The new cast for the stage production of “Harry Potter and the Cursed Child,” the eighth installment (a play) in the “Harry Potter” series, has been chosen and there’s one casting choice that is freaking people out. The character of Hermione will be played by Lawrence Olivier award-winning actress Noma Dumezweni who is black.
In the previous Harry Potter films, Hermione, played by Emma Watson, was obviously white, but writer J.K. Rowling was fairly vague when it comes to the race of the character in the books. The closest she comes is in Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban when she wrote, “They were there, both of them, sitting outside Florean Fortescue’s Ice Cream Parlor — Ron looking incredibly freckly, Hermione very brown, both waving frantically at him.”
Many girls of color read Hermione to be black due to the descriptions of her hair as well. Color doesn’t change her character. Hermione is a strong, intelligent heroine that inspired a generation of young women to embrace their “bossy” side and see it more as strength and leadership. Hermione also overcame a lot of racism while at Hogwarts. The parallel is remarkable if you think about it. Due to being Muggle-born, Hermione was teased mercilessly and many refused to acknowledge her right to attend the school for wizards.
It is not surprising that racists lost their minds over the news spreading their hate tweets all over Twitter. These are just a small sample of the disgusting nonsense that flooded the internet:
No… it’s racist.
i'm offended by the casting of #CURSEDCHILD hermione is a white character. we may not make poc characters white so white should not be poc
— michelle (@1006michelle) December 20, 2015
@Hypable this is not a question of racism or whatever, the character of Hermione was white, why change it to black?…
— rayene (@rayenere) December 21, 2015
Wrong about the book on that one. In the end, all of us who are excited to see another powerful woman of color represented in literature can celebrate. The rest of you can just cry your white tears:
— #TittiesWhileBlack (@BlaqTittiesVote) December 21, 2015