For the vast majority of this country’s history, Black people have been flat out excluded by policy for even the most common rights, privileges, and services that were not even exclusionary by nature. Simple things like riding a bus, eating in restaurants, or drinking from a water fountain were not permitted for Blacks. Years later, we gained the “privilege” of the use of quarantined establishments/institutions/services or sections of already established places/services strictly for Black people. In most cases, those “Black Only” counterparts were much less maintained and of lower quality than the “public.”
As we began to exercise some of the rights denied to us for years, we gained some modicum of power and autonomy, and started to make our own counterparts to public establishments/institutions/services, so that we could control the quality and reliability of them. (Interestingly enough, many White USAmerica STILL had a problem with that)
Only Civil Rights was able to push us forward. Nothing was given by waiting or being nice. It took a lot of angry people, education, and changing ideologies on both sides to make it happen.
Even now, Black people are given less exposure and credit for our accomplishments and contributions to society. This is why we still create venues for ourselves to express and share our creativity. The only difference, now, is that it is more acceptable to acknowledge the hipness or coolness of Black culture, even though it still gets repurposed for The Masses.
I’m sure that many of you are familiar with the old examples of this, such as the music industry’s long history of exploiting Black talent by unfair pay, ownership, and profit from Black talent. What some of you may not know is it was also common to steal songs, acts, and themes from Black artists and create White acts to mimic them. Most of this was blatantly illegal, but the apathetic or racist majority of USAmerica allowed it.
I didn’t go into this to preach, or to make anyone feel bad. I merely wanted to give some perspective to the uniformed or apathetic on why Black people have had to create these spaces…even in cosplay.