Dear Author

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I've been reading books since forever. I've always been an avid reader since I was little and have come to love books a lot. Not only that but as time has gone on, I've become more aware and into social justice and representation/diversity in media.  And you know I've realized that the book world still isn't as diverse as it should be. I mean there are a ton of more non-white authors on the market and a lot more non-white characters in existence. However, it's not as diverse as the book world should be and there are some major flaws in it. I mean there are so many popular books out there that are touted as being 'so good' and 'must reads' but are so racist. And to be honest it's the fault of the author. And I'm getting tired of it. I deserve better and I know it. I shouldn't have to contend with charters that are based on racist tropes or having that one token black character. So I'm going straight to the source and speaking to the authors.

Dear Author,
Please, please,write more black characters. Please write black girls wielding swords and fighting for kingdoms. Write black mages who wield so much power they don't know what to do with. Write mermaids, elves, fairies, and make them black and proud of it. Write me a black girl who is meek and shy and powerful who falls for a pretty boy and doesn't know how to balance the power of her being the chosen one with normal teenage things. I want black shapeshifters, and black angels and black assassins. I want black steampunk heroes who twirl cogs into their hair and are the mastermind behind taking down their corrupt society. I want space captains who are black and are juggling the moral issues of conquering and enslaving another sentient race and their sense of duty.  I want black characters with the same backgrounds and depth that their white counterparts get. Please write more of us in your books.

Dear Author,
 Stop making black token characters and stop making us into the ugly racist tropes that have existed for years. I wanted a black magician not a magical negro. I wanted a strong and powerful black woman, not a freaking angry black female whose whole purpose is to be angry and black. I want a wisecracking and intelligent no-nonsense black lady, not a sassy black friend. Stop writing street wise black thieves, villains, assassins, bodyguards,and warriors and calling them thugs. Stop writing us as if we aren't real and have the capacity for complexity your white characters do. Just because they are black doesn't mean they can't be well rounded characters. If you can't write us and write us in a way that doesn't rely on racist stereotypes and tropes then you aren't a good writer, no ifs , ands or buts about it.

Dear Author,
 Stop creating characters who are coded as black  but say 'they don't have a race. My story doesn't involve race'. You are bsing yourself and doing the most to be seen as a racist author. If they were in a real life, modern day AU (alternate universe) would they be black/considered as black? What about fan casting? Are you going to fan cast them as a white actor/actress or are you going to go with a person who actually resembles your character? Are you going to pull a hunger games and pick someone who looks nothing (nothing!) like what your character is said to look like? Your character regardless of whether or not race exists in your world can have a race. They can be black, they can be white, they can be whatever you want them to be. You just have to take time out and think about it. There is nothing wrong with being black, you realize this yes? So why won't you let your character be black?

Dear Author,
 Stop putting white characters into a mystical nonwhite world in which some greater and culturally significant power choose them as their chosen one. For some reason y'all love this trope and I don't understand why? Can't y'all do your white savior thing somewhere else? Also, does this make sense? Why would a powerful nonwhite god,goddess, or some higher power that has major cultural significance pick your super white character as their chosen one? This god has millions of people to pick from why would they single out your character as the only ultimate chosen one? Especially considering that at one point in time your white character's ancestors probably had a hell of a lot to do with the colonization and imperialism of their country and destruction/appropriation of their culture. Not to be that person but as a goddess it would make zero sense for me to choose my champion as some random white girl half way across the world who has no connection to my people, no connection to my culture, whose people have most likely contributed to some form of destruction of my culture and the land I deem holy? Why not one of my people who know and revere me? Or hey why not one of my people who doesn't revere me but is willing to help me because they understand my significance within their culture? Damn why not my people who are affected by the diaspora who literally want to find a connection to their culture and their people but don't know how or where to start? We could have a symbiotic relationship in which I teach them and help them understand their culture and they help me do my magical and powerful business? I have a smorgasbord of people to choose from who are of my culture and are probably connected to it in more ways than one. So again, why choose the white girl who isn't connected to my culture? #JustSayin

Dear Author who Writes Historical Fiction,
Black people existed in Victorian, Elizabethan, etc times. We were right there, whether we wanted to be there or not. So please stop acting like your periodical drama set in a certain time can't have black people in it. It is less historically accurate if you have all white people there.  But don't make us a throwaway character or a token character.

Dear Author,
 Please think of your audience. I have struggled for a long time with finding characters who look like me. Characters who I can pick who are me. I said last week that I was a major fan of Rory from The Bloodless Assassin by Celine JeanJean because honestly a lot of it has to do with the fact that I connect and identify with her. She has hair that naturally locks up into her ropelike hair (I have feelings about the term ropelike...but regardless of that, her hair registers as dreadlocks) and she's brown. Those things make me think of her as a black girl and honestly reading about her made me want to cry. Just like the way that reading about Rhis from Assassin's Charge and the way that Sara Fairchild from Blades of Magic made me want to cry. I don't get characters often that I identify with and love. Just having one feels like an achievement and a little nod of the head that someone in the fiction/fantasy/genre is looking out for me.

Dear Author,
Stop writing about the black experience if you aren't black. You don't understand it. You never will and in the process you are probably making a ton of egregious errors that are borderline racist or respectability politics or some other social issue that you don't even realize you are making. You can write characters who are black but don't write as if you are black. There's a difference and it's as plain as day. Also your use of AAVE or whatever "slang" you think you are using is wrong and it's at least 10 years out of date and not contextually correct. You are embarrassing yourself and giving me intense second hand embarrassment. Please stop that.

 Dear Author,
Don't pull a J.K Rowling and say so and so is a non-white character as if it's an afterthought. I see through your stable of horse manure and I know exactly what you did. I will not take that and accept it. I don't want your throwaway minor characters who have only one mention in your novels.  I deserve more than that.

Do you have any books with diverse leads? Do you have any diversity related wishes authors just don't do? Tell me some of your favorite books where the lead character isn't white? 

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