When I made a video a few months ago about African-American Goths in the pre-promotion for my new novel Spinsterellla many of my viewers were actually surprised that Black people actually participated in the Goth Subculture. But the truth is that many brothers and sisters are living on the dark side of the Black community and enjoying the spooky side of life right now.
What many Black people don’t know is that the Goth Subculture is a worldwide thing. And yes, even Black people participate in it. In my research for Spinsterella I read many Black Goths’ blogs, watched their videos and visited their websites and Facebook pages.
I even learned Rihanna went Goth for her Ghetto Goth for an ad campaign a few months ago. And I’d have to say she looked awesome wearing the dark makeup and dark clothes.
Why don’t we hear more about Black Goths? One of the reasons I believe has to do with it being a small subculture within a racial minority. Black people only make up 13% of the population. And the Goths in the Black community are small part of smaller subculture in the world.
But the other reason I believe we don’t hear about Black Goth is because it doesn’t fit the American narrative for what is considered “Black” in the media. Most American people regardless of race are comfortable with the story of Black people being hip-hoppers wearing sagging pants, Air Jordans and baggy T-shirts and telling stories about life in the inner city. Anyone telling a story about Black people living a life that’s different from that narrative makes those in the mainstream media both Black and nonblack very uncomfortable.
The whole idea of a Black Goth scares some in America. But not because usually Goths wear all Black and appear to be spooky. It’s because Black Goths puts a human face on those Black people who participate in the subculture and shows us the humanity that connects people beyond race. The Goth subculture is a very open subculture and most people who participate in it are willing to accept people regardless of race, gender, or sexual orientation.
One of the reasons why I wrote Spinsterella was to show brothers and sisters how broad African-American culture is. Many have no idea how far Black culture reaches nor what places it’s a part of. I’m hoping readers can broaden their perspective after reading Spinsterella and learn a bit more about the brothers and sisters who participate in the Goth subculture.