I’ve never really thought of race as important. Not that it isn’t, It was just never a concern in my mind.
I grew up in Jamaica where I was surrounded by people of African descent. So race was never a consideration. I remember the first time I met a Caucasian white girl. She instantly became the most popular girl in our school. Then coming to America, it was often confusing as to why race was of such huge consideration. Why was it that couples were mostly either black or white; never interracial? I remember having white friends and being chided by other black kids. In addition, I spoke proper English and was made fun of as speaking white. At that time I had absolutely no idea how to respond. 15 years old and I was being taught that we are not like them.
I’ve worked with interns from multiple countries and I remember one asking me, “why are Americans so hung up on race?” The answer to which I am a bit ignorant.
This post is not meant to bring offense, yet I want you to know where I am coming from when I ask this question.
It never quite sunk in, irrespective of the American history lessons, why race was so important. I remember the editor of my first book, do you think your mother would like me asked me the question why is your main character Spanish. And for me the answer was quite simple, the setting is in Florida, there are a ton of Spanish people in Florida.
Now that I’m about to start a new book, the question weighs on me. What race should I make my new main character? Does my new character really need to be black in order for me to have a black audience? What about interracial love interests. I want to know your opinion. Please leave it in the comment section below. Thank you.
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