How Many Black Princesses Are There? Defining Representation in Children’s Media

Ever since Disney’s first animated feature film Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs premiered in 1937, little girls from all around the world have been dreaming of becoming a Disney Princess. However, for young girls of color, finding a Disney Princess that looks like them has been a challenge, until The Princess and the Frog’s Tiana was introduced in 2009. But how many black princesses are there really?

As much as little girls all around the world want to see themselves in their favorite Disney Princesses, the media has been slow to reflect the diversity that exists in this world. In the early days, Disney’s lineup contained mostly white princesses such as Snow White, Cinderella, and Sleeping Beauty, and it wasn’t until 1992 that the Middle Eastern Princess Jasmine was introduced in Aladdin. Nowadays, there are only a few Disney Princesses of color, with Tiana being the only black princess.

Disney has been criticized for its slow progress in featuring diverse princesses, and the fact that there is only one black princess in its lineup can be disheartening for little girls of color whose dream is to be a Disney Princess. With Disney’s growing success and influence in the world of media, will we see a more diverse range of Disney Princesses that reflect the diversity in our society? Only time will tell.

Black princesses in folklore and mythology

Throughout history, black princesses have been depicted in various forms of folklore and mythology. They represent an important part of cultural heritage and have left their mark on literary and oral traditions.

In African mythology, there are many stories featuring black princesses who possess powerful magic and bravery. One of the best-known tales is that of Mami Wata, a goddess of the sea and fertility. She is often depicted as a beautiful mermaid or half-woman, half-fish creature who bestows blessings upon her followers.

In the Caribbean, the story of the Haitian voodoo priestess, Marie Laveau, has been passed down through generations. She is believed to have been a powerful black princess who used her magical powers to help her people and protect them from harm.

Another well-known figure is the Egyptian queen, Nefertiti, who was often seen as a symbol of femininity and power. In addition to being a queen, she was also a skilled diplomat and played an important role in her husband’s reign.

Notable black princesses in folklore and mythology:

  • Mami Wata, African goddess of the sea and fertility
  • Marie Laveau, Haitian voodoo priestess and protector of her people
  • Nefertiti, Egyptian queen and skilled diplomat

The significance of black princesses in folklore and mythology

The depictions of black princesses in folklore and mythology serve as a reminder of the rich cultural heritage of Africa and its diaspora. These stories celebrate the bravery, wisdom, and power of black women, often overlooked or overshadowed in Western history.

Black princesses also provide important role models for young girls and women who rarely see themselves represented in media and pop culture. By promoting these stories, we can contribute to greater diversity and inclusivity in our society and inspire future generations to embrace their heritage.

African American princesses in children’s literature

While black princesses have been a part of folklore and mythology for centuries, it wasn’t until the 21st century that they began to appear in children’s literature. Recent examples include Tiana from Disney’s “The Princess and the Frog” and Princess Kiona from the book “Princess Cupcake Jones.”

Princess Name Source Description
Tiana “The Princess and the Frog” A determined young woman who dreams of opening her own restaurant.
Princess Kiona “Princess Cupcake Jones” A young princess who learns important lessons about kindness and friendship.

These characters provide much-needed representation for young black girls and help to dispel harmful stereotypes and biases. By introducing children to diverse representations of princesshood, we can empower them to embrace their individuality and celebrate their own unique cultures.

Black princesses in Disney animated movies

Throughout the history of Disney animated movies, there have been several princesses of color, including Black princesses. These inspiring characters have broken boundaries and represented important progress for representation and diversity in cinema. Let’s take a closer look at the Black princesses in Disney animated movies:

  • Tiana – Tiana, the protagonist in the 2009 film “The Princess and the Frog,” is the first-ever Black Disney Princess. Set in New Orleans’ French Quarter, the film tells the story of a young girl who dreams of owning a restaurant. Tiana’s character has become an inspiration for many young girls as she proves that hard work, determination, and a bit of magic can help make your dreams come true.
  • Princess Elena – Princess Elena of Avalor made her debut in a TV series in 2016. Her character’s backstory takes place in a magical kingdom inspired by different Latin American cultural traditions. Elena is a brave and compassionate leader, who works hard to protect her kingdom and strives to preserve her culture. Elena has become a role model for young Latina girls.

