Anonymous asked in Arts & HumanitiesBooks & Authors · 1 month ago

Why do black authors sometimes only write stories about white people?

Disclaimer: I don’t hate it and I know it’s probably because it makes more money and these authors are amazing writers. 

I just want to know why they wouldn’t publish any books about black characters at all (literally there aren’t even any side characters that black). Is it their publishing company? What is it?

I’m really curious because I want to write and I want to have a diverse set of character but I see that many amazing/ highly rated authors shy away from this.


Hey all, thank you for the blunt replies. I was not hinting that a story is less valuable or changes depending on the character, I agree that authors have the privilege to write as they please. I was simply looking for inspiration for my own writing but I hardly ever find stories I like that are diverse or have strong POC characters. Every time I read a book, I just get a bit lonesome when I only see stereotypical characters of POC. I will read more, and hopefully, find some more great books.

4 Answers

  • 1 month ago
    Favourite answer

    Do please make up your mind about this terrible crime. Do they do it 'sometimes' or 'only'? It can't be both.

    Actually I don't see a problem either way. If a black or white writer wants to write about ONLY white or black characters, it's their privilege. Similarly if they SOMETIMES want to write about characters of a different colour, why would I want to stop them?

    A writer writes the story they want to tell. The only thing that concerns me as a reader is how well they've told that story. I don't give a hoot whether a black writer writes about black, white, pink or tartan people, just as I don't care whether a white, yellow, pink or green writer writes about characters representing every colour of the rainbow.

    Let them tell a good story: that is ALL that matters.

    You say that many writers "shy away" - how do you know? They are far more likely to have actively chosen these particular characters, than to have "shied away" from others.

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  • Zac Z
    Lv 7
    1 month ago

    Now, I should preface my response by saying that I'm from Europe where racial tensions aren't nearly as high as in the US but I would say that skin color isn't the all-defining characteristic of a person (or it shouldn't be).

    I could read a story entirely oblivious to the color of skin, hair or sweater of the protagonist without this having an impact on the story.

    It's kind of sad to think that black writers only should write black protagonists in their stories as if black people were somehow essentially different from people whose pigmentation is less pronounced. Black people are exactly the same as non-black people in almost every respect except for some very obvious physiological features - and the reaction of society to them or the conditions that a given society presents them with. Which is not the fault of "black people" but the society in question.

    Let's say, we're reading an adventure story, a thriller, a romance, a science fiction novel - I would say that in most cases the pigmentation of the protagonist has really no impact on the story.

    I don't see why black writer shouldn't include non-black people in their stories

    Honestly, as a man I think that writing from the perspective of a woman is much more of a challenge than of a person looking differently from me.

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  • Andrew
    Lv 7
    1 month ago

    "Sometimes only"? 

    It can ONLY be hoped that you don't plan to write in English. 

  • 1 month ago

    Can you give some examples?

    My first thought was that they're writing about the culture they're the most familiar with, regardless of skin colour.

    Depending on genre, then yes, it might also have something to do with what sells and what doesn't sell. Their publishing company demanding that their characters be white would be my last guess.

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