multicultural characters

Mixed race character and feeling disconnected from your own culture

@the-galactic-republic asked:

So I’m writing a fantasy story in which one of the main characters is mixed race. She lives with her (white) mother in a setting based largely off of northern european culture, as that was where her mother lived and her parents met. Her father (presumably black,arab or indian equivalent) had travelled up to this area from the south (which is based more off northern africa or southern asia and the middle-east). As he was a traveller, he didn’t stay long, so no one really knows who he was.

Because of where she grew up, she connects more with the predominantly white culture of her homeland. However, she also recognises that she is culturally different to her peers and experiences discrimination. I was wondering how I could describe the connection she feels with her mother’s race but still keep the alienation she feels because of her father’s?

Alright, so this feels somewhat relatable to me, so I’m going to answer this from my own personal point of view. It doesn’t have to be the same for everyone.

First of all, it sounds like you have the absent black father trope in here. You can find more about this trope in our tags, but to put it shortly, it’s a harmful stereotype of Black people being bad parents who abandon their own children. We’d like to see that stereotype gone.

As to your character’s feelings for their culture and heritage. If she doesn’t know her father, meaning he hasn’t played a part in her upbringing, how is she culturally different? What other culture has entered her life and how? From your wording, it also seems like you’re confusing race and culture, while they’re not the same thing.

Growing up as a Black mixed race, non-white passing person in a predominantly white setting and culture, can really give one mixed feelings about their culture and belonging as well. Like growing up like the outcast amongst your own people and everyone knows it, but no one talks about it. Like sometimes forgetting you’re different until the micro-aggressions hit like a slap in the face. Like feeling an ever-present but passive disconnect from the only culture you really know, because even the cultures you’re connected with through family members doesn’t feel like it fits as best as you feel it should. It’s feeling part of your culture only when you’re with people outside of that culture, then completely losing your sense of belonging once you’re surrounded by people of your own. 

It’s getting weirded out by national pride. It’s internalized biases and always having to prove yourself. It’s days of completely rejecting your culture while others you force yourself between narrow lines and definitions just to feel a part of something. It’s using mocking humour and racist jokes just so you don’t have to hear them from others and seeming less threatening and “uppity”. 

It’s being the exotic other in your own home. It’s not always knowing what to think or feel. It’s being mistaken for a foreigner, while white foreigners are treated like family. It’s people, friends,as well as strangers being biased and discriminative, racist even right to your face because they think you’re cool with it. It’s being “one of them” so they can use you to excuse their xenophobic and racist ideas and opinions. It’s being called a “tropical beauty” but not suitable to bring home to their parents. It’s in so many little, but important things.

Describing a complicated and nuanced situation like that is extremely hard if you’re not doing it from experience, which is why we always advise stories like these to be written from within the community. “Outsiders” have little ways to really understand the fine parts of these sorts of experiences and can easily by mistake pepper their stories with tired stereotypes because they aren’t aware of them. These are often also pretty personal.

Assuming this will be a minor detail instead of part of the plot, you could describe your characters connection with their culture with nuanced and mixed feelings towards things related to their culture. Have them search for a sense of belonging, possibly struggling to find it. It’s hard to give any clear or pointed advice here, because of the nuance, complex and personal nature of this, so the only other thing I can say is ask appropriate beta-readers to find the appropriate reactions to specific situations in your story or leave the cultural (dis)connect out of your story and for someone who can write from experience.

~ Mod Alice

reasons why i love 13 reasons why

- the message itself
- the fact that teenagers roles are played by actors who aCTUALLY LOOK LIKE FUCKING TEENAGERS (and not, like in other shows, 24 yo models who are walking down the school hallways in louboutins and have perfect hair)
- the switches between past/present (including lighting changes and presence of Clay’s wound)
- the symbolic meaning of Clay’s wound (how it slowly heals, but opens up again every time when he is struggling mentally because of Hannah and/or what is happening in his life)
- the individuality of each character (there are no cliché cheerleader gang nor all that shit)
- the presence of lgbt characters and relationships without pointing them out as better/worse than others
- lots of multicultural characters & people of colour
- the fact that not only Hannah’s peers were responsible for what happened
- how all the pieces start to fit in, following each tape
- not only protagonist is important, but actually all the people around him/her, with their own backstories, motives and everyday problems
- music featuring in episodes
- real problems. of real people. (no supernatural shit nor boyfriends drama)
- the actual simplicity of the show (no unnecessary shit just for audience applause)

