Sunday, January 16, 2011
DIVERSE BOOKS WHERE RACE IS NOT AN ISSUE
It wasn’t until recently that I realized what the meaning of POC (person of color) meant. I admit it, I’ve been hiding away writing, creating my imaginary worlds without any thought about the type of Author I would be considered.
I create worlds in my books where race really isn’t an issue. The worlds I create are much like the one I have lived in for most of my life. I grew up in Washington , DC . I was the product of a bi-racial mother and a family that consisted of African Americans, American Indians, Cubans, and Caucasians. Now the majority of my family was African American, but I was always engulfed and attracted to the diversity of living in a city that crammed every one of all races together.
When I started to write my books, I just depicted all of the different races of kids that I had played with or that my own kids befriended throughout my life. In that I realize that I have been lucky. Also, I may add, my husband is bi-racial, so maybe, just maybe, my main character in this book was created from the influence he has in my imagination.
In EXPLORER X – ALPHA my MG novel, the main character Aadi is bi-racial and there is Scott who is African American and Raiko who is Asian. Truth be told, I didn’t plan it that way at all. My characters are created in my imagination just as they are, and I don’t plan how they look.
Creating these diverse characters in a Science Fiction novel is the best experience ever for me. Science Fiction allows me to break through boundaries and create a world uniquely my own. I twist and shape these worlds based on the foundation that I have in my reality.
In all of my books I tend to spice it up with diversity. I mean hey, I live in a culturally diverse area so why not share our beautiful differences in the stories I create. The kids look past physical characteristics and band together to fight against a larger foe.
I write diverse characters, and place them in situations where race is probably the furthest things from their minds. Usually in situations of life and death, people easily mend their differences.
Lastly, as a POC author, I wanted to write something that my kids and their friends could identify with, and learn from. I believe that my exposure to different cultures naturally reveals itself in my writing, and I hope my readers enjoy the experience of getting to know my characters.
So I ask that you check out some diverse characters in your reading. Some books I liked in YA were:
Sherri L. Smith author of Fly Girl, Click here
Cindy Pon is the author of Silver Phoenix, click here
Malinda Lo the author of ASH, click here
These are just a few. Do you have some to share with us?