Discussion: Writing Biracial Characters

In the future, I plan to write a story about a mixed girl who is biracial (the character has a black parent and a white parent). This character will be mixed with two different races of people. Therefore, I want to learn how to represent a character who is mixed with white and African American correctly (mainly their physical features). I’ve seen and know a lot of people that are mixed with white and African American. and their physical features seem to vary. If you are mixed with black and white, you’ll be a big help to me as well :smiling_face_with_three_hearts:

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When you said Mulatto I though of Zendaya

I mean she is a Mulatto because she’s mixed with black and white haha

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Bump!

Are you using the term Mulatto a challenge in the story? Since Mulatto is an offensive term is this about the way they look? Or which race they may associate/identify as based on growing up? (I’m assuming too much smh)

The term would be biracial is for two distinctive races.

As shocking to as it is, they can be dark to light skin. They can be brown skin withdifferent color eyes, Lightskin with 4c hair or typically 3 type hair. The combinations are endless really. :joy:

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That is basically what I am trying to say. I didn’t know that Mulatto was an offensive term; I would’ve used that word in this thread. I should’ve used biracial, and no, I am not using Mulatto as a challenge in the story.

Oh, can you give a description of what you’ll be writing about? In context with the character.

Well in order for me to correctly represent this character who is half black and half black, I would have to know their physical features. Getting back to your question: I don’t really have a description yet because I won’t be releasing this story until later on during this year. Unfortunately, I don’t have a description, but I plan to write about a biracial character who is trying to find where she fits in and feel comfortable in the world. She represents two totally different races of people based on her dad being white and her mom being African American.

Would you like me to present some limelight characters? Is that what you mean?

You can.

The first thing you need to know is that Mulatto is not an acceptable term for biracial people. It is antiquated and offensive. Biracial is fine. Mixed with black and white is fine (and there are some biracial people who don’t really like the term “mixed”, so keep that in mind. I don’t mind the term and use it to describe myself, but there are others who don’t like it, and that should be respected.). Saying half black and half white is fine. Mulatto is not. I see that somebody has told you this, but it is still in your original thread. Could you remove that word and definition from the original thread, please?

I appreciate that you are asking for help writing instead of just plunging into the story without researching. But you should consider what it is you’re wanting to do here. From your description, you are wanting to write about the experience of being biracial. It is one thing to just write a biracial main character. That’s fine. However, if you are not biracial, it is not a good idea to try to write about the experience of being biracial. The same has been said about non black people writing black characters or non LGBT authors writing LGBT authors. Usually this leads to generalizations and harmful stereotypes. There’s absolutely nothing wrong with having a biracial MC who goes through regular every day life, but the experience of being biracial Itself is not your story to tell, especially if you’re still using offensive terms to describe them. The biracial experience has a lot of nuances that are so dependent on multiple things such as which parent is black, who raised them (mom, dad, or both?), how the parents chose to raise them to see themselves, their skin shade and how the world chooses to view and treat them because of their skin shade, etc. Watching Mixedish isn’t sufficient enough to write about our experiences.

Write about her falling in love, having an adventure, etc. That’s fine! But the topic of trying to figure out where she belongs in the world due to being biracial is best left for those who have lived it.

With that being said, keep in mind that we are not a monolith. We come in all shades, from all walks of life. Some choose to identify as biracial, some black, some white, some identify as all three or a combination of at least two. There is no set way that a biracial person can look. Write your biracial MC the same way you write your other MCs and you should be fine. And please carefully research terms for racial groups before using them! Hope this helps and good luck!

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Thank you for explaining and making things clear for me. Again, I didn’t know Mullato was an offensive term at all; so that’s my fault. I’ll keep everything in mind that you said about trying to write a biracial character without having the experience. I’m African American, and I’m not mixed with anything. Thank you again because you really helped me. Also, sorry if I offended you :disappointed:

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No worries! Thank you for listening! Hope it goes well. Feel free to DM me if you have any questions while you’re writing your character.

BTW, a lot of half black biracial people share many of the same experiences with black people, so you can definitely include those! I’m just talking about the specific experience of trying to fit in between two worlds. Don’t feel discouraged.

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Bump!