A Racial “Crystal Gems test”

I was reading locuas642′s Crystal Gems omnibus test for representation of women, and thought back to proposals for Racial Bechdel(-Wallace) tests.

Deggans’ rule recommends the following:

  1. At least two non-white human characters in the main cast…
  2. …in a show that’s not about race.

Alaya Dawn Johnson’s test goes like this:

  1. It has to have two POC in it,
  2. Who talk to each other,
  3. About something other than a white person.

Ars Marginal posted the following test:

  1. At least one named character of color,
  2. Whose primary trait is not their race,
  3. Who does something important besides help a White person.

I also have an interest in whether such a character has a narrative arc of their own, as well as pushing the discussion beyond just 1 or two POC characters in a cast. Some who have discussed the Mako Mori test have criticized how the test is not usually utilized in relation to Mako Mori being a POC character as well as a woman. Basically, I would like to see the conversation about POC in fiction be elevated beyond mere quantity of representation to include the quality of representation.

So here’s my draft of a Racial Crystal Gems test:

  1. A work must have at least four POC characters.
  2. It must pass Deggans’ Rule;
  3. It must pass Alaya Dawn Johnson’s Racial Bechdel-Wallace test;
  4. It must pass the Ars Marginal test;
  5. At least one POC must have a narrative arc of their own, which is not about supporting a white person (literally the racial Mako Mori test);
  6. At least one POC must be meaningful enough to the plot that removing the character would have a significant effect.
  7. Each [major POC] character must pass at least one of these tests, and each test must be passed by at least one [major POC] character; the more times you can repeat the previous step, the better.

Author: Harry Underwood

Website designer, blogger. Columbus, GA. #LGBT #p2 #wordpress

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