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Archived Threads > What Turns You OFF When Reading an Interracial Romance?

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message 1: by Stacy-Deanne (new)

Stacy-Deanne Stacy-Deanne (wwwgoodreadscomstacydeanne) What things turn you off or displease you when reading an IR novel/romance? What are some things that you don't like to see specifically in terms of the story?

Best Wishes!

http://www.stacy-deanne.net


message 2: by Stacy-Deanne (new)

Stacy-Deanne Stacy-Deanne (wwwgoodreadscomstacydeanne) For me I'd say the thing I hate the most is when the author keeps making the characters REMIND us they are of different races. Ever read a book like this?

I don't like it at all when characters say things like, "You're black and I'm white"...blah, blah, blah. I think it's unrealistic because WE (the readers) already know their of different races. And the characters know it too. I've read some IR stories where the characters kept REMINDING each other they weren't the same race. It took so much out of the romance and it all seemed forced. The most beautiful thing to me about IR romance is that we know these characters are of different races, but their chemistry or love surpases that.

Also I don't know about you but I don't see IR couples in real life talking over expressos and going, "You're white and I'm black." LOL! I think when authors do this, it's like they are forcing the IR aspect. It should be natural. We already know these folks are different. We don't need them to say it a million times!

Another thing is lack of chemistry. Of course this happens in every genre, but sometimes it's like IR authors throw characters together just because they are of different races, but the characters have no real chemistry. Give me characters with chemistry, I don't care what color they are.

IR romances should be different but natural. I think authors should do their best to make these stories realistic. I think a lot of authors who write IR have never even been in an IR relationship so maybe they don't know how these characters should interract.

That's just my opinion, LOL! But it does turn me off when the author thinks we gotta be reminded of their race on every page. Just let them fall in love, darn it, LOL!

Best Wishes!

http://www.stacy-deanne.net


message 3: by Arch , Mod (new)

Arch  | 6601 comments Mod
I also don't like when the characters keep reminding us what their race is and also, when the characters break up behind their race.

Many interracial real life couple don't even break up, behind race.

So what the man at the mall looked at you two stupid, because you are an interracial couple.

That's not nothing to break up over.

Another thing that I am tired of seeing and that is, the black woman second guessing her feelings for the white man.

In my experience of reading books, where the couple breaks up because of race, it's because the black woman think they shouldn't be together. She lets people get to her.

A lot of white men aren't afraid to be with a black woman and will boldly stand tall to anyone that thinks something is wrong with him, for being with a black woman.

I don't like writing stories like that. When I write my interracial stories, I want people to see that a black woman and white man can be together, just like same race people can.


message 4: by Davina (new)

Davina D. | 796 comments Stacy-Deanne wrote: "What things turn you off or displease you when reading an IR novel/romance? What are some things that you don't like to see specifically in terms of the story?

Best Wishes!

http://www.stacy-d..."


Too much focus on race.

It doesn't have to be direct. It can be indirect too, where there's an emphasis on how different the characters speak, act etc.

I really really really hate that.

There may be some (minor) cultural difference between the races, but at the end of the day we are all HUMANS with the same quirks, insecurities, hopes, dreams etc.

There is no need for us to act like the other is an alien and so different from we are that we can never relate on anything EVER.

The whole notion of that is preposterous. I'm completely with you on this, Stacy-Deanne.


message 5: by Danielle The Book Huntress , Sees Love in All Colors (last edited Mar 02, 2010 11:08PM) (new)

 Danielle The Book Huntress  (gatadelafuente) | 7314 comments Mod
I agree with you all on the excess focus on race. I hate when the love scenes are written like it's an experiment because the H/h has never been with a person of another race. It's silly. They're both human. All the parts are the same. Skin color may contrast, but there are many times I forgot that my friends and I are of a different race.

Sorry to beat a dead horse, but I don't like how it seems like too many of the IR's coming out in ebook form have to push the sexual envelope, and they throw in the surprise kink or sleaze factor. What happened to just telling a good love story? I feel the same way about increasing numbers of non-interracial books, but at least I can do a pretty good job of avoiding this in the non-IR. Kinda hard with the IR ebooks, nowadays.


message 6: by Arch , Mod (new)

Arch  | 6601 comments Mod
That's why I don't care for ebooks. I don't even have a ereader. I don't like erotic stories and that's goes for any book.

Sex doesn't sell my way. I'm interested in a story. I'm not looking for how many times the hero and heroine can get in bed.

I also agree with Danielle, about the couples acting like they are in a lab, testing one another out.

The only difference between people is the color of their skin.

So what the white man hasn't been with a black woman before. So what the black woman hasn't been with a white man before.

