The depiction of witches in U.S. mainstream media has varied greatly over the years. Some witches are presented as haggard and conventionally unattractive women draped in black, stirring concoctions in ominous pots. Others fit into the classic childhood fantasy image of a witch with green skin, pointy hats, and flying broomsticks. And then there are the attractive, mysterious witches who blend perfectly into society while secretly wielding their dark powers against enemies. Though these images are all vastly different, there is one thread that tends to bind many of them together: a prominent focus on the White experience.
It’s pretty easy to name witchy TV shows and films with primarily White female protagonists. Bewitched, Sabrina the Teenage Witch, Hocus Pocus, the original Charmed, Practical Magic, and The Craft are a few that come to mind. However, Black, Latinx, and other non-White witches like Bonnie Bennett, Rochelle Zimmerman, Alex from Wizards of Waverly Place, and Angela Bassett’s stunning take on Marie Laveau in American Horror Story: Coven are far less common. They often show up as antagonists, serve as props to support White protagonists, or are pushed into the peripheral of the story in favor of centering their White counterparts.