So what happens when the wizard world crosses the land of Beyhivery (which is not a word)? Pure magic happens. Dominique of The Storyscape, dedicates her videos to music and literature. Her latest inspiration casts a Bey-themed spell on Harry Potter's homeboy Ron Weasley using his main squeeze, Hermione Granger.
(It's totally a Hogwarts thing, but you get the gist of the tale.)
Like Bey, Hermione had no desire to look "jealous or crazy" but she had to pump the brakes and let Ron know it's time to stop playing games. The magical world of Hogwarts is obviously told through the eyes of Harry Potter. Once he hit year six, the love games between Ron and Hermione reached an all-time high. Dominique gave us another viewpoint at the budding romance with her tune, "Wand Up".
Where did the idea come about?
"Well, I obviously love Beyoncé and Hermione Granger and they're both examples of the kind of woman I hope to be. The lyrics just sort of popped into my head when I was practicing 'Hold Up' on the guitar," Dominique told me. "I think the first thing that came to me was 'I'ma crucio a witch'."
Dominique is a huge aficionado of storytelling, so naturally the creator of Harry Potter has contributed to her interests over the year.
"I really love stories and words. Like the OG J.K. Rowling says, 'Words are our most inexhaustible source of magic.' My overall mission of The Storyscape is to have a show that's like a Reading Rainbow but for adults. Think Mr. Rogers meets Dave Chappelle meets Erykah Badu."
She's no stranger to parodies. About a month ago she took on the "Readhanna" persona for a "Work" parody about her love of loving books with bae.
The most important question here, if the Harry Potter squad were all Muggles, who would be the biggest Queen Bey stan?
"Ironically, I think Lavender Brown would be the biggest Bey fan, and I low key think Neville Longbottom is in the Beyhive too."
Dominique totally nailed it! Keep the #BlackGirlMagic going and share this video with your friends.
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Black Twitter is the GOAT for this one. #YAwithsoul added some necessary blackness to the narrative of popular Young Adult books such as Harry Potter, The Hunger Games and The Twilight Saga. Because, since when have we really been able to relate to these characters?
They came out the door with guns blazing.
The clap-backs and shade throwing would be legendary.
And no games would be played, especially NOT with a Black Hermoine.
Or, any black mother.
The first words out of her mouth would be: "Go get the belt."
Truth be told, whole story-lines would have to be changed.
Imagine all of the possibilities...
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One of the best books I read recently was Chandra Talpade Mohanty’s Feminism Without Borders. In the book, Mohanty points out that “all those images you think of or see when you hear 'Muslim woman" or 'Middle Eastern woman" or 'Arab woman" (you get what we mean) come about because we have these (Western) assumptions of who the 'third-world woman' is.” These are the words I thought about as I listened to Dr. Adrienne Keene, author of Native Appropriations, discuss her thoughts on J.K. Rowling’s appropriation of the North American indigenous culture in her new series. Keene, deeply offended by the Skinwalkers storyline in Rowling’s new History of Magic in North America is disturbed the fact that J.K. Rowling didn’t consult with anyone who could’ve given context on the spiritual significance of the story to some indigenous communities in North America, and reminded me that Rowling shouldn’t be celebrated when it comes to including people of African descent for major roles, but not being held accountable for misrepresentations of other marginalized groups.
Like Keene, I’m a huge fan of the Harry Potter series, and a fan of Rowling’s life story. I still find her brave and innovative. In that regard, my assessment of Rowling’s refusal to acknowledge the hundreds of articles and thousands of tweets on her new storyline garners a mixture of confusion and disappointment from me as a supporter of her and her work. Keene’s interview was peppered with frustrations about stereotype and misrepresentation that most people of color know all too well. She describes a scene where a skinwalker dives off of a mountain cliff and “transforms into an eagle” and scoffed at the fact that the scene is actually one we’ve seen before — in Disney’s Pocahontas. Keene, between shaky, emotional sighs, also adds that the backlash she received from Rowling fans on Twitter was disheartening because they brought her credentials into the discussion by claiming that airing grievances over pop culture fare was a misuse of her Harvard degree. What Keene seemed to find most annoying, though, were the constant reminders that Rowling writes fiction, and owes no apologies for the worlds she crafts therein.
