Writing Racism as it Affects a Character of Color


Hello, dear mods. (thank you for running this btw). I’ve an awkward question, cause I read Black Art Is Not A Free For All by Nadijah Robinson. It mostly makes sense to me, because white people do treat POC, especially black people, very shittily while taking their cultures and not giving credit. But I’m also unclear about the boundaries. I have been writing a book where one of the protagonists is black and racism affects her life very much, but I feel hypocritical writing it A. being white and B. not being as active in Ferguson protests as I could be. Basically, I feel like writing about the experience and struggles of a Black character would be appropriating experiences that aren’t mine (and, if people actually read this, benefiting from them). Thank you for taking the time to answer.

I haven’t read the mentioned piece, but It’s not co-opting or appropriating as long as you’re not somehow making this Black character’s experiences about you, White people, or write in a way that caters to the White Gaze and serves to make them comfortable over telling her honest story.

I’ve discussed writing from the perspective of a character of color, particularly a Black woman, as a non-Black person in “Writing ‘Authentic’ Characters of Color in First Person POV.” 

And what I said there applies, so I won’t be repetitive here, but I will quote this:

Not being x and x has hardly stopped authors from writing about people and places unlike them since forever; most folks probably don’t understand from personal experience how it is to be a young teen who leads a revolution, or what it’s like to wield magical powers, or be a different gender, etc. but somehow people write about these characters, in first person nonetheless.

I also encourage there to do your research and to keep in mind you’re writing a human, someone who is not so different from you when it comes down to it. (read the whole post; I’m sure it’ll help).

As for writing the racism in itself. I’m not sure what time period or region this is, either way, don’t forget she should have a life and avoid making her a tragic prop sweltering under the heat of racism and oppression at every corner. Give her an arc and if adventure is to be had, don’t leave her out! Racism affects people’s lives but isn’t their lives so I’d be nice to see her have layers and goals too even while struggling with racism. 

And if we’re talking everyday racism (and levels vary by region, current events that may add tension to said regions, how the world perceives her, socioeconomic status etc) racism isn’t always so blunt as someone blurting the n word. It comes in the insidious forms of systemic oppression and micro-aggressions a whole lot of the time more than the loud and clear.

Another note: On “not being as active in Ferguson protests as I could be.” It’s not a matter of whether you’re physically able to be involved in protests for Ferguson or any rallies for Black lives. That doesn’t even sum up all that affects us. What this is a matter of, in your case, is having an understanding of the subjects that affect Black people, particularly in the location you’re writing of (Black British people have some differing experiences from African Americans for example).

You can’t write a story about these issues if you’re not aware of said issues or don’t have the commitment or empathy to write them properly. Protests like Ferguson are not about isolated issues of one Black person slain here and there, it’s about the trend of Black people being murdered by police every 28 hours, how we’re essentially hounded and targeted by the police, made to feel afraid and guilty by default and are even taught how to act so as not to end up wrongfully accused, jailed or killed, it’s fearing you or your brother may be next.

So do your research, understand the issues that might affect her, but don’t just make her a prop who only has a plot connected to dealing with racism in contrast to everyone else who do not.

~Mod Colette

One of the executives of the Big Corp™ that I design for has taken an uncanny liking to me over the past two months that I’ve been working here and she is so stomach-quiveringly intimidating? She’s like a corporate dominatrix in her mid-30s; loud, foul-mouthed and conventionally attractive with all the trappings of wealth—

She’ll pull me along on joy rides and share personal tidbits about her life and being in a close space with her for 40 minutes leaves me strangely enlightened and drained, like being in the company of a vampire. I don’t know how I’ve navigated this so successfully but I feel so “?” as I find myself in these increasingly personal situations with this pale-eyed capitalist.

banananammi asked:

hey hey what hogwarts house do you feel the senshi would be in? feel free to write a long rant if you want to

I’ve answered this before, but heck if I can find it, so let’s go!

Usagi- Hufflepuff. Though she can be brave, it wasn’t in her nature to be about the guts and glory. But nobody believes in fairness and loyalty harder than Usagi Tsukino.

Ami- Ravenclaw. She’s very passionate about using knowledge to better the world. You could make an argument for Hufflepuff though.

Rei- You could make an argument for Slytherin with how many ambitions her anime self has, but I have to come down pretty strongly on Gryffindor. Her courage, her passionate commitment to her ideals and her showiness are huge parts of who she is. This is the girl who responds to an obvious trap with GOOD LET’S GO YEAH. Nothing is more Gryffindor.

Mako- There is nobody on the planet who is more Gryffindor there just can’t be another house for her, it’s impossible. She’s the Sailor Senshi of Courage. No brainer.

Minako- Slytherin. Minako is ambitious, that cannot be denied. She likes attention, she likes being on top. In the manga can plow right through peeps to get her ambitions. She’s also got a ruthless streak. Don’t screw with this girl.

Mamoru- Not a Senshi, but I gotta note that this guy is in Gryffindor. Mr. Chilvary and Nobility himself

Chibiusa- Takes more after her dad in house placement. Chibs tends to get carried away in anger and righteousness and she runs into danger very impulsively and is kinda always looking to get her hit in during a fight. That reads very Gryff to me.

Haruka- SUCH a melodramatic Gryffindor desperately pretending to be a Slytherin, oh my god. Like seriously, look at her and her pure devotion to her ideals and bullheaded stubborness and tendency to run so headfirst into danger so she gets her ass kicked. OH AND SHE ABSOLUTELY LOVES TO DO THE THING WHERE SHE GOES OFF ALONE TO FACE THE EVIL AND DOESN’T TELL ANYONE, the latest musical drove that in for me. No wonder she and Mako fight so much, they’re trying to out Gryffindor each other.

Michiru- is sort of difficult! I’d place her in either Ravenclaw- She interrupted a monster to critique his art style,  and she’s so methodical and she’s got a competitive streak that I feel Ravenclaws typically have. But then, she’s also a good fit for Slytherin as she’s super cunning and if her ambition is “saving Haruka/the world (secondarily)…you can’t say she doesn’t go after that with all her might. So she can go either way. EVER ENIGMATIC MICHIRU.

Setsuna- Hufflepuff. Her defining quality is her loyalty and duty and she’s also incredibly nurturing. 

Hotaru- Also Hufflepuff! She’s not really the guts and glory type, but she is very loyal and believes so hard in the people she cares about. 


replied to your



april fühl’s

Im pissing myself tbh “Fühl’s” is not a real word, “Gefühl” would be the feeling and “fühlen” would be to feel c: and april stays exactly the same u v u But still i laughed so hard idk why i just cAN’T STOP LAUGHING

yeah, “fühlen” = to feel, “fühl’s” = feel it.  it still doesn’t make sense in context but it is a word!  I wasn’t trying to make “feels” in german or anything.

I need more body positivity in my life, eating disorders have left me to feel worthless and so have past loves. I want to prove to them that I can be okay with my body and that I dont need to be ashamed of the hair I grow or the occasional roll I get when I sit down. Ive learned that your body is yours and you can be capable of loving it no matter what shape or size you are. Love your body, because its yours no one elses.

i dont know how i identify anymore, bisexual sounds like a lie, i am a tiny bit sexually attracted to men but i wish i wasnt bc of how sad an uncomfortable they make me, i just want to be gay but ive always had a hard time identifying as fully lesbian and the thought of having to come out to everyone again as fully gay is terrifying but lol i probably am, what do i do when i dont feel either group would accept me