In response to the racist backlash coming from Hunger Games “fans” for casting African Americans for the roles of Rue and Thresh.
This New Yorker article is a good read - White Until Proven Black: Imagining Race in Hunger Games
So…this article just proved to me that I do it. We all do it. This article profiles someone of the pseudonym Adam, the person who created the Hunger Games Tweets Tumblr site. It talks about interviewing him in his office in Toronto. I imagined in the interview in my head. Adam was white. Until the author mentioned in the last paragraph that Adam is of Caribbean descent. Then he switched to black. I defaulted him as white, because I had no indicators to the contrary. It makes me so mad at myself and society that we do these things. I imagined Rue as black because it says she has dark skin in the books, but in this article, with skin color not described, I did not. GUH.
I find this pretty interesting…
Since I’m that “Adam” guy referred to in the article, I guess I never had to bother imagining what I look like. And I never bothered to assume that others would either. To hear that you imagined me white throughout the article (until learning at the very end that I’m actually black) is a bit fascinating.
It just proves that when people are described using non-racial identifiers, we’re really all the same. This is what happened to Rue. She was given very ‘mainstream’ qualities rather than biased ones based on stereotypes. Still doesn’t explain how so many people missed the actual racial identifier that she was given, but I’ve given up on that phenomenon now.
Now I can’t help but wonder if Anna Holmes wrote the article this way on purpose. LOL
The next question is… Did peoples’ opinion of Adam change afterwards?