“The Anti-Racist Writing Workshop – How to Decolonize the Creative Classroom” by Felicia Rose Chavez.
“White Fragility – Why it’s so Hard for White People to Talk About Racism” by DiAngelo Robin.
“Eloquent Rage – A Black Feminist Discovers Her Superpower” by Cooper, Brittney C.
“Why Are All the Black Kids Sitting Together in the Cafeteria?: And Other Conversations About Race” by Beverly Tatum.
Any book by Rick Riordan.
And thousands more.
starting a conversation.
There are a million things I can talk about literature-wise that are important to this conversation. The ‘conversation’ in question is about how classrooms/schools/anything predominantly made up of white people mistreat and mishandle situations concerning any other race. I write about characters of color, and I’ll tell you why. It’s because it needs to be talked about. It’s because I see beauty in other cultures. That’s it. It’s because I want a little kid to read about a character in my stories, and I want them to relate. I want them to be able to see themselves in this piece instead of a “Y/N with blue eyes and blond hair.” I want to stop reading about people like that because it was all I read. I want people to challenge themselves.
one of your favorite authors, even…
A prime example of a white AND published author doing this correctly is the author of the Percy Jackson series, Rick Riordan. Annabeth Chase (the main love interest) has light-tanned skin, blond curly hair, and stormy grey eyes. Now, you would start to think, “Is that not just a Y/N trope that you previously described?” It is. Guess what, though? In the entirety of the series, he also includes BIPOC. Bianca Di Angelo, Nico Di Angelo, Charles Beckendorf, Ethan Nakamura, Grover Underwood, Reyna Avila Ramirez-Arellano, Carter Kane, Leo Valdez, Frank Zhang, AND MORE. So yes, while the main love interest for that may be a Y/N sort of fantasy, BIPOC characters also get just as much love and appreciation from this author. Later in the Magnus Chase series, Rick introduces a love interest named Alex Fierro. Alex is a Mexican, genderfluid, and formerly homeless teenager. Rick is none of those things, and yet many fans relate to and love Alex dearly.
fear is no excuse
If someone is afraid of misrepresenting a culture or group of people, all they have to do is do their own research and reach out for help. There are BIPOC editors who will help with that EXACT thing. Nobody will walk through every sentence with someone while editing, hoping it will help with the representation of BIPOC because they shouldn’t have to. It isn’t their job to do that.
When I was a kid, all I wanted to do was be like Rick Riordan. I wanted to create worlds full of color for all people to enjoy. Even if only five people read my work, I hope they feel represented. Even better, if one hundred people read my work and feel represented well!
BIPOC deserve the recognition they have never been given.