Can we really represent diverse characters correctly?

Thank You!.png

Lets talk about you and me, lets talk about di-ver-sity… 

The past few years have been HUGE when it comes to talk about diversity in books and how important it is. Which is something I believe is important. I think it’s awesome that more nonwhite authors are emerging with nonwhite characters.  However, many authors have been criticized for not including diverse characters… One that really sticks out is Sarah J. Maas and her Throne of Glass series. Many people were furious that she didn’t include diverse characters. People constantly told her on twitter that she had tons opportunities to do so.

Which leads me to my next thing with Veronica Roth, who attempted to include diverse characters and then got backlashed for being racist.  You’re damned if you do and damned if you don’t. 

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How can you write a character 100% correctly if you don’t know what it feels like to be ridiculed for you race or religion or sexual preference? How can you describe what that feels like if you, yourself, never actually experienced it?

Honestly, I don’t think it matters how much research you do. Your character will never be 100% accurate. One description about a character may seem completely accurate to you whereas someone else with a different experience sees that same description as racist or poorly done.

I guess what I’m trying to say, let’s try to be happy that authors are now currently trying to include diversity in their books. And do try to understand that because something seems like poor representation to you don’t mean it does for everyone. But it if honest to god is a terrible representation, talk about. Explain why it is instead of bashing the person that wrote the store or the character. Maybe they honest to god didn’t know.

Thoughts? Options? I feel like this post is all over the place.

4 thoughts on “Can we really represent diverse characters correctly?

  1. Yes it is possible for a white author to properly portray people of color in their books. In fact, it’s really not that hard to do. Avoiding harmful tropes and stereotypes shouldn’t be a challenge.

    Veronica Roth’s portrayal in Carve the Mark is racist because she chose to make a fair skinned race vs a dark skinned race and the dark skinned race was described as savages. She herself even acknowledge that it’s a harmful trope but used it anyway. Therefore, she really had no excuse

    A good example of this is Small Great Things by Jodi Picoult. Her main character is a black woman and she did it right. Granted the book itself is about racism, she’s included POC in her other books and it’s never been a bad portrayal.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Thank you this post was helpful for me!!! because I’m undertaking research on diversity in books for school. I find this topic so tricky because it is kind of win or lose trope. I’m thinking of doing a similar post on my blog soon.

    Like

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