Fandom Culture and Racism

Kayla Staff Image

I’ve been going to comic book conventions ever since I was a kid. My dad is into all of the superheroes, old school horror movies like Friday the 13th and Halloween.  I would always go with him because they always had some toys that I enjoyed as a kid. We’ve always had a nice time and since he’s a collector he’s always come home with a lot of good finds. This time was a little different.

batman

Once we got inside, there was a different vibe than the other times. We went to vendor after vendor and no one would speak to us. We got blatantly ignored. One vendor even turned her head when my dad was going to ask her the price of an item. Another vendor didn’t say anything to us, but as soon as we left he spoke to another customer.

At most of these places, my dad saw items that he wanted to buy and would have purchased had he been treated right. It was upsetting to see my dad’s happiness deflate into disappointment. I was angry for him because I felt like we were paying customers and deserved to be treated with some respect.

This is an ongoing problem among the fandom culture. It’s very whitewashed and it’s not fair because there are a lot of people of color who enjoy comic books, superhero movies and TV shows. My friends and I love all of that stuff and we should be able to go to these events without feeling like outsiders and like we’re not wanted. All I can hope is that one day I won’t feel uncomfortable walking into one of these conventions.

attackontitan

One place that is welcoming to fans from all walks of life is the Library, of course! Our locations have plenty of graphic novels, books and seasons of convention staple-TV shows like Game of Thrones, The Walking Dead, The Flash, Arrow, etc. The Library also owns an impressive collection of manga like Attack on Titan, Black Butler, and much more! To all people no matter which fandom you come from, know that you are welcome at the Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh.

~Kayla

Kayla works at Squirrel Hill as a Clerk, so when you come up to the customer services desk you might see her face! When she’s not at the library she enjoys reading, watching TV & listening to music. You might also find her at your local Starbucks, because she loves her Frappuccinos.