a multicultural perspective on steampunk
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Beyond Victoriana




Forgotten Rebellion: Black Seminoles and the Largest Slave Revolt in U.S. History

The story of John Horse and the Black Seminoles has been largely untold, but they deserve to be remembered for a number of reasons: 

  • They created the largest haven in the U.S. South for runaway slaves.
  • They led the largest slave revolt in U.S. history.
  • They secured the only emancipation of rebellious slaves prior to the U.S. Civil War.
  • The formed the largest mass exodus of slaves across the United States and, ultimately, to Mexico.

buried history

Never to be found in your history textbooks. 


Victorian Women of Color, from the collection of W.E.B. DuBois


This pocket watch is called the Henry Graves Supercomplication. Commissioned in 1925 and received eight years later, it contains twenty-four complications including a power reserve, sidereal time and the New York night sky.

Your move, steampunk.






… with different degrees of struggles that we’re implemented by the pale skin via conquests using weapons such as warfare, religion indoctrination, and oppression. And then after pale skin set systems like this into our society, they go around and say things like “We are all human” and confuse “racism” with “prejudice” so that they can keep the system the same way for many years to come.

Shots fired.

You totally missed the point of this, didn’t you?

That were all human? No. What you missed is that it’s a dismissive phase that a lot of people like to say at times to dismiss arguments like the one you clearly missed.

Some of us can’t afford to live on fantasy island.

photo tumblr_lwdk1rY0hB1qjaecro1_500_zps401b9995.jpg

schemilix whispered: On the topic of cultural appropriation in fantasy, what IS the line between including non-Western cultures in fantasy and accidentally being disrespectful and hurtful? Is it that one should avoid clearly religious/spiritual aspects? I mean the last thing people should do is avoid those people entirely in case someone gets upset because then you're back to 'white medieval Europe' square one, so what's representation and what's appropriation?



To be honest you seem kind of exasperated and I don’t really get why.

I’m not sure what kind of answer you’re expecting. I can’t provide you with some kind of comprehensive list of every single cultural concept you should avoid in order to somehow avoid future discomfort when someone who actually belongs to that culture confronts you over your use or misuse of aspects of their culture. I don’t belong to every culture in the world and can’t speak for anyone else. I’m not a broker or ambassador for anyone else, and the authority to designate what is and isn’t harmful to others is not vested in me.

All it really takes is doing the same thing MOST writers, artists and creative people do: research. dialogue. basic human consideration. understanding of how society works, and behaving respectfully towards others.

If someone says, “Hey! Don’t do that, it’s harmful to me” then stop doing it. There are some people whose cultures, religions, or races have been so badly misrepresented, they prefer no one who does not belong to their culture write about them at all, ever. Respect that.

The problem here is that you want an easy answer, someone to tell you what to do and how to behave, and I can’t do that. People who belong to the same culture often disagree about this topic, too. “culture” isn’t monolithic. Do YOU agree on everything with everyone you are perceived to share a culture with? Of course not. “Western”/eurocentric cultures don’t have a monopoly on human individuality.

The bottom line is, we all have to share a messed up world with each other, and the discomfort of easing that burden is also unevenly distributed. Some people are encouraged by society to railroad over other people’s lives and truths, and then go on to produce media which in turn trains and reinforces the idea the some people are entitled to railroad over other people. You can either reinforce it or go against it.

And everyone has to deal with that. Some people deal with that by feeling entitled to be comfortable all the time, and would rather trigger the oppressive systems that are already in place to easily silence those who are being harmed by having their race or culture misrepresented in the media. Others deal with it by aggressively defending their own character or repeating “I’m a good person, so everything I DO is good, therefore this is okay”.

Or, you could deal with it by being uncomfortable for a few minutes, owning up to the fact that you harmed someone, or MANY people, apologize, and just flipping deal with it.

If you’re looking for some kind of preventative medicine, listening is probably a good start, instead of reacting or demanding.

For those who think “But you really expect me to think about how my words and actions might affect every person of color in the world???” Well.

Consider I was just basically asked to speak for every person of color in the world. Like I said, why don’t we spread that burden around a little bit.

Nobody said fixing this mess would be easy.

Someone on twitter recently reminded me that this post exists, and I’ve had 20 versions of the same question sitting in my inbox for a while…just a reminder, there are no easy answers.


the first female chinese immigrant to america was a sixteen-year-old girl who was part of a cultural exhibit where she sat in a life-size diorama and people watched her eat with chopsticks while wearing silk clothes and that’s really all you need to know about the commodification of chinese women

This is an illustration of Afong Moy on display.

On November 6, 1834, the Carne Brothers ran their first ads announcing the exhibition of the Chinese Lady, whom they renamed Afong Moy. The ads offered this description: “she was nineteen years of age, four feet ten inches in height, dressed in her national costume, and her feet were but four inches in length, as a result of her having worn iron shoes throughout her childhood”. For the price of fifty cents, anyone could come and gaze upon Afong Moy between the hours of 10am and 2 pm, as well as 5pm to 9pm. (source)


Born on this day…July 16, 1862

Ida B. Wells: Journalist, Newspaper Editor, Anti-Lynching Activist


Crusade for Justice: The Autobiography of Ida B. Wells

Ida B. Wells was one of the foremost crusaders against black oppression. This engaging memoir tells of her private life as mother of a growing family as well as her public activities as teacher, lecturer, and journalist in her fight against attitudes and laws oppressing blacks.

Quotes from Ida B. Wells:

“The people must know before they can act, and there is no educator to compare with the press.”

“I had an instinctive feeling that the people who have little or no intelligence or no school training should have something coming into their homes weekly which dealt with their problems in a simple, helpful way…so I wrote in a plain, common-sense way on the things that concerned our people.”

“The mob spirit has grown with the increasing intelligence of the Afro-American.”

“The city of Memphis has demonstrated that neither character nor standing avails the Negro if he dares to protect himself against the white man or become his rival.”

“The nineteenth century lynching mob cuts off ears, toes, and fingers, strips off flesh, and distributes portions of the body as souvenirs among the crowd.”

“The white man’s victory soon became complete by fraud, violence, intimidation and murder.”

“If it were possible, I would gather the race in my arms and fly away with them.”


a lot of ppl seem confused on what cultural appropriation is so lemme break it down

IT IS NOT: enjoying food from another culture, enjoying music from another culture, learning about another culture, or learning another language

IT IS: using another culture as a costume, wearing religious articles as accessories when you are not a follower of that religion, using a race as a mascot, disrespecting religious or cultural practices.