Both of them are human!


message 7: by Stacy-Deanne (last edited Mar 03, 2010 02:17PM) (new)

Stacy-Deanne Stacy-Deanne (wwwgoodreadscomstacydeanne) I apologize for the length right off, LOL. You guys should know by now I'm long-winded. Actually I type very fast and I always have a lot to say, LOL!

I'm glad this "sex" thing has been brought up.

I don't mind sex if it moves the story and serves a purpose. Sex is a natural part of love and romance so I have no problems with "necessary" sex. But like some of you I don't like sex if it's just thrown in for no reason. If the romance is written in a way where the characters are so compelling that their chemistry and attraction jumps off the page, then I admit, I'd want them to make love. I'd love to experience that with characters that are written so beautifully and get a chance to see how they grow after they take that step. But no, sex shouldn't be thrown in.

Danielle, the reason you see all this sex now is because erotica sells (everyone's jumping on the bandwagon), AND agents and editors are now pushing HARD for sex in books more than they used to. Back in the day erotica was seen as taboo. It still is to some, but it's become so popular pubs (who used to turn their backs on erotica and explicit sex are now telling authors, they want MORE of it.)

I recently had a discussion with my agent on this. She said that now, even when you write in genres that don't usually have sex or a romance, some pubs are rejecting these genres because they want some kind of sex or romance in it. Remember how you used to be able to write straight thrillers and mysteries? You still can, but now more and more pubs want these genres with sex or at least a romance in them and that betters your chance for publication. Especially if you're a new writer. That's why Romantic Suspense had evolved. Pubs want that mixture.

I'm like this, if sex isn't important to the story, I don't write it. The book I am working on now has some sex in it, but it moves the story. It reflects the relationship of one of my officers and another character and the relationship is sexually charged for a reason so that's why there is sex in it. But in most of my writing, I don't have love scenes. I ususally do the close-the-door thing, where the characters go to make love then skip to the next scene, LOL! But in some stories, I do incorporate sex but I make sure it's needed.

This is a great thing that's been brought up. What's disheartening me as an author is that more and more pubs are pushing for the sex. You can have a darn good manuscript but they'll say, "Pump up the romance", or "We're looking for stories with horny chracters and hot, steamy, explicit love scenes." Sometimes I wonder if some pubs even care about the quality of the writing anymore.

Pubs are actually ASKING for erotica in stories now. That's why an author has to stand up for themselves and stand by their words. I tell people all the time, I don't throw things in if they don't move a story. So if a pub isn't happy with something I've written I move on to someone who is. I'm not gonna let someone else write my books for me. I'm sorry. I won't turn into a robot.

Arch, good point about ebooks. I read them but like you am sick of sleazy stories. This is why ebooks have the reputation they have. It's a lot of ebook authors who TRY to write sweet romances but publishers don't want them. It's sad because if you are a romance writer, unless you write for Harlequin and can get in their less steamier lines, other romance pubs want the sex. A lot of the authors who write erotica don't want to write erotica. Some write these sex stories because they think it's easier to get published or because they think it will automatically sell. Some also don't know the difference between erotic sex (which can be fine if written well), and porn, smut sex (which usually never moves a story).

I wish more IR writers would write regular romances and thrillers, mysteries, whatever. But the sad point is that most of the IR pubs which are epubs, push the sex. Mostly all the IR pubs focus on sex. That's why the IR authors need to speak up and bring something knew to IR books.

Sex is boring if it's just thrown in and readers can tell when it doesn't serve a purpose. A lot of authors can't even write a good sex scene! If they are going to write them, they should learn how to do it well.

Danielle, Arch, I agree with you both fully. I also wanted to bring some insight as to what's brought on this influx of sex in the romance genre as a whole. I am glad that I mainly write mysteries and thrillers because I don't have to hear a lot of that "we want more sex". Pubs don't expect that from my genre too much. But I feel for the new romance writers who are trying to break in. Believe me, I don't think many of them want to write "erotica" but they figure it's their best shot to getting a deal.

I call it selling out though. If you write erotica or romance, write it because you want to and like to write it, not because you're trying to cash in on a popular genre.

Best Wishes!

http://www.stacy-deanne.net


message 8: by Arch , Mod (new)

Arch  | 6601 comments Mod
I'm not a sex writing writer. I can do the leave it to your imagination. I love writing tension.

I'm glad that I don't have a desire to get published, because I couldn't let other people be over my story. If I don't write erotic stories, I wouldn't want anyone telling me that I need to, in order for them to get published.

I thought that people are doing ebooks, because they can self publish. If that's true and they are writing erotic stories, then they are doing, so because they want to.

If an author doesn't write ebooks, but still self publish and write erotic stories, it's because they want to.