The point fans of Rowling sought to make to Keene is true in the sense that she does indeed have creative license to craft her fictional settings in whichever way she pleases. Unfortunately, they misunderstand the point Keene makes about the complex role fiction plays in defining caste, gender roles and what gets fetishized. People who are quick to dismiss the impact childhood literature has on the world are often the same people whom the hegemonic narrative serves. As a member of the Cherokee Nation, Keene is entitled to question Rowling’s ignorance — or motive — in challenging that narrative with regard to one marginalized group (casting black Hermoine), but contributing to the fetishizing and stereotyping of another.
This goes back to Mohanty’s assertion that the reason we have an image in our head about what a “Muslim woman” or “Arab woman” looks like is because we’ve had one side controlling the image of those women. The same goes for the ideas and imagery most consumers of pop culture have about African people, despite it being a huge, diverse continent with a host of different phenotypes, ethnicities, etc. North American indigenous people are no different. Hollywood and other creators of popular culture are fully aware that there are many different tribes with different modes of dress, customs and languages in film and television. Yet, we only see chiefs in beaded headdresses, dances around fires, bare-chested men in loin cloths and moccasins — it’s a trite and singular narrative that isn’t even influenced or controlled by the groups it purports to represent. And the style and delivery of a singular narrative is definitely something that black people the world over are all too familiar with. So in the end, Keene is right and Mohanty is right. But I can’t cape for Rowling right now because she is only half-right. Black Hermoine might be a step forward, but proper representation in Rowling's new series would’ve been pure magic.
What do you think? Let us know in the comments below!
READ NEXT: Noma Dumezweni addresses critics who say she can't play Hermione Granger
M'Shai Dash is a blogger, congressional staffer and freelance writer from Washington, D.C. She loves anime, Afrofuturism, spelunking and Netflix. Follow her on Instagram, Twitter, Snapchat (mmmshai) and on her...
The announcement of the play, Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, sent the muggle community into a frenzy in October of last year. The collective consensus from the fandom was that we would take any new Potter in any form we could get it. As the casting choices revealed a black actress would be playing Hermione Granger, the timeline went up.
Through Pottermore.com, Rowling's online portal to the fans, the author announced that both print and digital versions of the script book will be released for sale in the U.S. on July 31st at midnight, the day after the stage play premiere. (and for you Potter OGs, Harry's birthday.)
Written by Jack Thorne and based on a story by Rowling, Thorne, and John Tiffany, this version of the book will be deemed a Special Rehearsal Edition which will be replaced by a Definitive Collector’s Edition at a later date, with a final version of the story. If you're across the pond this summer, Harry Potter and the Cursed Child will be showing in London's West End.
The world of witchcraft and wizardry is still with us 19 literary years after the Battle of Hogwarts in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, so there's definitely going to be some binge reading going on when this one drops.
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Thursday brought the devastating news of Alan Rickman's death and many fans in the Harry Potter community poured out some butterbeer for the man who brought Professor Severus Snape to life.
Very sad to hear of Alan Rickman's passing today! #RIPAlanRickman pic.twitter.com/4XZJKHJS5H
— Ryan Upton (@RyanUptonMusic) January 14, 2016
Wands up ! For Alan Rickman ! #RIPAlanRickman pic.twitter.com/8wWsuNnBmd
— Lilly (@LilyPixel) January 14, 2016
Alan Rickman's work enraptured generations. We raise our wands for you, sir. pic.twitter.com/OsBieLaMVf
— Jennifer Iacopelli (@jennifercarolyn) January 14, 2016
And it wasn't long before his Harry Potter family sent in their social media tributes. JK Rowling posted:
There are no words to express how shocked and devastated I am to hear of Alan Rickman's death. He was a magnificent actor & a wonderful man.
— J.K. Rowling (@jk_rowling) January 14, 2016
Matthew Lewis recalled great advice he received from Rickman:
I was at Leavesden Studios today when I heard the news. As I walked through the canteen I thought of Alan queuing up for his lunch with us mere mortals. I recalled the trailer in which he offered me some of the greatest advice I ever received about this mad profession we shared. Being back in those corridors made me remember a lot of things and I will treasure those memories all my life. He inspired my career more than he ever knew and I'll miss him.