Fun facts about Black princesses in Disney animated movies:

Here are some fun facts about the Black princesses in Disney animated movies:

  • In 2011, Disney released a special edition Little Mermaid DVD, where they added a new commercial featuring Tiana as a tribute for the milestone of having their first Black princess.
  • Princess Tiana was originally named Maddy, but the name was changed after a backlash. The original name was seen as perpetuating a stereotype of Black women being “maids”.
  • For the creation of the character Princess Elena, Disney collaborated with a group of Latinx advisors to ensure the character’s representation was authentic and respectful to their cultural traditions. Disney also hired a Latin-American actress to voice the character.

Black princesses in Disney movies: the importance of representation

Having Black princesses in Disney animated movies is an essential step towards creating more inclusivity and diversity in our society. Representation in media is crucial for children to see characters that look like them on screen, to feel included, and have a sense of belonging. Black princesses in Disney movies can help empower young girls of color and inspire them to achieve their dreams, regardless of their background. We hope to see more diverse representation in media soon to continue moving towards equality and respect for all.

Black Princess Movie Title Year
Tiana The Princess and the Frog 2009
Princess Elena Elena of Avalor (TV series) 2016

Overall, Black princesses in Disney animated movies have become an essential representation for young girls of color. They represent progress towards creating more diversity and inclusivity in our society. In a world where representation in media is vital, seeing Black Disney princesses on screen can go a long way towards helping young girls feel empowered and included.

Black princesses in children’s literature

Representation matters, especially in the world of children’s literature. Children need to see themselves reflected in the stories they read, and that includes black princesses. While the number of black princesses in children’s literature may not be as extensive as we’d like, there are certainly some notable examples that have made an impact.

  • Tiana from “The Princess and the Frog”: Tiana was Disney’s first black princess, and her 2009 film has become a classic. Based in New Orleans, Tiana is a hardworking waitress with dreams of opening her own restaurant. She is resourceful, determined, and fiercely independent, and her musical numbers are truly unforgettable.
  • Makeda from “The Water Princess”: Written by Susan Verde and illustrated by Peter H. Reynolds, “The Water Princess” tells the story of Makeda, a young girl in Africa who must walk long distances each day to fetch water for her family. Makeda dreams of finding a way to bring water closer to her village, and the beautiful illustrations perfectly capture the lush landscape of the African plains.
  • Princess Tafari from “The Forgotten Princess”: Karen King-Gordon’s “The Forgotten Princess” tells the story of Princess Tafari, who lives in an African kingdom where women are not allowed to speak in public. Tafari rebels against this rule and eventually becomes a leader for her people. The book’s illustrations are stunning, and Tafari’s story is both empowering and inspiring.

While these princesses may be few in number, they are certainly making an impact. Their stories are important for children of color to read, and for children of all races to learn from. We can only hope that more black princesses will be added to the canon of children’s literature in the years to come.

Black princesses in African history

Throughout African history, there have been many powerful and influential black princesses who commanded armies, ruled kingdoms, and left a lasting impact on their people and the world at large. In this article, we will explore the stories of some of these remarkable women and their incredible legacies.

The Kingdom of Kush

  • Candace Amanirenas – Queen of the Kingdom of Kush, which was located in what is now modern-day Sudan, during the first century BC. She is known for leading her armies in battle against the Romans and winning a significant victory, forcing them to retreat from Kushite territory.
  • Princess Amani – Daughter of King Natakamani and Queen Amanitore of Kush, who ruled during the first century AD. She was a skilled diplomat and negotiator, and is known for negotiating favorable treaties with the Roman Empire and other neighboring kingdoms.

The Kingdom of Dahomey

The Kingdom of Dahomey was a West African kingdom located in what is now modern-day Benin. It was known for its powerful and highly trained all-female military unit, the Dahomey Amazons. Many of the kingdom’s princesses played important roles in the military and government.

  • Princess Hangbe – Daughter of King Dako of Dahomey in the 17th century. She is said to have ruled as queen for a short period after her father’s death and is also believed to have played a significant role in establishing the Dahomey Amazons.

