Deadbrowalking: the people of color deathwatch

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Journal Community
Name: Deadbrowalking: the people of color deathwatch
Date(s): October 29, 2002 – January 2013 (last entry)
Moderator: delux_vivens, with the help of holzman and maerhys
Type: Discussion, Activism
Fandom: Multi-fandom
URL:; archive link

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Deadbrowalking: the people of color deathwatch, or as it's commonly known, Deadbrowalking, began in 2002 as a response to the new character on Buffy, Robin Wood, the first major African American character on the show. The name is a play on the Black man dies first trope common in television and films.

This community originally began with a focus on Principal Robin Wood. Given that he was an African American and has the Hellmouth in his office, we were convinced that Principal Wood was a man marked for Death (or some other unspeakable evil).

Then, with the implementation of court-ordered desegregation in Sunnydale and the resulting influx of people of color in the town, there was a change in mandate, witness for all people of color on Buffy.

Now that Buffy has ended, we're still keeping the candles burning for people of color in scifi, fantasy, and horror.[1]

The community has continued as a place for "advanced discussion of issues of race and representation from the perspective of people of color and white allies"[1]. The community is often closed to new members, and discussion is meant to by and about the people of color at the center of the community, not the white fans that dominate fandom in general.

Posts include links to news, interviews, videos, etc. as well as hosted discussions about television shows, films, books, etc. The focus is media and the interests of fans of color, but the community is not focused narrowly on fandom or fanworks.

On May 11, 2009, during the MammothFail incident, Lois McMaster Bujold made a comment boggling at the idea of Native American websites[2], and later in a comment explaining that statement, she said, "The other and more hopeful point is that never before have so many Readers of Color existed to *have* the conversation, or been able to communicate with each other to do so. When I went to my first midwestern convention in 1968, there was exactly one black fan, male; it's only in late years that I've had cause to wonder how brave he must have been to venture in. Octavia Butler, at a library program, once described a young black reader meeting her as a black SF writer, and saying in some wonder, "I didn't know we *did* that!" As far as I can tell, the biggest single factor driving the current shift and growth in diversity in genre readers has been the invention of the Internet."[3]. In response to this, and the many other instances of claims that people of color/non-whites aren't fans of long standing or participants in fandoms, Deadbrowalking posted a call for a wild unicorn herd check in. The resulting 1000+ posts became a joyous and passionate roll-call of the global and racial diversity of fans of Science Fiction and Fantasy on Livejournal and beyond.


  1. ^ a b Profile, accessed September 24, 2010
  2. ^ Review of Patricia Wrede's Thirteenth Child, accessed September 24, 2010
  3. ^ Comment by Lois McMaster Bujold made on May, 10, 2009 on fiction-theory's Livejournal, accessed September 24, 2010