I know we have a lot of authors on Goodreads. I don't like to get book recommendations from anyone, if the books are erotic books. I don't read that and I have made that clear in my profile and I'm not afraid to let people know on groups that I don't read erotic stories.

My horrible stories are free to read. I know that a lot of people don't read them, because it might suck to them and even because they know that I will not go the steamy sex route or even erotic route.

I don't knock anyone that reads erotic books or even write erotic stories.

I like reading BWWM books, but I guess that I will not get to know a new author, if that author writes what I don't read.

I will continue to write my own stories and read the clean books. The behind the close door books.


message 9: by Danielle The Book Huntress , Sees Love in All Colors (new)

 Danielle The Book Huntress  (gatadelafuente) | 7314 comments Mod
Thanks for the information, Stacy-Deanne. One of my friends who is an author did share this with me about how her editor required her to have a certain amount of erotic elements in her story. That's discouraging to me as a person who desires to be published. I do have some stories with steamy and sensual content, but it's not to the degree of erotic. Like Arch, I don't judge or have anything against anyone who enjoys this. My resentment is the fact that I can't seem to avoid having this shoved in my face as a reader. Some stories are very steamy and have a sexual charge that belongs there. Like, Stacy-Deanne, when I read a well-written book with excellent sexual tension, I am eager to read the love scenes. But the reason why is because it belongs there and it has been written to build up to that moment. Nothing worse when I read a book, and the extra stuff is thrown in when it's not necessary at all. So I've gotten so that I avoid some of those publishers, unless I get the thumbs up from a friend who knows my tastes. I thought I was the only one who didn't care for certain content, but a friend of mine has let me know that she has talked to others who don't like it either. Sadly, the editors don't seem to understand that. But, like Arch, I'll seek out the stories that meet my tastes, and write stories that I feel show a love story that I think is worthy of telling. Whether others feel that way, I can't say. If there are, than that makes me happy.


message 10: by Chaeya (new)

Chaeya | 454 comments I also don't care for constant reminders of differences or race.

Making the heroine too tough. I've read women so independent, too sassy and so tough that I was surprised she didn't have a man unit between her legs. I don't like mousy, whiney little females either, but when the women are too tough and sass talking, it just takes the romance right out for me. Don't get me wrong, I like women who can be warriors, but not where she's trying to best the man through the entire book. I grew up a tomboy and in being a tomboy, there's a man code just like there's a woman code. Even though you know the ones whose butts you can kick, you keep it to yourself and you play that card when you have to.

The sex issue. I love erotica and most of the ones I enjoy are the ones who started out writing it, not started writing it because it became the in thing. When the sex seems forced, then it doesn't work and I've had authors tell me the publisher made them add another sex scene. This is sad because although I enjoy erotica, if a book is well written, I'm not gonna complain about the number of sex scenes. I know some readers demand a lot of sex, but I only like it if the scene calls for it.

Other that, I agree with a lot of the above.

Chaeya


message 11: by Davina (new)

Davina D. | 796 comments Well, I think a distinction needs to be made here. Are we crying out against how erotic books have become on a whole (I'm talking about the well written ones where the sex DOES advance the story)? Or are we talking about the trend of having explicit sex in books period?

Do I like books like Lora Leigh's Nauti and Elite Ops series that are all about sex with a thin-as-paper story thrown in as a filler? No. But I do like sex in books on a whole. If two people are in love and committed to each other I want to see their relationship evolve to the next level. I don't mind detailed sex in books when it serves a purpose as Stacy - Deanne described.

However, I don't think the issue here is that the market is filled with books that are little more than just sleazy porn. What seems to be the issue is that there is (explicit) sex in books in general. Some people prefer more sexual tension rather the actual act of sex, or they prefer the sex to be closed door or alluded to without going into detail.

This is all fine and well, but we can not expect the trend to be reversed to accommmodate our personal likes and preferences.

I'd rather not read menage or MM/FF sexual activity in my fiction, but quite a few of my favourite erotic romance authors seem to be going this route. What do I do? I find new authors to love. Those who meet my needs in that regard.

There are tons and tons of tastefully written romantica as described by Stacy - Deanne that I enjoy. When she's inspired Lora Leigh has the ability to produce such stories. Joey W. Hill, Lisa Marie Rice, Lena Matthews - to name only a few - all have the ability of producing such stories. So I don't necessarily think there's a lack in the market. Just that, as you said Stacy-Deanne, everyone now wants a piece of the pie because they see that it's selling like hot cookies. That's why I tend not to waste my time on ebooks by authors who don't come recommended by someone I know and trust.