The Kingdom of Ethiopia

The Kingdom of Ethiopia, which is one of the oldest continuously inhabited countries in the world, has a rich history of powerful rulers and influential princesses.

  • Empress Zewditu – Daughter of Emperor Menelik II of Ethiopia, who ruled from 1916 to 1930. She was the first female head of state in Africa and was known for promoting education and modernization in Ethiopia.
  • Princess Yodit – Also known as Gudit or Judith, she was a 10th century ruler of Damot in Ethiopia who is said to have overthrown the Aksumite Empire and established her own dynasty.

The Kingdom of Benin

The Kingdom of Benin, which was located in what is now modern-day Nigeria, was known for its powerful monarchs and intricate bronze sculptures. Many of the kingdom’s princesses played important roles in governance and the arts.

Princess Accomplishments
Iyoba Idia Queen Mother of the Kingdom of Benin in the 16th century. She played a key role in the kingdom’s military campaigns and is believed to have been a skilled diplomat and negotiator.
Princess Olua Daughter of King Ewuare the Great of Benin in the 15th century. She is known for her intricate ivory carvings and is believed to have been a patron of the arts.

These are just a few of the many black princesses who have made their mark on African history. Their legacies continue to inspire and empower people all over the world today.

Black Princesses in Modern Pop Culture

Representation matters, and the inclusion of black princesses in modern pop culture is a much-needed step towards diverse and inclusive storytelling. Here, we take a closer look at the black princesses who have graced our screens in recent years.

The Number: 5

  • Princess Tiana: The first black Disney princess, Princess Tiana made her debut in the 2009 animated film, “The Princess and the Frog.” Based in New Orleans, Tiana is a hard-working girl who dreams of owning her own restaurant.
  • Princess Shuri: Although not a princess by birth, Shuri is a beloved character in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. As the younger sister of Black Panther, she is the princess of Wakanda, one of the most technologically advanced nations in the world. Shuri is played by Letitia Wright in the “Black Panther” films.
  • Princess Elena: The first Latinx Disney princess, Elena made her debut in 2016. She is a brave and adventurous teenager who must save her enchanted kingdom from an evil sorceress.
  • Princess Sofia: Sofia is the protagonist of the Disney Junior series “Sofia the First.” Although not a princess by birth, Sofia becomes a princess when her mother marries a king. She is a kind-hearted and adventurous young girl who learns important life lessons along the way.
  • Princess Nella: Nella is the protagonist of the Nickelodeon series “Nella the Princess Knight.” She is a princess who also happens to be a knight, and she goes on exciting adventures with her friends to protect her kingdom from harm.

The Future of Black Princesses in Pop Culture

With more and more studios and networks recognizing the importance of diversity and representation, we can expect to see more black princesses in pop culture in the years to come. As audiences demand more inclusive storytelling, we can hope that the number of black princesses will continue to grow.

Comparison Table

Princess Name Debut Year Race/Ethnicity
Princess Tiana 2009 Black/African American
Princess Shuri 2018 Black/African
Princess Elena 2016 Latinx/Hispanic
Princess Sofia 2013 White
Princess Nella 2017 Black/African American

As the table above shows, there are currently five black princesses in modern pop culture, with varying levels of representation. However, the fact that they exist at all is a step toward a more diverse and inclusive world.

Black Princesses in Comic Books and Graphic Novels

Representation matters, and it’s always refreshing to see diverse characters that people from different backgrounds can identify with. Black princesses are no exception to this rule, and the comic book and graphic novel industry has seen a rise in Black female characters taking on princess roles in recent years. Here, we take a closer look at the history and current state of Black princesses in comic books and graphic novels.

  • Storm: Storm, also known as Ororo Munroe, is a powerful mutant from the X-Men comics who holds the position of queen in Wakanda and Kenya. She’s one of the most well-known Black princesses in comic books and graphic novels, having been around since her introduction in 1975. Storm has also appeared in numerous adaptations, including films, television series, and video games.
  • Princess Tiana: The protagonist of Disney’s “The Princess and the Frog” (2009) also appeared in comic books based on the film, making her one of the few Black Disney princesses in comic book format. Like her film counterpart, Tiana also dreams of owning her own restaurant.
  • Princess Kida: Also known as Kidagakash Nedakh, Princess Kida is a character from Disney’s “Atlantis: The Lost Empire” (2001). She became the queen of Atlantis after her father’s passing, displaying immense strength and courage throughout the film.

