I’m bending, bludgeoning or breaking a rule, (damn). I told myself I wasn't going to do a blog post about the Hunger Games. Mostly because I feel relatively ambivalent about the series, but also because I just didn't want to. Well, not until I read the article.
Basically it’s a collection of tweets from some so called Hunger Games fans.
“kk call me racist but when I found out Rue was black her death wasn’t as sad” --jashperpars
I’ll let that sink in for a second. People were cheapening the death of a 12 year old fictional character, saying it meant less to them because of her ethnicity!
To me, when I read the book, I pictured Katniss as Native American, or perhaps of Middle Eastern Decent—just because that’s what Olive skin means to me. I pictured Rue and Thresh as African American. They were described as; “She has dark brown skin and eyes,” To me, that means Black. I never doubted that Rue or Thresh were supposed to be Black characters.
Yet apparently, other people don’t read descriptions.
The fact that Collins decided to include characters of other races is one of my favorite elements of the series. I have olive skin, I am a bit of a mutt ethnically, but I have both Native American, and Middle Eastern ancestors. I hardly ever read about characters that look like me.
And I understand why, most fantasy (at least what I read) is set in a Europe type world. And in the Middle Ages, very few non Europeans lived in Europe. Although I always feel like it adds something to a novel when you can include characters from different backgrounds, different places, different ethnicities.
I feel like if I was Black it would be worse though. Aside from Hunger Games, Kate Elliot’s Spirit Walker Trilogy (which I can’t honestly recommend) is one of the only books that I’ve read in recent memory that includes Black characters.
What do you think? Is it worth it to include Black, Brown, Blue, Green, Olive, Yellow, people?
Here’s the article—how are you guys doing with A-Z?
p.s. I really need to work on making my posts shorter.