The subject of writing diverse characters, especially in science fiction, is circling the wagons like a vulture waiting to see it can unleash a great big dump before devouring its prey. Should white authors write nonwhite characters and should black authors only write their own? I find it asinine in this day and age. Have we not moved forward in all this time?
Well, science fiction is still pretty much an old white male game. But, that is only part of it. You see, I am a black female author who writes LGBT friendly science fiction with mostly non black characters. That is the trifecta of a whammy in this industry.
During a convention, I was confronted as being a traitor to my race because I did not have any black main characters in my novels. Apparently I should be writing Urban Fantasy or some deep, thought provoking literary piece. Here’s the thing; I can easily write about that. It is not much of a challenge for me. But learning other cultures and ethnic groups fascinates me. These fuel my muse.
Plus, Science fiction usually has aliens in them and they do not fall under the human categories for race. Last time I checked, we didn’t have any extra terrestrials camping out in our suburbs.
Why should it matter what ethnicity the is author? We are all writers of FICTION. That means we make stuff up. As long as the character is believable and not created out of ignorance or hate, everything is up for grabs. My hope is that one day this whole discussion will be put to bed for good and becomes a non issue.
So writers….Keep writing what you want. Show everyone the worlds only you can create.
I know I will.