While there are currently only a handful of Black princesses in comic books and graphic novels, the industry is seeing a rise in Black creators and characters. This increase in diversity not only makes the industry more inclusive but also creates more opportunities for marginalized people behind the scenes.

To see just how far Black princesses have come in the comic book and graphic novel industry, take a look at this table below:

Name of Black Princess Comic Book or Graphic Novel Series Year of First Appearance
Storm X-Men 1975
Princess Tiana The Princess and the Frog 2010
Princess Kida Atlantis: The Lost Empire 2001

It’s clear that Black princesses are making headway in the comic book and graphic novel industry, but more can still be done to create more diversity and representation. The world of comics and graphic novels can only benefit from exploring more different narratives and perspectives, with Black princesses being just one example.

Black princesses in video games

Representation matters in all forms of media, including video games. While still far from perfect, the gaming industry has made progress in recent years when it comes to portraying diverse characters. Today, players can find several examples of black princesses in video games, helping to expand the notion of who can be royalty in the digital realm.

  • Ashelia B’nargin Dalmasca – From the “Final Fantasy” series, Ashelia is the princess of Dalmasca in “Final Fantasy XII.” She’s a skilled fighter and leader, helping to lead her people through dark times.
  • Elincia Ridell Crimea – “Fire Emblem: Path of Radiance” introduces players to Elincia, a brave princess who fights alongside her troops in battle. She’s a kind-hearted ruler who always looks out for her subjects.
  • Merida DunBroch – Though perhaps best known for the Pixar film “Brave,” Merida also appeared in her own video game in 2012. Players controlled her as she explored the Scottish countryside and used her archery skills to overcome obstacles.
  • Nefertari Vivi – As a princess of the Alabasta Kingdom in “One Piece,” Vivi is a beloved character who assists the Straw Hat Pirates on their adventures. Her kindness and intelligence are just as important as her royal status.
  • Omaka – “Afro Samurai” is an anime-inspired video game that stars a samurai on a quest for revenge. Omaka is the daughter of a powerful warlord and a talented fighter in her own right, determined to prove herself to her father and the world.
  • Princess Peach – While not explicitly black, it’s worth mentioning that Princess Peach of the “Mario” series has been depicted as having darker skin in some games, giving her a different look from her usual fair complexion.
  • Princess Shokora – In “Wario Land 4,” players must rescue a mysterious princess named Shokora. Though she spends much of the game in a cursed form, she’s eventually revealed to be a wise and powerful ruler.

Of course, there’s still more to be done in terms of representation in video games. But with these examples of black princesses in various genres and styles, players can see that royal heroines can come in all colors and backgrounds.

In fact, as games become more diverse and inclusive, we may see even more examples of black princesses and other underrepresented characters. That’s all for now, folks!

Game title Black princess character
Final Fantasy XII Ashelia B’nargin Dalmasca
Fire Emblem: Path of Radiance Elincia Ridell Crimea
Brave: The Video Game Merida DunBroch
One Piece: Grand Battle Nefertari Vivi
Afro Samurai Omaka
Mario series Princess Peach
Wario Land 4 Princess Shokora

Sources: The Gamer, Black Girl Gamers

Black princesses in anime and manga

Black princesses are not only found in Western media, but also in Japanese anime and manga. While representation in this genre may not be as prevalent, there are still several notable black princess characters. Here are 8 of the most prominent ones:

