After a fan complains that “Africa is not a Country” J.K. Rowling clarifies that the African Wizarding School Uagadou is in Uganda
On Friday night, in conjunction with the Celebration of Harry Potter event at the Wizarding World of Harry Potter at Universal Studios Orlando, J.K. Rowling blessed her fans with her first brand new writing on Pottermore since it was revamped last September. There was one small thing though about where the three schools that got stories were located though, that I noticed. The schools were listed as in “Brazil,” “Japan” and “Africa.”
I almost said something. The Western habit of speaking of “Africa” as if it was a country is one born of ignorance and incuriosity. Africa is not a country. It is an enormous continent. (Bigger than most of us think actually, due to a conspiracy of cartographers in the 19th century.) I almost got mad, because J.K. Rowling should know better than that. But then I noticed that the “North American” Wizarding School….was being referred to as just that. Not the “US Wizarding School.” It too was named after a continent, and therefore probably took students from the US Canada and Mexico, if not all the other North American countries like Haiti and Costa Rica. The “African” Wizarding School was not the only one being referred to by the continent. I stood down.
But the wording wasn’t just something that irked me. It irked a lot of fans, especially ones for whom “Africa is not a country” is something they’ve been fighting against. And one of them, Daniel Jose Older, and writer of the excellent Shadowshaper series, called Rowling out on Twitter for the wording.
He wasn’t the only one. And Rowling, to her credit, copped to the mistake. Though she had in the short story, described the school as “floating midair” it still did have a country location: Uganda.
I’m glad she cleared that up. Now….about that North American School that we’re still waiting for…..
And what about those other four schools that weren’t revealed?
We can’t wait to find out! Personally I’m thinking the four schools that haven’t been revealed yet will turn out to be
- Somewhere in Oceania (New Zealand maybe? The Aussie outback?)
- The Middle East–in Saudi Arabia or maybe Jordan
We’ll have to wait to find out. What are the chances we’ll get the next story this coming Thursday evening to celebrate Harry Potter Book Night?