We talked to Jasmine La Fleur (aka Halcyon Crowe), the creator of Black Fae Day! This weekend, she and her fae following are celebrating the Sankofa Solstice, the virtual wrap-up event for the 2021 Black Fae Day season.
Midwest BSFA: How did you come up with the idea for #BlackFaeDay and the Sankofa Solstice?
La Fleur: I was scrolling through all the cosplays from #28DaysOfBlackCosplay in February and didn’t want the magic to end. For the last couple of birthdays, I’ve done something special for myself. Over quarantine lockdown I had a “costzoom” party with my family and wanted to replicate that fun. I knew Twitter had the potential to send my dream to many different people, but I had little social media presence. I only knew that the best case scenario would be social media flooding with positive images of Black people in fantasy and fairytale cosplay.
Midwest BSFA: Who are some of your favorite fae/faery/fairy characters and why?
La Fleur: Honestly, Tinkerbell has always be the iconic fairy. Watching her wave the wand at the top of the Disney logo always filled me with excitement as a kid. I’ve probably seen every Peter Pan film! Tink and I are similar in the ways we emote, all heart.
Midwest BSFA: What do you think keeps more people of color from getting involved in fantasy?
La Fleur: I believe often times we gatekeep each other away from spaces that aren’t typically associated with Black culture. “That’s white people stuff” is something you get from a lot of people, including our own. I think when it comes from our own community it hurts the deepest and so people just don’t try. I made Black Fae Day in hopes that we would extend ourselves some grace. Allow ourselves to imagine and be carefree for a while. We deserve to experience some escapism, too.
Midwest BSFA: Tell us about the Sankofa Solstice. Why expand the Black Fae Day event beyond one day?
La Fleur: The Sankofa Solstice is a fictional seasonal celebration of original Black characters, stories, and whatever other fantasy imaginings we have inside of us. After Fae May, there were so many people who messaged me and told their stories. Families who dressed up together. Elders that dawned elf ears for the first time! These stories made me want to find more people who needed this experience and support a Black community who loves fantasy.
Midwest BSFA: What do you hope to achieve with the Sankofa Solstice?
La Fleur: I just wanted to encourage us to create our own fantastical narratives. Black people don’t deserve to only be the token sidekick or exotic, self-sacrificing lover. Who can tell of our magic better than us? I hope the Sankofa Solstice helped someone create something they’re proud to show the world. Black folklore includes us too, right now, not just stories of the past.
Midwest BSFA: Do you consider yourself a cosplayer or did you get into cosplay because of Black Fae Day?
La Fleur: I don’t consider myself a cosplayer, just a lover and supporter of cosplayers. If I could sew or mold foam or something, then I’d consider the sacred title. I have so much respect for the cosplay community. All my crafts are held together by hot glue and fairy dust!
Midwest BSFA: What have you learned that you can apply to next year’s festivities?
La Fleur: I’ve learned that I have a voice and no idea is a stupid idea. The community has given me more than I can express. I’m so grateful, I just want to keep making space for us in fantasy spaces. Next year, I’ll have a little more help. I think that makes the difference. I could always use more!
Midwest BSFA: How has the pandemic affected your creativity?
La Fleur: It’s given me the quiet time I needed to do some things for myself. I’m often overwhelmed with daily expectations and work for other people. The pandemic allowed me to jump into things I never dreamed of trying before. Ironically, the world opened up to me.
Midwest BSFA: Anything else you want our readers to know?
La Fleur: Black Fae Day, the holiday, is the second Saturday in May. In 2022, it will fall on May 14th! Just use the hashtag #blackfaeday on all socials to participate and increase positive visibility of Black people in fantasy and fairytales. Please, consider following us on Facebook or Instagram for updates! As our community grows and connects to one another, the more opportunity we have to make lasting change. We are making the changes we wish to see in the world and I encourage you, no matter what your idea is, to lean into your dream. Make some magic happen! It’s in your blood to turn nothing into something. I love you, faebies!
For more information on Black Fae Day and the Sankofa Solstice, visit https://blackfaedayofficia.wixsite.com/home