Racial Representation Requests

Home Forums Critique Central Sci-Fi/Fantasy Racial Representation Requests

This topic contains 3 replies, has 3 voices, and was last updated by  DM 1 month ago.

  • Author
    Posts
  • #347002

    Kriti singh
    Participant

    Hi guys! I had a question about using racial representation in my fantasy novel. I really want to be inclusive and include aspects of representation that people of color have been wanting to see particularly in fantasy literature. My main character is biracial (her mother is black and her father is east asian: it’s a fantasy world so I can’t specify countries just going by appearances here). I have another main character who is Native American, specifically based off of the pequot/algonquin tribe. Are there any stereotypes I should avoid? Things I should include? Any suggestions for creative ways to incorporate these cultures in a fantasy setting without the whole fetishizing/stereotyping thing detracting from the story? I feel very passionately about being inclusive but as a white woman, I don’t feel like I can accurately represent other cultures without a little help 🙂 Thank you so much guys! I appreciate any and all criticism and feedback.

  • #656028

    Anonymous

    My personal feeling is that the “culture” of any particular race is not important to the story unless it’s important to that particular character. If it’s important to the character, then I would suggest you look for groups that celebrate their culture (or work to educate the public about their culture) and talk to them. If it’s not important to the character, that in itself becomes an aspect of the character you can explore.

    Another thing to bear in mind is the huuuuuge world “culture” entails. Your MC for example – two “cultures” that are actually hundreds of cultures. A black American would have a “set” of possible cultures that are different from a Haitian, for example. Her father – Cambodians have a much different cultural background from Vietnamese. Even though Native Americans share a broad cultural history, each nation has different customs. So that’s going to be the big issue for being inclusive – you have to decide on those details, and then learn from the “real McCoy” (see my first comment).

  • #656029

    Kriti singh
    Participant

    ostarella wrote:
    > My personal feeling is that the “culture” of any particular race
    > is not important to the story unless it’s important to that particular
    > character. If it’s important to the character, then I would suggest you
    > look for groups that celebrate their culture (or work to educate the public
    > about their culture) and talk to them. If it’s not important to the
    > character, that in itself becomes an aspect of the character you can
    > explore.
    >
    > Another thing to bear in mind is the huuuuuge world “culture”
    > entails. Your MC for example – two “cultures” that are actually
    > hundreds of cultures. A black American would have a “set” of
    > possible cultures that are different from a Haitian, for example. Her
    > father – Cambodians have a much different cultural background from
    > Vietnamese. Even though Native Americans share a broad cultural history,
    > each nation has different customs. So that’s going to be the big issue for
    > being inclusive – you have to decide on those details, and then learn from
    > the “real McCoy” (see my first comment).

    Thanks so much! Yeah perhaps I should be more specific that might be better. Thank you for your feedback I’ve really taken it to heart!

  • #656030

    DM
    Participant

    In a fantasy setting without real life peoples and nations, I think it’s somewhat easier to be inclusive in a ‘sensitive’ manner because you can always make up your own cultures, nations and people. Whether you base these on real life examples and to what extent is your choice, though obviously the closer you make something to it’s supposed real life equivalent, the more care should probably be taken in to determining how it operates (though that could be true of anything, not just people). Otherwise, as ostarella said it depends on whether the cultural aspect is important to the story/character. If not, I would personally just describe their appearance (tactfully :p) just as I would any other character.
    Hope that helps!

You must be logged in to reply to this topic.