Stephanie Phillips is a London-based freelance journalist and content writer, specialising in music, race and feminism.
Waking up on Monday to a feed full of tweets about a black Hermione Granger, my first thoughts were that maybe some Potter fan boys and girls had taken over Twitter. On second glance, I realized it was all true: There is a black women in a prominent role in a fantasy drama that was previously portrayed by a white actor.
Harry Potter and the Cursed Child is a new play that focuses on Harry and the gang years after Hogwarts. When the play opens at London’s Palace Theatre in July 2016, Hermione will be played by the astounding Noma Dumezweni, a 45-year-old Swaziland-born actress.
The announcement of Dumezweni as Hermione is, of course, a double-edged sword. The movement to widen the film and drama industry’s concept of diversity and represent the world as we see it has taken one step forward—but the fact that we’re celebrating shows how far we have to go.
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