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Sunday, 6 November 2011

Bad Ass Black Goths: a photoset for you to reblog & throw in people's faces

by Nuestra Hermana


In case you didn’t know, there has always been a lot of backwards ass racist sentiments towards black goths. Statements like, “there aren’t any black goths”, “black people just don’t look right as goth”, “Black goths are scary”, “Black people shouldn’t be goth” are prominent throughout the internet and within clubs and community circles.

Translated, these statements in their simplest root read something along the lines of: Black people cannot be gothic because they are not white.

Of course, not every non-black goth is this way but you will see more than plenty proclaim any of the above without a thought of how erasing and racist it is towards black goths.

Recently, I read someone posting something along the very same sentiment, claiming they had never seen a black person “pull off” being goth.

This here, is for all of you dears who truly believe that. I’m here to simply show you that Black goths do it real fucking well & are just as dark souled & artistically amazingly magnificent in the goth community (if not even more, yes, I did just say that to you.)

If you don’t know much about this or simply don’t believe me, you can read more for yourself here , where someone is asking for advice on “on how you would approach one” and here, where someone claims that black people make terrible vampires (TW: racist slurs)… and here where a black goth is attacked for simply asking if there are any other black goths in his area.

If you’re black and goth and want some support:
Black & African American Goths
Black/African-American Goths (364 members! Yes.)

PS: I had a bunch more pictures but I couldn’t fit them in to this photoset.

(Amy's note: as a reblogger on Tumblr said, "This racism bullshit from what’s supposed to be an accepting, supportive community subculture needs to stop now.")
All post content, including photos, from Nuestra Hermana's blog here.

39 comments:

Hoshii said...

Omg , I love the 5th photo ! so inspiring !

SaryWalrus said...

My god. I know that some people thought that coloured people can't be Goth's but I didn't think it was that bad.

I just have to point out, a lot of Goth take Cleopatra as a role model and guess what, she was dark skinned and gorgeous.

Nox Artemis said...

I luvs you, Amy, for presenting this delightful guest posting. :3

As a black goth myself, I've had my setbacks about being more social in the club scene and have had difficulty finding others like me online. And, not to be a douche, gothic.net really sucks when it comes to this (yeah: nearly every negative post about black people being goth came from there. Coincidentally, I was just reading one of posts mentioned here a few days ago. I'm not saying everyone on gothic.net act like this, but the admins and mods don't seem to care to limit this sort of behavior). And the thing that miffs me the most is that whenever somebody calls them out on this, they'll say, "it was just a joke. Get over it."

Yeah, just like how every goth who has ever been bullied by a non-goth should take it. I wish that these people would stop trying to justify their closet prejudice/racism.

Toxic Tears said...

Ooft, I love the one in the red dress. Really, the only thing black goths shouldn't really do is white foundation, for obvious reasons. Same way no white person should wear foundation that is intended for a black person. Either way around, it just won't look right.:P

I agree with the cleopatra statement too.:3

Kamyria Magdalena Mourn said...

Great article Amy!! I can't believe how silly some people can be. Being goth comes deep from within, not from a skin color. It's one's love for darker things in life... Skin color has nothing to do with it. I'm very disappointed to see this kind of behavior within a subculture that should be supportive and tolerant..

Loreia Lunatic said...

Thanks a lot for this posting! I totally agree. I gotta admit I never saw any colored goths before visting the US, but I never doubted their existance. Unfortunatly, I have heard things like “Black people shouldn’t be goth” and suchlike from my friends and it really makes me mad, espacially since everybody always claims to be oh so tolerant. Besides, to me Gothic is a lifestyle or mindset (sorry, my English isn't perfect but I hope you get me) and therefore doesn't depend on your skin color.

Angel of Darkness said...

That's terrible, I didn't know that all that stuff against blacks being goth was that bad! I hate it when people are racist.

Dark Fantomzy said...

I was thrilled to see this post, just thrilled! As a black Goth, I get extremely frustrated sometimes when people say "you can't be Goth because you're black" or "you just wish you were white" or statements of that ilk. It is very disheartening to deal with these horrible comments from a community that is known for being tolerant and supporting.

Bane said...

Gothic.net used to be a nice place. Then it degraded into negativity, like so many other sites. Sad.

I grew up in the deep south of the U.S., where black/white race relations haven't progressed much in the last 50 years. People still self-segregate - blacks and whites use different salons, attend different churches, go to different clubs. It's disturbing. I would hate to see the attitudes of goths mirroring those of the narrow-minded, xenophobic south in even the smallest way.

One of my co-workers has a tween daughter who has expressed interest in goth culture. This makes me happy for several reasons:
1. her mom isn't freaking out about it at all (maybe because she knows and respects me?)
2. we goths like to lure them in while they're young... muahahaha! ;)
3. she's black and this world needs more black goths!

gin said...

