Cos­play is stereo­typ­i­cal­ly seen as some­thing that black peo­ple do not par­take in. Many of the char­ac­ters from video games, comics and graph­ic nov­els do not look like us. This can either dis­cour­age one from dress­ing up as a non-black char­ac­ter or invite crit­i­cism from onlook­ers. But the whole “Cos­play­ing While Black” move­ment rep­re­sents a cre­ative means of expres­sion and appre­ci­a­tion for our favorite fan­ta­sy char­ac­ters and it also hap­pens to be pret­ty damn fun. Here are some of my favorites from brows­ing the web, in no par­tic­u­lar order.

1. Shana of Jem and the Holo­grams

CWB_ShanaAfter Shana’s char­ac­ter was basi­cal­ly white­washed for main­stream con­sump­tion (no pur­ple fro, no Shana — in my opin­ion) in the Jem and the Holo­grams remake, I can def­i­nite­ly appre­ci­ate this. Tru­ly out­ra­geous.

2. Sailor Moon


Sailor Moon is pret­ty much my favorite ani­me of all time, and this inter­pre­ta­tion is spot on. “In the name of the moon, I will pun­ish you!”

3. Snow White


How amaz­ing­ly adorable is this Snow White? And that hair! Is that a twist out? Braid out? The nat­u­ral in me needs to know.

4. Harley Quinn


Who says you need straight hair to be Harley Quinn? Her locs look amaz­ing and I love the red woven through­out. I can’t lie, this makes me want to dress up as HQ for the Sui­cide Squad pre­miere.

5. Princess Leia



This beau­ty is slay­ing as Princess Leia. I only hope she stayed away from Jab­ba the Hut.


6. Gar­net of Steven Uni­verse


*Screams with glee* First…the hair. Hon­est­ly, I’m hav­ing a hard time get­ting past her gor­geous mane, but you can look her out­fit and tell that a lot of thought was put into this cos­tume. Excel­lent rep­re­sen­ta­tion of Gar­net!

7. Cam­my White


If you’ve ever played Street Fight­er, you’ve prob­a­bly come across Cam­my White. The char­ac­ter is a blonde haired, blue eyed, British wom­an, but as soon as I saw this pic­ture, my mind imme­di­ate­ly flash backed to me play­ing Super Street Fight­er II and thrust kick­ing all over the screen.

8. Won­der Wom­an

CWB_Wonder Woman

Won­der Wom­an with an afro? No prob­lem. Per­fect­ly exe­cut­ed, acces­sories and all.


9. Lichtenstein’s Pop Art!


Def­i­nite­ly one of the most cre­ative cos­plays I’ve seen. Can you guess who she is?  So cool.


10. Tombraider Lara Croft


You don’t need the long braid to fig­ure that this is the kick butt Lara Croft. Although, I’d be a lit­tle con­cerned about get­ting my hair caught in those tombs!

*BONUS* Not a live cos­play­er, but I saw this print of the Sailor Scouts while I was brows­ing and sim­ply had to share. So awe­some!


Also Shaquille Dent, an ani­ma­tion stu­dent at Cleve­land Insti­tute of Art, has been dubbed the ‘Black Goku’ for his spiky hair favor­ing Goku from Drag­on Ball Z. Although Dent embraces the name, he says his hair is an every­day style, and not for cos­play.

Shaquille Dent / Facebook
Shaquille Dent / Face­book

Do you cos­play? The­se pic­tures have me look­ing up the next comic book con­ven­tion in my area, but Hal­loween is right around the cor­ner!



Elle is the edi­tor and cre­ative direc­tor of the YouTube chan­nel and blog, Quest for the Per­fect Curl at Her chan­nel focus­es on nat­u­ral hair, beau­ty, and fit­ness. She loves prod­ucts that smell like dessert, yoga, and glit­ter. Fol­low her @qftpc.

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9 Comments on "10 Times Cosplaying While Black Was the Absolute Best"

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Emmanuella Calazans

Olá… a Bran­ca de Neve é min­ha fil­ha.. Pode­ria colo­car na fonte o link pra pági­na dela?

Obri­gada pelo car­in­ho!!!


Great list! Thanks for includ­ing my Shana! I only wish I’d got­ten some bet­ter pho­tos tak­en! :)


The­se are great! One day I am def­i­nite­ly going to Comic Con.


AWESOME!!! I absolute­ly love ani­me and cos­play. I have always thought about dress­ing up but nev­er had the guts to play a char­ac­ter that wasn’t black. This is inspir­ing and I def­i­nite­ly sup­port. I loved all the pics.


Awe­some! I love every cos­tume!

Shanta Fabulous

The­se are so great. I love the Gar­net one. It makes me wish I didn’t big chop so I could dress up as her.

Elle P.

Awe­some! Here is a link for anoth­er cosplay/Halloween cos­tume via Sham­less Maya Gamora from 

Guardians of the Galaxy–

Storm from X-men


Loves it. Wish we had/made more black char­ac­ters.

Franciele Mercês

OMG, so cute. The Snow white is a brazil­ian girl. <3
I’m Brazil­ian too