Science Fiction and Fantasy often takes us to strange new worlds to take wonder in and gives us exciting adventures to watch over and over again. Many people who found their calling in the scientific and mathematics fields will sometimes cite their passion for a particular TV or movie series, Star Trek being perhaps the first mention for many.
However, even in these fantasy worlds, the dark stains of bigotry and privilege will show up from time-to-time. For Women of Color, especially Black Women, this situation will come to the forefront more often than not. In the almost 50 years of science fiction and fantasy viewing, characters that Black Women and other Women of Color portray on-screen and in print media can usually be put into 5 different categories of stereotypical tropes in Science Fiction: The Token, The Traitor, The Incompetent, The Tragic Warrior, and The Tragic Mistake.
[Blogger’s Note: This list was inspired by a report on the stereotyped roles that Black Women play in most Hollywood productions. Some of the stereotypes that Black Women (and some other Women of Color) are forced to play will sometimes cross over into the science-fiction and fantasy world. However, there are several tropes not specifically listed in the report that this post will seek to cover. This research was conducted and presented by Dr. Dionne Stephens and Dr. Layli Phillips. This research paper can be found here at this link (PDF file, a nice read).]