How do I write a black character correctly?

For my story, I have some Black people and I want to make sure I write them properly I don’t want to not include something important to their culture.
Many authors have been called out recently about not writing the characters correctly and I don’t want to be one of those people.
I just want to make sure that I am writing my story right and not disregarding their race if that makes sense. :smiling_face_with_three_hearts:

  • Not all black people live in poverty.
  • Many black people don’t have straight hair, it’s kinky and different types,
  • Not all black people spank their children and abuse them.
  • Make sure you search up different features of black people. Learn more about us.

Thank you!


I appreciate that you would like to portray us correctly.
here are some things not to do:

  • we do not all come in the same color. we are all different shades; darkskin, light skin, brownskin and albino.
  • not all black people come from bad or broken families.
  • DO NOT USE AAVE (African American Vernacular English) as a way to distinguish.
  • Do your research on facial features.
  • and please, please DO NOT add black people for the sake of having a white savior trope or being the selfless, slave like friends…
    if you are trying to go for more ethnic characters, im Nigerian so I do not mind helping.
    if you have any other questions feel free to ask and do your research!
  • Not all black people party, and wear to much revealing clothing. Some of us just like to chill at home with family and watch movies and be in bed all day. XDDD
  • Not all black people smoke and drink.
  • Not all black people living in poverty, as it is stated above.
  • All black people have different cultures depending where they are from.
  • All black people speak in different languages/ have different accents also depends on where they are from.
  • Not all black men/women cheat.
  • Not all black men smoke, going in gangs, etc.

here are the characters they are sisters .
The one wearing a dress is a very independent and a famous club owner. She loves to socialize and believes in god. She lives in Canada her parents come from Northern Africa.
The one with a dragon tattoo is her sister I’m still working on the sister but what do you think about the looks and personality should I change something?


Lol I’m currently trying to think of more since I am working on my dl entry. Hm.

  • All black people eat different kinds of food. Also depends on where they are from. Like Bahamian Dishes, Haitian Dishes, Jamaican Dishes, etc.
  • All black people have jobs/careers that they want to work in. Photographer, Lawyer, Firefighter, Secretary, etc. show different jobs.
  • All black people have different hairstyles. Afros, Braids, bantu knots, dreadlocks etc.

I like it.


Hm I’m thinking for the other sister, is a tattoo artist. Hm. I’m still thinking. XDDD


I think you should make her a tattoo artist or a bartender or maybe hairstylist or photographer!


I know right! Like her outfit can give out so many job ideas. XD


That’s a very good idea thank you! :kissing_heart:




@Kelly.episode1 While I think it’s good to try to be respectful, there’s no “correct” way to write a character from any background, race or otherwise. The trick, I think, is to make a “character” and not a “stereotype”. Just don’t write stereotypes and you’ll be fine. To summarize everyone else, basically no one is “one aspect”. I think that’s more important than anything else. You only get it “wrong” when you’re character is so one-sided, that they look like a stereotype. If you write a black guy character who plays basketball and that’s all he does, yeah he’ll look like a stereotype. So, can you not write a black male who likes basketball–no, you just also make him have other aspects. He also is a loyal friend, respectful to his mother, hates mushrooms on pizza, dislikes printers, studies marine biology because he knows odds are he won’t go pro, and wants to own his own art gallery in five years because his late father was an oil painter.

Just write a good, well-rounded character and don’t be afraid. Everyone is different. Some people do fit aspects of some stereotypes, some don’t , just make a multifaceted character regardless of race or background and you’ll do fine. You can consider some aspects of culture, because while it definitely matters, I think people are very rarely wholly defined by their culture. For example, the two characters are sisters—one being shy or outgoing is going to be more important than “black people have afro-textured hair and wear braids”----in fact, that may affect how they wear their hair. The shy girl may have bangs to “hide behind” or a simple afro hairstyle or even extensions, and her natural hair color. The more outgoing one may wear bantu knots or dye her hair fiery red because she’s more confident in herself. That’s how I might advise others to think about characters. Race is one part of it, sure, but your personality will define a lot more and how you respond to your culture and background. Also, if you’re in LA or NYC, or in Topeka, Kansas, or in Montreal that’s gonna affect all of that. There are so many things that affect us.

For writers, if you just think about the culture or background, your character will likely suffer. Are you thinking this specifically for your characters of whatever race you are, for example? If you write an Asian character, do you think about their Korean roots affecting their daily lives? Or if you write a white character, do you think about their Irish roots, affecting them at all times? Maybe, maybe not. It depends on the character. For some characters it may be a big part of who they are, for others slightly, and for others not at all. Or culture or religious background just comes up during certain situations. “What are you doing on Friday?” “I’m going to worship, but Tuesday, I’m going to eat tacos and play World of Warcraft.” So, it’s stuff like that, if that makes sense.

Honestly write a good, sincere, dynamic character who makes sense in your story and don’t worry too much. I write all kinds of characters and I don’t worry too much. Besides not everyone is in tune with their culture be it of race, national origin, etc. Just be thoughtful. They could be adopted, or in denial, third generation in a settler country, etc. And all these things are interesting things you can play with when making characters. So, you’re correct to want to find out more, that’s great, just don’t let it hinder your story or your character creation.

Basically, have fun writing!