Afropunk.com is a great site for black alternative fashion of all kinds. I've ran into these ideas before and it's a very sad thing, especially since it pretty much makes people think that goth is a white thing, which its not and never will be. I've come to fing people thinking this are trying to find a place to hide and further establish their personal racism. This people also tend to know nothing of goth and are idiots playing dress up, or at least that's what I'm believing, as anyone who tells me I can't be goth due to my non white heritage is probably going to get physically hurt.

Saphire Rainforest said...

Love this post! I am a member of black/African American Goths on facebook. I them to be some of the most intelligent and tolerate people in the seen. Also very diverse in terms of race, religion, location, politics, likes, phobias, etc. I don't know many black Goths, hell I barely know many Goths personally. Definitely a rare breed. But yes I have seen tons of black, Hispanic, mixed alternative types of people online, at festivals, etc.
I love this site it leads me to so many cool things, people, places, etc. This post definitely made my day.

Rose said...

It's true, Goth started as a subculture that tended to be white and middle-class, but if we follow that train of thought, the whole r'n'b/hip-hop/rap culture started out predominantly black and lower-class, yet that doesn't stop the culture from having grown to be embraced by all kinds of people. Growing up in a mostly Maori/Pacific Islander area, I always wanted darker skin, and though I've grown to love what I have, I still think those girls (and boys) are absolutely gorgeous, as are the beautiful dark goths in the pictures above.

Asheley B. said...

Thank you very much for the article! These are great examples of Goths that are various skin tones. I am very pleased to learn that there are more people of my race that are Goths and even Lolitas. Yep, darker Goths do exist.

purplepumpkin said...

This article has wonderful pictures. My friends have constantly asked me if there were any black goths (and while I have never known one personally) I always said that there had to be. Here is the proof! Awesome job.

Nina @ Death Books and Tea said...

This is so pretty.... I knew people sometimes thought that black goths didn't exist, but this is definate prrof! It's so sad that people are still being racist to that extent...we're not in the 30s any more...as a Chinese goth, I suppose you could say I'm somewhere in the middle... love this photoset so much.

Oxymoron said...

I'm so goth I was born black (^^,)

BallerinaDark said...

well I'm half white and half black,so I can be considered a bad ass black goth too! and proud! :)

As I wrote in an old post in Gothic Divine Magazine, it's true it's more rare for a dark skinned person to embrace a culture where you are stereotypically supposed to be as pale as a ghost, but this doesn't mean there is any or that you can't be a goth if you are not white! Also a TRUE goth should know that Goth is not only about the looks.

LovleAnjel said...

Thank you! What a great post (and that woman in the red dress looks AMAZING - this white girl wishes she could have hair like that). I have maybe seen a black person in a club once. ONCE. It's ridiculous that people are made to feel unwelcome like that.

And yes, a lot of the Egyptian pharoahs were black (Upper Egypt was in what is now Ethiopia). I have had a number of black women compliment my ankh - I always wonder if they had an urge for the dark side but didn't think they were "allowed" to be goth.

Maeam said...

YES! Thanks for reblogging this! I've never seen a black goth in my area. There are some alternative communities around here that African Americans are in, but I'm not sure if they're into goth...I'll have to look that up...

Lady Shadow Violet said...

Thank you. I'm a black goth with no particular social circle outside of my dance career and church, where I have 1 white steam punk friend. I've grown up predominately in the south with an eclectic circle of white rock, punk and metal heads. All of whom including my family & pastor except and appreciate me for who I am. I pray that you all have the opportunity, to know such acceptance and respect deserving of our dark elegant and ere breed. Red, yellow, black or white.

Gothic Faerie Queen said...

My ex-GF was black and she was Goth.

My friends used to judge me when I was with her.

Hellcat said...

Definitely an interesting post. Love that Red Dress Pic. Very Beautiful

The HouseCat said...

The colour of one's skin has no reflection one's ability to be goth. As long as one dresses to fit one's figure and does makeup that accentuates their best features, one can always look good and be goth. I saw a very lovely dark-skinned Romantic-Goth clubbing in London, and her outfit was fabulous :) She was a lot better dressed than many of the goths of European descent in attendance.

Anonymous said...

I can't help bit think that maybe the community at Gothic.net has been targeted as some kind of haven for racists. I can assure you they have a zero-tolerance policy on racism and other fucktardedness. People who pull such shite are quickly made to feel extremely unwelcome in the community.

Auss:DaBoss said...

I so know the person in the 8th picture, and he is hands-down the coolest black person I know :) Love you Henry Hacksaw! lol

Anonymous said...

here's another cool site facebook.com/blackgoths <- awsome

Mason said...

