"I prefer being an independent Black character over a mainstream one especially since the audience that comes to ECBACC appreciates that."


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Chistine Churchwell

Educator

How many ECBACCs: 11

Favorite Fandom: Sakoya Productions

Favorite Character: Raya Apadamax

But wait, there's more: Facebook

How did you get involved with ECBACC?

I got into ECBACC through a mentor and friend named Tamika who I met when I was studying Early Childhood Development at CCP. She was doing the Rites of Passage program at Brother Yumy's Frator Heru. She told me about him because she knew that I was a makeup artist, cosplayer, and revolutionary. She introduced me to him at a Kwanzaa celebration he was hosting at his house, and I've been in love with ECBACC ever since.


How has ECBACC affected your art?

I got into cosplay because I really like the fandom that people build around comic book characters. I really like the creativity of seeing people's interpretations of characters that they favor. I respected the craft that goes into it because a lot of the time you can't just go and buy the costumes. You have to put effort into creating it yourself or get someone to do it for you. I saw a lot of people getting positive attention for it.


The mainstream conventions I would go to didn't really provide a platform for Black creators. When I first attended ECBACC, I saw how we were highlighted and celebrated. I felt more comfortable and confident. It was more meaningful to attend a convention that was for our sake. I prefer being an independent Black character over a mainstream one, especially since the audience that comes to ECBACC appreciates that.


What are some highlights of the ECBACC experience?

I really do enjoy everything about ECBACC from the talented artists, informative panels, amazing vendors, and definitely the good vibes. But AfriCoz is definitely my highlight. For any convention I go to, the costume contest is a real joy, but especially at ECBACC where you can see positive Black images come to life.


How have you seen ECBACC grow over the years and where would you like it to go?

I've had the pleasure of seeing ECBACC grow and go through 3 different locations, from the Enterprise Center to TECH Freire School, to Temple. I've even seen the addition of AfriCoz Kids, which came from so many children getting into AfriCoz as well. When I came in, it was either the initial or most official AfriCoz costume contest that they had done. There's been the inclusion of more panels, and I've seen how it has influenced other cons and events that have popped up such as the Towson one that I participated in recently and Khemfest that takes place in Jersey. For the future, I want it to become a household name and become a major Philly attraction.