Black Goths Are More Visible

Hey Fab Bats! What’s been happening these days?

Let’s take 1/2 a minute to appreciate Black Goths. Not as invisible as they once were, their presence on social media has made many more comfortable expressing their dark side…

As a cartoon character existing purely within a 2D universe, it is good to see real-time people more comfortable with themselves. In addition to the scene’s increased inclusivity, those outside have a better understanding of its breadth thanks to platforms such as Instagram and Tumblr. It’s more a question of visibility than a sudden number of people adopting the dark lifestyle. Those outside of the subculture are slowly becoming more accepting, especially with exposure to Afropunk styles and movements such as #CarefreeBlackGirl. And, many are speaking out…

Nefertiti Bourne

“For all my black goths out there who struggle with acceptance from family members, patience is key when it comes to educating and answering questions about your…’lifestyle’, as they call it. Answering them without an iota of sarcasm and malice, being concise with your answers and dispelling stereotypes helps the relationship run smoother.

It also helps if you research the history of Goth (the music, the fashion variants, the philosophies, the literature, etc.) because if you answer the questions with “I wear black because it matches my soul and angst!” you will garner raised eyebrows and people won’t take you seriously, something you don’t want. Trust me, I know from experience.

Being informed about the changing subculture of Goth not only helps you get more educated, but your friends and family will know that you are mature and serious about the subculture;” […] – My Experiences as a Black Goth and the Lessons that Came with It, Dejanae Jackson

Phillicia Deanell

“To all my fellow black goths who want to dress how goths typically dress: do you though. Don’t worry about what other black people or people in general think. This message remains the same for any young black kid who just decided to really participate in the culture. Much love. Stay true to yourself.” – Being Black & Alternative: Goth, WildWes

Bliss photographed by Ari Seth Cohen

“While Afro Goths may not be your particular cup of tea, it is riveting to see ethnic diversity represented in alternative culture. If anything it is satisfying to finally see a black/African subcultures mirroring the multicultural quality of our world and that the younger generations of subcultures can find and create communities to connect with and support one another.” – Black Smoke: The Afrogoth Subculture, Afritorial

Photography by Ted Polhemus

“An afrogoth or goth of colour is not a walking curio. Minorities are often given a more narrow margin of lifestyle choice by society, so if you see a black swan picking up a Miranda Sex Garden CD, cast no sideways glances – to be a goth is not necessarily to look like Wednesday Addams.” – Being an Afrogoth…the Conundrum, Radio Smitty Kills

Identified as Lottie Campbell.

“The “traditional” ideal of the scene as the pale-faced, black-clad individual definitely never applied to me, but because of my instant and deep connection and attraction to the music and atmosphere of the scene I had to set that aside. I always felt that I was not perceived to be as attractive, as beautiful or even as “goth” as girls who were paler than me. I never attracted many suitors and I reconciled myself to never being able to approach the “gothic ideal of beauty” very early on, although I felt within myself that my personal way of being “goth” was very sincere and creative and very much true to what “goth” was all about. The one part of the scene that obviously made me uncomfortable was the military/Nazi/Aryan faction of it, although I understand that for many of those people it was a fetish or history obsession type of thing, and not necessarily based in racism.

Many of the aesthetics of goth culture are taken from my cultural heritage (Asian/East Indian/Middle Eastern, African/Egyptian/Voodoo/Haitian-Caribbean) so I still felt and feel strongly that my connection to it is natural and instinctive and powerful. It was achingly difficult to be a minority within the subculture I deeply loved because it’s within these that we find acceptance and understanding where the larger society rejects us. I was a loner within the scene just as I was in society. I found a personal solace and creative outlet, but I never found the community I was searching for. I am overjoyed to finally see our subcultures mirroring the multicultural quality of our world, and so glad to see the younger generations of subcultures finding and creating communities to connect with and support one another.” – I am so Goth, I was Born Black, Nadya Lev qt. Asha Beta

 

What do you think? Are most people tolerant of goths of color in your area? Voice your thoughts!

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