White Authors – Fill Your Stories With People Of Color, But Don’t Make Them Your Protagonists

This is a letter for the well-meaning white authors who are considering including people of color in their stories.

If you are a white author who is serious and passionate about writing ethnically diverse characters into your work, please tread carefully. And please refrain from making your protagonists people of color.

I know, you’re probably groaning and thinking “damned if I do, damned if I don’t.”

Yes, it is a fine and tricky line to walk, but white authors should tread carefully, do lots of research, and must have good and honest intentions if they want their work to be taken seriously by people of color. That all goes without saying.

Now, I do want to clarify that my points are aimed specifically at middle-class, white authors who possess both earned and unearned privilege. At the very least, we can all agree that white, straight, cis-gendered authors from middle-class backgrounds (aka the group most likely to get published) have advantages in the publishing industry that people of color don’t — such as dominating the entire industry.

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