So there’s a thread over at Goodreads on the IR Fan board (The most misnamed group on Goodreads) where the poster laments the lack of response from readers on the Kristen Ashley board to her request that the author write a black heroine. I haven’t read Kristen Ashley before, but given that another commenter had another thread questioning whether she should stop reading the author because of the way she stereotypes black women, I think it’s a strange request.
Apparently this need to have “mainstream = white” authors writing IR books is a major issue, so I have to ask the burning question, Why? I don’t post on this particular group, or really any group on Goodreads, anymore because of this shitshow. So I thought I’d bring it to my blog.
My experience with white authors writing black characters as been mostly negative. Even some authors I really like, like Patricia Briggs, have some major issues with her non-white characters. I stopped reading SEP because of her portrayal of black people in her football series. Yet, we constantly hear lamentations from readers that they want white authors to include more POC. I understand this from white people, it makes sense that they would want white authors as that’s more to their comfort zone. I stopped fighting that battle long ago. I find it troubling though, that apparently black readers seem to prefer it as well. We’ve all heard the tales of black authors at conventions where nobody, not even the black readers come over to have their books signed.
And even when someone on that thread commented that perhaps readers should simply support the writers who DO want to write black characters, the naysayers arose. No, they can’t let writers get away with that. They must be compelled to write POC even if they don’t want to. Even if they’ve said outright that they don’t think their readers will buy the books. Even if they say they don’t feel up to writing those characters. Am I the only one who sees the crazy in this notion? We, black authors (for the most part) have created this genre from nothing. Nourished it. Nurtured it and brought it along for more than a decade now. But somehow it will only be legitimate when white authors start writing it. Then we will have arrived. Apparently those people over at Dear Author are right, we need white authors to “save” multicultural romance.