  • Sapphire from Akame ga Kill! – Sapphire is the princess of the iconic Revolutionary Army, who wear black outfits and fight for the freedom of their people.
  • Kaguya Ōtsutsuki from Naruto – Kaguya is not only a princess, but also a goddess and the final villain in the series. She is a powerful villain who can manipulate time and space.
  • Princess Dorothea from The Legend of the Galactic Heroes – Princess Dorothea is the princess of the Galactic Empire in this classic space opera anime. She is smart, resourceful, and shows bravery in the face of danger.
  • Amneris from Aida – Amneris is a character from the Japanese adaptation of the Italian opera Aida. She is the daughter of the Egyptian king and a strong-willed young woman who is not afraid to speak her mind.
  • Princess Kakyū from Sailor Moon – Princess Kakyū is the ruler of the planet Kinmoku and a warrior who fights alongside the Sailor Soldiers. She is kind and caring, with a strong sense of responsibility and justice.
  • Princess Beldia from Grimgar of Fantasy and Ash – Princess Beldia is a character from the light novel series that was adapted into an anime. She is the ruler of the magical city of Alterna and is known for her kindness and her desire to bring peace to the world.
  • Princess Romy from Zoids: New Century Zero – Princess Romy is the ruler of the Kingdom of Lantau and a skilled Zoid pilot. She is brave, intelligent, and shows great leadership skills throughout the series.
  • Princess Yucie from Princess Tutu – Princess Yucie is the main character of this magical girl anime. She is a fairy who becomes a human princess in order to attend a magical academy. She is optimistic, hardworking, and determined to achieve her dreams.

If you are interested in exploring more black princess characters in anime and manga, check out these titles:

  • Yona of the Dawn
  • Ashita no Nadja
  • Corrector Yui

Representation matters, and it’s important to see a diverse range of characters in all forms of media. These black princesses in anime and manga are just a few examples of the growing representation of people of color in this genre and beyond.

Black Princesses in Independent Films and Web Content

Representation and inclusion have always been a challenge in Hollywood and the entertainment industry. However, the past two decades have seen a shift towards greater diversity in movies and television shows. While it is still a work in progress, more independent filmmakers and content creators have taken it upon themselves to create characters that reflect the real world, not just a whitewashed version of it.

Within this movement, there have been several examples of black princesses in independent films and web content. Here are nine examples:

  • Sade in Sade’s Legacy (2018): A young girl discovers her ancestry and becomes the last hope for her kingdom.
  • Mariposa in Mariposa (2020): A black fairy princess fights against racism to protect her village and its people.
  • Katherine Johnson in Hidden Figures (2016): Not a princess in the traditional sense, but this movie showcases the story of Katherine Johnson, a black woman who played a key role in NASA’s early space missions.
  • Princess Tiana in Princess and the Frog (2009): While this is a Disney movie, it was not part of the traditional princess lineup until later. Tiana is the first black Disney princess, and her story is set in New Orleans.
  • Princess Amara in The Pirate Fairy (2014): This black fairy princess is featured in a Tinker Bell movie and is part of a group of fairies who help the pirates.
  • Inara in League of Legends (2017): A character in the popular online game who is a princess of Shurima, a Middle Eastern-inspired region.
  • Isabel in Elena of Avalor (2016): A Disney animated series with a Latina princess who takes inspiration from various Latin cultures, including Afro-Latino.
  • Princess Shuri in Black Panther (2018): The sister of T’Challa and the princess of Wakanda. Not just a princess, but a technological genius and a warrior in her own right.
  • Q’orianka Kilcher in Princess Kaiulani (2009): Based on the true story of Princess Ka’iulani of Hawaii, this movie tells the story of her fight against the Hawaiian monarchy’s overthrow.

These black princesses offer a diverse range of backgrounds and stories. While it is a small step towards greater inclusion and representation, it is a step in the right direction. It is important for children, especially young girls, to be able to see themselves reflected in the media they consume. Every story, every princess, every hero – they all matter.

