Help Correctly Representing POC Characters?

Call me skeptical…
Be willing to listen to what we say if ur serious about this.
Theres lotta forums about racial diversity on here…

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Of course! I’m 100% willing to listen to what you say!

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Hmmmmm… I’m African American, and I can’t really explain ways that you could accurately represent my culture. For starters, any stereotypes about African Americans or any POC, don’t incorporate into your story. That wouldn’t be a good idea. I recommend doing a bit of research on different types of POC cultures such as Indians/Native Americans, African Americans, Africans, and etc. First off, what roles would these POC characters have in your story?

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Although I’m a POC, I may not be the best person to advise you on this. I’ll try my best though!

Do not let the character’s race or ethnicity determine their personality. For the most part, you can write them how you will write a white character (that’s a real tongue twister lol).

Their culture, however, has a bigger impact on the way they will act. But again, belonging to a certain culture doesn’t mean they’ll act a certain way. Adding some culture to them will also add depth to their character.

To avoid stereotyping/seeming like you are stereotyping, remember: the more diverse characters in your story, the less likely you will appear to stereotype POC. Stereotypes will usually have some truth to them (but shouldn’t be generalised to an entire race), so this doesn’t mean your POC characters cannot have any negative qualities. Try to be conscious about the role your POC characters play, it would be inadvisable to, for instance, have the only black character be angry and aggressive. This is why having more than one diverse character is important, the more you add, with diverse personalities (some good, some bad), the less you will stereotype. Unless you somehow manage to apply a negative stereotype to all of your POC characters, lmao.

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Roles would include things such as close friends but also (hard to explain without knowing the story) leaders of certain sectors or people who influence a lot

I recommend looking through this topic I made…

it has many posts where people share things about their culture and religion.

after reading through it, you might find an interesting culture to incorporate into your story.

it’s usually better to explore different cultures and decide you want to write about them rather than tackling diversity in a “I should add a black, Asian, or Hispanic character” sorta way. that usually leads to a lot of tokenism.

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Thank you! I’ll be sure to keep this in mind whilst writing!

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Thank you! I’ll be sure to look at this!

To be honest, just treat POC characters equally because they’re are human beings. Potraying POC characters even when you are not a person of color in a story is hard to write because you don’t understand or experienced things that we’re gone through. It’s okay though! No worries :slight_smile: But I’d say not to incorporate stereotypes. People from the African American community loves to achieve their goals, and has a lot of big dreams. We’re determined to accomplish our goals and dreams in life just like any race of people. You know? There’s no harm in portraying a POC character that has big dreams for themselves. Stay on the positive side :slight_smile:

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Awesome! I will be sure to add in large goals and aspirations for these characters! But yeah, I am asking cause I, as a whitey, have no idea what it is like to be a POC. I only have experience being my race as you only have experience being your race. So that is why I asked for help with POC portrayal. I didn’t know if there were things in particular that should be recognized in a POC character or anything the POC community wanted to see in POC characters or what… Do you have any tips on how POC characters should look? Like certain prominent features. For an example, it is unlikely for a non-mixed African American to have blue eyes so don’t put blue eyes.

Hmmmm… Unfortunately, I can only speak for the African American culture again because that’s what I am. I don’t know too much about other POC cultures at the moment, but I will do my research in the future. Anyways, in the African American culture, we have thick, tight-curled hair because we originated from Africans hence our texture of hair. So I’d say that some of your POC characters have braided hair or a natural fro. If you’re working with the Limelight style there are some great choices of hair that you could choose from. Don’t get me wrong, majority of black females, like myself, loves having long hair such as sew-ins (weave basically haha). Our skin comes in different shades of black or brown (I don’t know to really word that sentence, but okay). As for prominent features, I can’t think of any right now. I am in NO way being stereotypical about any of this because it is basically true about us :slight_smile:

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Absolutely! I be sure to remember the curls and braids thing! I know that is very important to the African American community. (And also, may I just say, I think it looks absolutely stunning on African Americans, wow! So pretty, Especially the big hair such as an Afro, absolutely stunning, the volume on that hair!!! )

I’m glad you like that haha. Yeah, I’d say that we’re pretty creative when it comes to our hair :slight_smile: Did you need anymore help?

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Anything that you find is important to add into a story. Like the struggles of a POC (obviously you can only speak for African Americans as you said), the ways life at home may be different to a white person, etc. The second one sounds racist but I can see the differences between myself and my Maori friends in regards to the home.

Some of our lives at home are very different from a white person because it some families struggle when it comes to money and other things.

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Do you think (this is going to sound racist af and I apologise in advance I’m just trying to learn) that African Americans struggle more money wise than white people in America? Or would you say it’s pretty equal?

I wouldn’t quite say that; no doubt some of us do love spending large amounts of money haha because we like to have a lot of nice things. But I’d say that we don’t really get as many job opportunities as a white person would get. I think it’s unfair, but that’s how things are in America. Fortunately, some of us Africans Americans have really successful jobs, and I am proud of that because years ago it wasn’t like that.

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Would you recommend making POC characters have good jobs in a story? Or would you recommend making POC characters finding it hard to get a good job in a story?

Hmmmmm… You’re asking me questions that I really have to think about, but it’s no problem. I’d say a bit of both because you want your story to have a message within it. You want the reality factor in it. They can have very successful jobs, such as being a lawyer, doctor, or even an entrepreneur. However, you can portray them having a challenging time finding a job because it is true.

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Do you think I should make an even mix of the two? Or should one be more predominant than the other?