Some things that are indisputably uber-goth, which also happen to be derived from black culture

-The Ankh, featured even on gothic.net, ironically
-Voodoo, and the voodoo worldview prevalent in Anne Rice
-Selling ones' soul to the devil at the Crossroads (done first by the master, Robert Johnson)
-as mentioned, cleopatra
-and last but not least, rock and roll, and therefore basically ALL gothic music

Dude, you can't BE goth without respecting black culture. Period, end of discussion. I think we should encourage MORE black goths.

Come take rock and roll back, we were just keeping it warm for ya! (and most of us don't know what to do with it anyway)

Anonymous said...

I gotta say, I've been looking for black goths for years now. I love gothic clothing and now and then would like to dress like one. I can finally see what my own race looks like in these clothing. looks great! :D

Anonymous said...

Totally a half-black Goth so I still count I suppose lol To be honest, I've never been hassled about being Goth and half-black so maybe its just where I live (but I live in the south soo..Maybe its just my city lol) I'm also the only Goth at my mostly black school and they've said more crazy things about it than white people. But it is nice to know that there are others out there-you don't see too many of them sadly. I've only seen about 3 of them so far, sadly

Anonymous said...

not everyone in a picture wearing black is necessarily goth... kelis and lola luv certainly aren't..

otherwise, good blog.

Anonymous said...

Dude, coloured people? Would have been a compliment had you just left that word out. Like farting and leaving the room.

Latifah said...

I can't thank you enough for posting this! So many times I've been wanting to try being Goth, but been discouraged from the idea. I'm biracial, and a big fan of the darker music, the look, and the attitude. However, I have rotten luck with finding open-minded people at all, let alone Goths. This is like a breath of fresh air for me. Again, thanks!

Anonymous said...

I don't see anything bad about saying colored people. And yea. I say color without the u. Colored just means non light skinned, and anyone baffled by that must not have anything else to worry about

~Lasha~ said...

Hey that's me (very last picture)! Gosh was I young then.I've been a member of the LA goth/Industrial scene for about 13+ years. Back then there were only about 2 or 3 of us in circulation. Now there are more of us. Join our Facebook group Black/African American Goths(all are welcome).

Anonymous said...

Thanks so much for posting these pictures. I am biracial and have longed to see decent, professional-looking pictures of goths that look like me. Alas! At last! This is truely an inspiration. I just wish that there more more of us in this southern town, so dominated by rap r&b, and pop.

Anonymous said...

wow this post is really inspiring I am a black goth and I thought I was going to have to bleach my skin in order to fit in with the other goths.Im proud to be a black goth now.

Anonymous said...

I am and always have been gothic. My race is of Native American, Black, Carribean and Asian. My skin is brown so I still consider myself black even though I'm mixed. I have my own style of clothing, make-up and looks which is more along the lines of glam-goth. I would like to say this without biting my tongue for the individuals who think blacks don't look good as goths. Take a real good look at Egyptians -- that is where the style and look started. It is quite sad that in the year 2013 people still on insist on being ignorant. What is even more sad is that it is known fact that the goths who are not white are not accepted by the 'normal' white society which is why they are teased and picked on. So, have they forgotten that they are considered outcast by their own? Only to turn around and dish out the same hate and misunderstanding to others who are like them but have a different color skin. When are people going to wake up? For blacks, and other people of color who are goths, you are beautiful. Let's just remember that beauty starts from within. As for the goths who are not black and have more open minds --thank you for the support, it is welcomed and appreciated. ~Blackfeather~

Anonymous said...

I also enjoyed this post, but your comment made me especially happy for mentioning Hispanic goths. You would not believe how many people I've met who thought hispanic and black were the same thing! Many rants have been made on how hispanics are technically just mixed raced people who cannot be identified as only one. A very late response, but thanks!

Anonymous said...

I know this is an old post and blah blah blah, but I just wanted to point out that some of the commenters here are a bit ignorant of the history of off-shoots from all of "punk's children", and the ways they were co-opted by neo-Nazis.

We should never let them define the scene, because they are the outsiders, for certain, but please understand that they have been infiltrating since the 80's, at least.

I mean, how many of you still think that "skinheads" are Nazis? Look up the origins of that subculture. The neo-Nazis *absolutely perverted the origins* of the original subculture.

That's only an example of what could happen with goth and we shouldn't get too comfortable to think it couldn't still. Be on guard for this, because they never stop. I increasingly run into more "out" neo-Nazis in major cities, sometimes prominent members in goth clubs / communities.

It's so easy for them to find refuge in these scenes...because...well, because Siouxsie used to wear a swastika. Not only Siouxsie, but it really does come down to the general "shock-factor" that the punks pushed.

One just cannot play with this imagery without attracting that element, no matter how "shocking" or "thought-provoking" you are trying to be, or what any of your other work says ("Israel", anyone?)...it just gets taken out of context.

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