Class Matters and Respectability: The Great Migration in Black Horror

Dani Bethea
10 min readJan 19, 2022

Reflections on poverty, the South, and other marginalized tales.

Them (2021). Photo courtesy of Amazon Studios.

a blinking cursor.

the blue light of the screen glows waiting for a function.












Beyond this repetitive monotonous process, attempting to write has been softy put, arduous. I have a plethora of notes written and on my phone from the previous year, titles, topics, and things of the like, but formulating anything remotely coherent when your entire being feels stuck is a Sisyphean task.

I’ve lost all sense of time. I don’t keep track of the days…they just happen. The only thing keeping me tethered to the world is ‘life’ obligations…bills, immediate family, the existential dread of COVID. We’re in year 3? of the pandemic and hardly anything or anyone has changed. Too many were canaries in the coal mine and their tweets have been repetitively and swiftly silenced.

Since the beginning of the pandemic, I’ve been wracked with a myriad of emotions about who is being forgotten in the narrative of this global event. There’s no more (designated) airtime for the deceased, no lead-ins for the mass disabled, rarely any for the currently disabled/immunocompromised who were the aforementioned metaphorical canaries who shouted from the rooftops about the abject horror(s) of being considered disposable, invaluable, and the direct targets of eugenicist policy.

…and then the particular vulnerabilities of being Black and any variation of ‘otherized’ in this racist capitalist society that collectively gave everyone that upside down smiley face emoji with a hearty GET BACK TO WORK for the economy, meanwhile a CEO…

Dani Bethea

Horror Sommelier & Pop Culture Pontificator. Prev EIC: We Are Horror. Mental Health and Horror Doc. Published: Studies In the Fantastic + Women of Jenji Kohan.