Ebony Thomas is the author of “The Dark Fantastic: Race and the Imagination from Harry Potter to the Hunger Games.” For her the most important word in that title is "imagination." She believes that without imagination we can't change the world because we can't see it. We can't daydream a better world into existence. It's why she's always identified with another literary daydreamer — Anne of Green Gables.
Ebony Thomas doesn't see Hermione from the Harry Potter series as Black. But a whole new generation of young Black girls do, and they're using fan fiction and online communities to re-imagine a witch they can identify with more deeply.