The Truth About Diversity and my Writing (part 1)

black and white student clasping hands

black and white student clasping hands (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Seeing that this is Black History Month, I’m going to take some time out to talk about diversity in my writings.

Ever since the controversial blog post “Hey Claire, Why U No Feature Black People in Your Stories?” (and its responses) appeared on The Write Stuff on January 16, 2012, there has been a huge stream of issues stemming from the racial ethnicity of the characters in any story. I myself could care less about which character is black or white, just whether or not the character can carry the story.

But the reason why this article is being written is because there are scores of people crying foul because they perceive the main characters of many stories to be White. This seems to be nothing more than a ploy to degrade people and make them angry and hateful. I have a solution to end this useless ideal, yet it took me a very long time to reach that conclusion.

Let’s go back to the beginning, shall we?

I will say that yes, there have been Black people in my stories, but I do not like to make a big deal out of the character’s race and ethnicity. That reason is because of another blog post, in which I advise people to avoid cliches when talking about a character’s race.

There have been a history of Black characters in my stories and so far, none of my Black characters are interested in rap, R&B, and hip-hop. They care nothing for the news about any Black celebrities, and you certainly won’t be finding them living in any rundown houses in rundown neighborhoods.

For a long time, I did have an inner conflict with that part of me, or at least until I realized that it did not matter what the race of the main character was, just as long as they can carry the story.

And in realizing that, I was now free to build up stories that featured people of all races, but added a rule of thumb: be sure to describe the character’s ethnicity once and only once, preferably when describing the character. Then don’t do it anymore for the rest of the story.

That rule of thumb has dressed me from those unnecessary restrictions that I have placed upon myself and also, why would you want to care about their race when you have other things to worry about?

Well, You could tell by these snippets that I have struggled with creating characters in my stories for a very long time until I came to that inevitable conclusion. I needed to quit worrying about the ethnicity of the characters and just create the story. Plus, we really need to quit worrying about racism and instead, embrace others who who they are and not what they are.

So there’s that.

And yes, you’re welcome to buy my book Harry Moffer & the Dumbest Story Ever on Amazon.com.

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