Welcome to Hogwarts, TikTok’s newest magical HBCU

The virtual halls of Harry Potter's fictional school are now filled with Black TikTok magic and HBCU pride.

What’s more magical than Black creativity?

This past month, Black TikTok users enrolled in the illustrious Hogwarts Agricultural and Magical University, also known as HAMU. A reimagined version of J.K. Rowling’s Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry from the famed “Harry Potter” novel series, HAMU is giving every HBCU a run for its money. Filled with magic, house parties, and respective Hogwarts House stroll teams, the virtual campus of HAMU is lit, and Black “Harry Potter” fans (also known as “Potterheads”) can’t get enough. 

Black TikTok, Harry Potter, HBCUs, HAMU, Harry Potter Legacy, Hogwarts, J.K. Rowling, social media, theGrio.com
A reimagined Florida A&M University. Photos: AdobeStock

First published 26 years ago, the bestselling fantasy novel and film franchise has built a community of fans worldwide. “Harry Potter’s” tremendous cultural reach has allowed fans to experience Rowling’s fictional world beyond the big screen and the page; in addition to the international amusement parks, immersive experiences, and theatrical productions, Warner Bros. Games and Avalanche Software launched “Hogwarts Legacy,” an action video game allowing fans to roleplay their own Hogwarts experience. Since its release in February 2023, the game has become the #1 single-player game on Twitch, with 1.28 million peak viewers at launch. 

With a growing number of hours played, the game reignited a spark for “Harry Potter” fans worldwide, particularly on TikTok. Through the game, fans can create their own legacy and “live the unwritten” of the fictional world. As in the films, Hogwarts house assignments are a big deal. So much so, there is a now decades-long debate about which house is best. Whether you’re house Slytherin, Hufflepuff, Gryffindor, or Ravenclaw, Potterheads rep their houses just as hard as members of fraternities and sororities. 

Now, if you’ve ever experienced “Divine 9” Greek organizations, you know each fraternity/sorority thinks it is best – special shoutout to my Sorors in Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. So, it’s no surprise Black TikTok drew inspiration from these historically Black Greek letter organizations to defend their Hogwarts houses. One of the most popular trends in the virtual HAMU halls is diss-strolling in the common rooms. From the various stroll videos to roll calls to Quidich majorette dance teams, Hogwarts Agricultural and Magical University has become a virtual safe space for Black “Harry Potter” fans. 

“Hogwarts as a whole was a world that was created where we were very much an afterthought. But here, we just Blacked it up,” comedian Mel Mitchell told BuzzFeed.

This is not the first time fans reimagined Rowling’s mystical school under a more diverse lens. Throughout all eight “Harry Potter” films, there were barely a handful of Black actors with speaking roles. In 2018, #BlackHogwarts was trending on Twitter as fans recast the franchise’s main characters and merged cultural trends into the storyline.

However, one cannot discuss the “Harry Potter” franchise without acknowledging its problematic creator. Despite creating a world whose popularity transcends generations, gender, and ethnic backgrounds, Rowling has repeatedly been called out for her transphobic social media comments and arguable racism embedded in the series. While fans of the Potterverse are divided about the ethics behind supporting the new “Harry Potter” video game, Black TikTok is using this trend to celebrate Blackness, not Rowling. With users commenting things like “It works because you know [Rowling] would hate it,” this trend is exactly what we needed to conclude Black History Month. 

“I love that this represents so many layers to us,” said TikToker Jione McMichael, per Buzzfeed. 

Check out the official website to learn more about the illustrious Hogwarts Agricultural and Magical University. See you at HAMU Homecoming!  

Haniyah Philogene is a multimedia storyteller and Lifestyle reporter covering all things culture. With a passion for digital media, she goes above and beyond to find new ways to tell and share stories.

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