Congratulations, you’re writing a story with a diverse set of characters. This is a great thing and needs to be supported. A fear of political correctness mustn’t stop writers from creating characters from other races, religions or walks of life. Writing from beyond your own experience takes a little bit more thought and work, but that’s our job, right?
The first step to writing non-white characters is understanding the mistakes of the past. So here’s my checklist for avoiding the most common black character stereotypes:
- Angry Black Woman/man: This character is often angry for no reason and there for comic effect. We get the pursed lipped, finger clicking, head wobbling ‘sassy’ black woman, who bursts into the scene and then disappears after we’ve finished laughing. The haranguing wife/mother/grandmother all feature. Then the black man is the loud, swearing, angry figure, who may seem violent and threatening. The angry black person…
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