i haven’t posted original content on this blog for ages, but this has been stewing in my drafts basically all summer

guys i’d like you to meet fay, the protagonist of my friend @tom-early-author‘s series! he’s absolutely precious and works with ice magic, and is honestly one of my favourite characters ever. you can read about him in the first book of tom’s series, aspect of winter! the second book, the doorway god, will be out in november 2017 so please keep an eye out for that!

if you like magic, multicultural fantasy, lgbtq+ characters, and poc characters you should definitely check out tom’s book and give him some love! he’s one of the best writers i’ve read and he deserves so much more recognition for the work he’s done

4

i was prepping for the next class of 4th graders when one little girl comes in.  the first to arrive, she sets her books on the desk and scurries over to write the chapter topic on the board, which my coT usually lets her do.  as i’m walking by her desk, something catches my eye on a book she’s brought from the library.  is that … Oprah Winfrey?!  

i always see the kids with these Who? or Why? series books from our school library, but i’ve never seen one about a person of color before.  my kiddies hardly know anything about black folks let alone powerful, successful, and intelligent ones.  all they know is what they see on TV/in movies, what they have heard from other people [not necessarily good], and me.  i can’t speak to whether or not the book is factual or the info is well presented, but the fact that there is such a book made for kids in Korean let alone that she was interested enough to pick it up and read it means something to me.

i always knew i liked that girl ㅋㅋㅋㅋ

Teens “are hungry for good literature and it hurts me because we’re not offering them enough of what they need,” said Sharon Draper, author of award-winning books like “November Blues” and “Copper Sun.”

In 2014, the movement to publish more authors of color and write multicultural main characters remains slow and incremental.

This is not a new discussion: There has long been criticism about the lack of diversity in young adult literature, books written for readers ages 12 to 18. Experts and authors like Walter Dean Myers point back as early as 1965, when educator Nancy Larrick stirred the conversation with an article entitled “The All-White World of Children’s Books.”

—  “ Where’s the African-American Harry Potter or the Mexican Katniss?” by Ashley Strickland at cnn.com.
Representation in Arkadia

One of the things I like in the power struggle narrative in Arkadia, is that it is really taking place between men of color.

We have Pike, a black man, who offers his brutal, ‘there are no good grounders’ leadership

We have Kane, a latino (Peruvian/Scottish), who offers his moderate philosophy of diplomacy and cooperation.

We have Lincoln, a black man, who presents himself as “the good grounder” and a reminder that The Other is actually still human, and a part of Arkadia

We have Bellamy, a mixed Filipino, whose soul the other characters are kind of fighting for. What Bellamy decides to do will be the direction that Arkadia goes. He may not be the Chancellor, but he is the heart of Arkadia, and both Pike and Kane know it. 

We have Miller, a black man, who is again acting as lieutenant, and working below the surface. 

And we have Jaha, a black man, who, while not explicitly involved in the struggle for power in Arkadia, is engaged in his own revolution under the very eyes of those who don’t believe in his power. And is the most dangerous right now.

(I’m leaving Abby and Raven out of this, because so far they don’t seem to be taking a leadership role in this.)

I think this is amazing. When do we get a story line that is almost completely guided by POC? Where Men of color get to tell all sides of the story, outside of shows created explicitly for a black audience?

For a show that I just saw called “the most racist show on tv,” I think that’s pretty damn good. I’m still not so sure what exactly is so racist about having the majority of your main characters be people of color. Yeah, they go through a lot of struggle. It’s because they have the best story lines. They are what drives the plot of this story forward. Without them, there would be no story.

And yet… there is nothing about their characters that HAS to be POC. The show could easily have hired white actors to play all the major roles and just hired a few POC to “represent” The Black Man. The Asian Guy. The Latino. 

I mean, Raven has attitude and she’s gorgeous, but she’s not the Spicy Hot Latina Coochi Coochi, for which I, @rosymamacita, am eternally thankful.

