Diversity in Fiction: Why Everyone is Responsible


“I’ll be honest. I don’t read romances with black couples on the cover.”When a friend of mine shared this with me, I stared at her in stunned silence for a moment before I could reply. I appreciated her honesty, but as a black woman who writes multicultural romance, I felt the sting of her statement on a personal level.Grappling for words…any words…I cleared my throat. “You don’t? Why not?” Knitting her brow, she shook her head. “I mean…I’m just not drawn to them. Plus, I feel like I won’t understand it, like I can’t relate.”Forcing a smile, I replied, “Well, you and I have been talking all day. You understood every word I said, right?” Blushing a bit, she nodded. “Yes, that’s true. Honestly, I really can’t explain it, and I feel terrible about it.” That discussion remained with me for some time after. Not because I was upset with my friend, or because I think she’s a racist—but because she made me really think about the mindset of readers when it comes to diversity. What causes this sort of mindset and how do we make progress in making all stories for all people…and ensuring everyone knows it’s okay to step out of their comfort zone

Read the entire article in the February 2016 issue of InD'Tale magazine.

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