Homework for White Folks

Last week the lovely Moonrat posted on what kinds of stories it's okay for writers to tell. We followed the comments with great interest, and noticed a fairly significant presence of white writers interested in/wondering how to write characters of color. Well! We have VERY STRONG opinions on this subject (us? strong opinions? who would have guessed?!?!?!) but! we're not going to share them!

Or, not exactly. What we ARE going to do is direct you to a number of fabulous posts by writers of color on this VERY TOPIC. First, the amazing and wildly brilliant writer Nisi Shawl on Transracial Writing for the Sincere. Second, the equally amazing Neesha Meminger on Writing Characters of Color. Here is the very fantastic Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie on the dangers of a single story. There are more excellent links in this interview with debut author Olugbemisola Rhuday-Perkovich at Reading in Color (scroll down for the links, but the interview is great too).

Finally, may we also direct your attention to Justine Larbalestier, a white YA author who writes characters of color, on the advantages white writers writing about characters of color have that people of color writing those same characters do not.

As ever, fellow white folks, DO YOUR HOMEWORK. A great place to start is by reading MORE BOOKS BY PEOPLE OF COLOR. And also by hanging out on the many excellent blogs by writers of color, including supreme genius/interview alumnus Carleen Brice and the very smart ladies over at Color Online.

UPDATE: Please also check out this excellent post and the ensuing conversation in the comments. The entire conversation is amazing but there's a discussion about halfway down that focuses on this topic in particular. Thanks to Neesha Meminger for the link.