I am thrilled with the representation of POC and other minorities on this show. Thrilled. I have waited decades for TV and movies to actually represent the kind of multicultural life that I have experienced in the real world. DECADES. Maybe some people don’t remember what TV used to be like for representation of minorities, but I do. TV is finally changing, and it makes us all better. 

OUAT Thoughts: Why I Don’t Think Neal is the One Who’s Going to Bite the Dust.

The OUAT fandom is in a buzz ever since the spoiler bomb dropped on us that one of the main characters of the show will get axed (saved Rumple) for REAL. Many folks say that it’s Neal, because he’s the least popular of the core characters. But I balked at that response and thought excuse me? When did this become Once Upon a Popularity Contest???

In short…no I don’t think its Neal. It just doesn’t make logical sense from a storytelling standpoint. Here’s why…

1. Been There Done That…

Top on my list of reasons is…He just freakin “died” at the end of season 2 already! His supposed “death” threw everyone in tumultuous turmoil for 7 episodes. We’ve explored the effect it had with all of the characters from his supposed “death”. To have him die again would cheapen what we’ve already seen the characters go through and be pretty redundant to say the least. What effect would his second death bring really, other than stupid shock factor? There’s nothing new to add that would fuel new character developments for those who would be effected by it.

2. The Original Character…

Neal is one of the core reasons for the show’s existence in the first place. Nealfire’s character is always involved with the story/plots/character motivations from the beginning. The curse being form AND broken? Neal had a part in it. The trip to Neverland? Neal had knowledge on it. Family ties with 3 of the main characters? Yep Neal is already interwoven with Emma, Rumple, and Henry hence interwoven with all of the core characters by blood relations. Point of fact is Neal/Bealfire is an original character that can be used in any plot because of his strong connections with multiple characters and multiple worlds.

3. Unresolved Issues…

There are still many unresolved issues involving Neal and Emma, Henry, Rumple, and his past. Sure you can say he reconciled with his father already, so no more storytelling there. I say no! There’s still a wealth of story to be told between him and Rumple and their complex relationship over 300 years. Same goes for Emma, Henry, Darlings, Tink, Hook, etc… As well as the rest of the group. His familial ties are strong. We still haven’t tapped into his own backstory that revolved solely on him and no other character. “Tallahasse” was an Emma backstory, “Second Star” and “Straight onto Morning” was more Hook centric, “Nasty Habits” was technically a Rumple centric backstory. We’ve yet to see Neal’s perspective in things. And I’m still hoping they explore that.

4. He’s Multicultural…

His character can weave in and out of multiple story-lines, since he has connections to our world, Enchanted Forest, and Neverland. He has a wealth of knowledge on multiple worlds and can easily adapt to both modern and fairytale world so that audience can follow and relate to. He can explain magical things that modern audiences won’t understand and vice versa. He’s multi-cultural this guy!

5. “Believe in Second Chances”

His promo poster specifically titles “Believe in Second Chances” I can’t believe they would put this on his character promo and then have him killed off, just like that. What kind of second chance is that if he’s killed off??? That would suck in my opinion and it just doesn’t make any sense. I doubt they have time to tell all of my points above along with other character plots going on in just 10 episodes of the second half of the season.’

Final Thoughts…

Honestly if they do kill off Neal I would be severely disappointed and say thank you writers for killing the hope in me. For killing off the one selfless character that went through so much pain and suffering for 300 years only to die, when he has sacrificed enough in his life. What kind of message does that send across? Neal embodies hope, faith, belief, love, and family. To kill Neal would be to kill the core reasons that you’ve been preaching to us since season 1.

If that happens, then moral of the story is, villains that commit enough crimes to get them the death sentence walks away scott free, barely saying so much as a sorry to the people they’ve hurt, get a second chance at life, love and redemption. And the good guys who’ve saved, sacrificed, and were victimized all their lives, get the short end of the stick. As Regina says “See what good gets you?” I’d say bull-crap on that. If it was a show like “Game of Thrones” I would buy it, but it’s not. It’s Once Upon a Time, a show about fairytale characters, a show that is based on stories with happy endings. Where you hope that doing the right thing will get you rewarded in the end.

All GIFs are not mine, if you see yours, feel free to let me know and I’ll credit you.

-Lunatiger