So one of my FAVORITE characters is Drizzt Do’Urden from R.A. Salvatore’s The Dark Elf Trilogy. He is the main character, he is the best fighter in all of the realm, and he is a dark-elf and for me that meant he was Black and he was an elf. The elf even experiences full-blown racism once he leaves his underground home and starts living with humans on the surface.
Ten year ago, I was in Salvatore’s forum with other Drizzt lovers. We were talking about what actor we would cast to play Drizzt. He’s black so I suggested the Black movie actor Wesley Snipes because he has the action skills and the beautiful dark skin. Another member said he was not Black because he did not have Negroid features so he should not be played by a “N*gger”. I was pretty much cyber bullied out of the site for suggesting that Drizzt be portrayed by a BLACK MAN.
Now that I’m thinking about it, that experience partly inspired my current work in progress that’s full of elves and dwarves and it has a Black male protagonist.
So my question is: is it fair to apply race to mythical creatures where the human perception of race does not exist?
Is having black skin, even though the character is not a human, enough to make people of color feel like they are being represented? It was enough for me, but I wonder about others.
Aside: Drizzt is so popular that every book he’s been in has hit the NY times best seller list. The only reason they haven’t made a movie with him is because of the dilemma over casting a black actor in such a popular fantasy franchise. ::argh::
Anyways, Drizzt Forever!!!