out my #24in48 with the tagged book - I‘m so excited to read it. The byline is “race and the imagination from Harry Potter to the Hunger Games.” I look forward to reading about Cho Chang, Rue, and everyone in between! At my local café, Ohmies ?

Tanisha_A Cute looking cafe! 4y
Chelleo This book sounds great! 4y
58 likes1 stack add2 comments