When Hermione Granger Is Black image

When Hermione Granger Is Black

Here's Reni Eddo-Lodge, in her recent Why I'm No Longer Talking to White People About Race:

As an adult Harry Potter fan, I’d begun to think of Hermione Granger, with her house-elf liberation campaign, as a well-meaning but guilty-feeling white liberal, taking on a social justice cause with gusto without ever really consulting the views and feelings of the people she was fighting for. Outside of the wizarding world, Hermione would be working at an NGO or a charity, or slowly climbing the bureaucracy of the United Nations. With her strong moral compass, she’d be educated and adamant about animal rights or global warming.

... reading Harry Potter’s Hermione as black is a whole different ball game. It brings to light the incredibly racialised language of blood purity used in the wizarding world, of mudbloods and pure bloods. This is terminology that could have been easily lifted straight from Nazi Germany or apartheid South Africa. Hermione’s parents were muggles, after all, and that is how states and scientists have categorised races and fuelled racism - as though some heritages are contagious and are spread through lineage and blood. A black or mixed-race Hermione enduring spat-out slurs of ‘mudblood’ from her peers, plucked from her parents, told she’s special and part of a different race altogether, might be very keen to assimilate, to be accepted. No wonder she tried so hard. No wonder she did her friends’ homework, and was the first to raise her hand in class. She was the model minority. A black or mixed-race Hermione agitating to free house elves, after six or seven years of enduring racial slurs, might not have the courage to challenge her peers, and instead might have hung on to something she felt she really could change.

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