Black princesses in real-life royalty and nobility

Despite the popular notion of princesses being fair-skinned, blonde and blue-eyed, there have been many Black princesses in real-life royalty and nobility. From Africa to Europe, Black princesses have made their mark in history. Here are ten Black princesses throughout history:

  • Queen Charlotte of England (1744-1818) – Often cited as the first Black queen of England, Queen Charlotte was of African descent. She was married to King George III and had 15 children together. However, her ethnicity was kept a secret during her time as queen.
  • Princess Sophia of Hesse and by Rhine (1836-1913) – Sophia was the first cousin of Queen Victoria and was born to a German princess and a former American slave. She married into the Greek royal family and became a princess of Greece and Denmark.
  • Queen Ana Nzinga of Ndongo and Matamba (1583-1663) – Known as one of the greatest warrior queens in African history, Queen Ana Nzinga led her people against Portuguese forces in Angola. She was also an advocate for the slave trade abolition.
  • Princess Sikhanyiso Dlamini of Swaziland (born 1987) – The eldest daughter of King Mswati III of Swaziland, Princess Sikhanyiso is known for her advocacy work and is often referred to as “Princess Pashu” or “Princess of the Flowers.”
  • Diane von Fürstenberg, Princess Tata Ilinga of the Ngounié region of Gabon (born 1946) – The famous fashion designer married into German nobility and eventually became a princess through her second husband’s title. She was later given the title of Princess of the Ngounié region of Gabon.
  • Queen Abla Pokou of the Baoule people (18th century) – Queen Abla Pokou led her people in the Ivory Coast to a new settlement after a civil war. To cross a river, she sacrificed her newborn son to appease the gods and her people followed in a similar sacrifice to establish a new home, which became the Baoule kingdom.
  • Princess Angela of Liechtenstein (born 1958) – The first Black princess of a reigning European dynasty, Princess Angela is married to Prince Maximilian of Liechtenstein. She is a trained fashion designer and has her own fashion label, A. F. Vandevorst.
  • Princess Keisha Omilana of Nigeria (born 1978) – Born in Ohio, Princess Keisha is of Nigerian descent. She won the title of Miss Africa Great Britain in 2010 and has since been known for her philanthropic work in Nigeria and other African countries.
  • Queen Anna Hwã, daughter of King Hwã of Bètanou (16th century) – Commonly known as Queen Nzinga, she was the queen of the Kingdom of Ndongo and Matamba (present-day Angola) and a fierce opponent of Portuguese colonization. She led a long and heroic resistance against the Portuguese as they tried to invade and colonize her kingdom.
  • Princess Sarah Culberson of Sierra Leone (born 1976) – Princess Sarah was adopted by a white American family as a child when her parents died in Sierra Leone. Later in life, she discovered she was a direct descendant of a ruling tribe in Sierra Leone and regained her royal status.

These Black princesses have made significant contributions to history and have broken barriers in their respective positions of power. They are a testament to the fact that diversity and inclusion can exist in even the most traditional and conservative institutions.

How many black princesses are there?

Q: Are there any black princesses in real life?
A: Yes, there are several black princesses in real life, including Princess Angela of Liechtenstein and Princess Sikhanyiso of Swaziland.

Q: How many black Disney princesses are there?
A: There are currently two black Disney princesses, Princess Tiana from “The Princess and the Frog” and Princess Moana from “Moana.”

Q: Are there any black princesses in other popular media?
A: Yes, there are several black princesses in other popular media, including Princess Shuri from “Black Panther” and Princess Kida from “Atlantis: The Lost Empire.”

Q: Are there any black princesses in European fairy tales?
A: While most traditional European fairy tales feature white princesses, there are several modern retellings that feature black princesses, including “The Princess and the Pea” and “Cinderella.”

Q: Are there any black princesses in Asian fairy tales?
A: Similar to European fairy tales, most traditional Asian fairy tales feature princesses who are depicted as white, but there are several modern retellings that feature black princesses, including “The Black Princess” and “The Ebony Horse.”

Q: Are there any historical black princesses?
A: There have been several historical black princesses throughout history, including Princess Charlotte of Mecklenburg, Princess Philippa of Hainault, and Princess Ekaterina Dashkova.

Q: Why is it important to have representation of black princesses in media?
A: Representation matters because it helps young girls to see themselves reflected in the media they consume. It promotes self-esteem, a sense of belonging, and an affirmation of identity and culture.

Closing Notes

Thank you for reading about the various black princesses that exist in media and history. It’s important to recognize the need for representation and diversity in our stories and storytelling. We hope that this brief article has inspired you to learn more about the amazing black princesses that exist in the world. Come back soon for more interesting and informative content!