A photo posted by Matthew Lewis (@realmattdavelewis) on Jan 14, 2016 at 7:07am PST
Emma Watson sent off a flurry of tweets and this FB message:
I'm very sad to hear about Alan today. I feel so lucky to have worked and spent time with such a special man and actor. I'll really miss our conversations. RIP Alan. We love you
Posted by Emma Watson on Thursday, January 14, 2016
— Emma Watson (@EmWatson) January 14, 2016
And Daniel Radcliffe posted this touching tribute on Google+:
Exaresco these tears,...
Known across generations for his role in the Harry Potter movies as Professor Severus Snape, Alan Rickman has passed away. His family confirmed his death early Thursday morning and it is said that Rickman had been suffering from cancer.
His career took off in 1988 when, at the age of 41, he was offered a role as Hans Gruber in Die Hard. While he saw much success as a film actor, it was his theatre performances that marked him as one of the great dramatic actors of his time.
"Talent is an accident of the genes, and a responsibility."
R.I.P Alan Rickman - a truly great talent
— Jamie Laing (@JamieLaing_UK) January 14, 2016
Raise your wands. RIP Alan Rickman, what a truly wonderful actor pic.twitter.com/om9Ao9xDnW
— Missguided (@Missguided) January 14,...
Swaziland-born, British-raised actress Noma Dumezweni spoke out against her critics for the first time since it was announced that she would play an adult Hermione in the upcoming West End production of 'Harry Potter and the Cursed Child', which will take place 19 years after the events of 'The Deathly Hallows'.
Last month, when the news was initially announced, Harry Potter fans rejoiced at the casting of a Black Hermione (including J.K. Rowling herself). However, many expressed resistance to the idea.
not racist but how can noma dumezweni be hermione in the cursed child when she's black it just isn't right
— DAN (@daansymonds) January 3, 2016
Dumbledore isn't gay in the books and Hermione isn't black in the books & yet JK Rowling takes credit and ppl say she's "progressive", as if
— #WoCForAlaskaYoung (@WoC4AlaskaYoung) January 2, 2016
...in the new HP movie Hermione is black even though in the book it said she was white. This isn't cultural appropriation in their terms?
— taylor gotto (@taylor_gotto) January 2, 2016
In an interview with The Evening Standard, Dumezweni said that she has encountered "unconscious" prejudice before, but she has never experienced backlash or resistance to her casting in a role simply because of her skin color.
She says, "It stems from ignorance. They don’t want to be a part of the creative act. To say it’s not as it was intended is so unimaginative."
She also adds, "The only question we should ask is ‘Are they good?’ I’ve met great actors black and white and I’ve met bad actors black and white.”
Dumezweni is an acclaimed Shakespearean actress, and she has also put her support behind research as a part of the Multicultural Shakespeare project, to bring to light performances by ethnic minority actors in Shakespearean roles (because we must never forget Paul Robeson going to London to play Othello). However, she has opted out of moving to America to seek better work stating, “We have to hold on to the choice that it will get better here.”
'Harry Potter and the Cursed Child' will arrive in London this July with Jamie Parker and Paul Thornley playing Harry Potter and Ron Weasley,...
Someone in the Black Twitterverse started #IfHogwartsWasAnHBCU and the results are incredible. Because if you didn't read Harry Potter, did you even have a childhood? Read below to imagine how glorious this would have been.
and so it begun...
the character casting....
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To all the black Harry Potter fans out there, we finally got our black Hermione!
Yes, you read that right! Noma Dumezweni will be starring as Hermione Granger in Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, which is a short story that takes place 19 years after the last Harry Potter book. Of course, when I heard this, I was beyond excited and I definitely was not the only one. It is about time that we have some awesome women of color in these fantasy books.
But, of course, not everyone was excited to see Hermione played by a black woman.
And of course people responded right back to this hate.
I mean even J.K. Rowling and Matthew Lewis, who played Neville Longbottom, supported it.
So what's good haters? But don't worry Noma's Black girl magic isn't stunted because of these haters. You go...