I also think there is an abundance of books that meet the specifications of readers who prefer a less spicier read. There is something for everyone, certainly where this is concerned. The problem is that explicit sex may be a key factor in certain genres, and where that is the case people just have to adjust their expectations or seek their reading pleasures elsewhere.


message 12: by Davina (new)

Davina D. | 796 comments To add to my post above, when it comes to IRR I do acknowledge that there is a lack of quality stories. Erotic or non-erotic, well-written or not so well written, the quality of most stories in this genre is sub-par, particularly many of those that e-published. So I can actually agree with your grievances in this regard.


message 13: by Tina (new)

Tina | 8 comments I have to chime in and agree that my biggest pet peeve in IRR romances is when race is THE issue. it is either the conflict or it is so much to the forefront that you can't even relax and enjoy the romantic relationship.

My second pet peeve is the common character trope of the white man in relationship being colorblind while the black woman is racially cynical and has to constantly remind him on the reality of their situation.

My final pet peeve is the Strong Black Woman. I like a good strong heroine, but sometimes black female heroines in IR books are not allowed to bend or show weakness or vulnerability. I know many people view romance as escapist fantasy where a loving, make you sigh out loud, guy who will do anything to get you is the perfect hero. But I think some writers go overboard and make the woman so unbending and rigid and ungiving while the guy is doing all the pursuing and giving. It makes for an uncomfortable read.


message 14: by Stacy-Deanne (new)

Stacy-Deanne Stacy-Deanne (wwwgoodreadscomstacydeanne) I just wanna say that a writer must always write what makes them happy and what they enjoy writing. The worst thing a writer can do is write to a trend thinking it's the way "in". I see new writers coming along and asking, "What genre is the hottest right now?" Why? Because you only wanna write what you think will sell? I tell them that's the wrong attitude and that a true writer will always stick by their guns.

Danielle, there are pubs that still value the author's artistic creativity so no, not all pubs are forcing the issue. Some are just leaning more and more to sex because as they see it, publishing is a business and they are in it to make money. But if you've written a good book and worked hard on your craft, you'll find someone who shares your interest. That's what's so great about agents and pubs, they are different with different tastes like anyone of us, LOL! So, don't let anything bring you down about the industry. It's not perfect, never has been but don't feel you can't write what you want. You can always do that. As long as you write from the heart and you're happy, then that's great and in the end you should get the rewards.

The ones who write in trends just to fit into a popular genre, thinking it'll give them a leg up are the ones who will be left out in the cold. Also, new writers don't realize that by the time something has become a trend, it's "old". It's also not smart to wanna write in a saturated market. For example, vampire books and paranormal romance are now being turned away more and more because the market is oversaturated. In my heart, I don't believe ALL the people who've written vampire novels lately wanted to. It was another example of jumping on the bandwagon.

Writers shouldn't let a pub dictate what they write. What you do is find the pub or agent that is interested in what you write and go from there. But if you start writing something you don't really want to, it will come out in the writing and it won't be genuine.

There are a lot of good books with and without sex. It's just about preference like others have said. Some people might not like sex at all when others (like me) have no problems with it if it brings something to the story. I also have a lot of friends who just love reading sex and that's all they look for in a book, the sex scenes so they are big erotica hounds.

We're all different and it's just about what you prefer but a writer shouldn't compromise. If a writer wants to write sex scenes, they should feel free to do so. And if one doesn't, they shouldn't feel they have to.

Best Wishes!

http://www.stacy-deanne.net


message 15: by Arch , Mod (new)

Arch  | 6601 comments Mod
I don't mind the strong woman. The man can't always be the strong one. If the woman is in a position, where she has been trained to fight, kill, etc. I would want her to beat up an attacker, even if the hero is with her. I wouldn't mind seeing her beat someone up for the hero.

I don't think that the hero should stand taller than the woman. Some women are better at certain things than a man.

I also like to see a softer side to a hero. That's one thing that I love about Sam. He's a guy that knows how to protect himself. He's a trained killing machine. Yet, he has a soft side. He's not afraid to show his softer side. He's not afraid to cry. He may want to hide his tears from Alyssa, but still he's human.


message 16: by Stacy-Deanne (new)

Stacy-Deanne Stacy-Deanne (wwwgoodreadscomstacydeanne) Hi Arch,

The ebooks I read are not self-published. I read the ones that are put out by either big companies, so it's just the ebook version of a traditionally published book, or either ebooks from reputable ebook publishers. I rarely read a self-published book though I've read some SP ebooks lately.

I've read a lot of good ebooks lately and I am glad I've had the chance to read authors who don't have the luxury of being published in print. But what's good about ebook companies is that the bigger ones now offer print books so these authors will be exposed to more audiences.

Also, since I've began reading ebooks, I now read short stories. I never hardly read short stories but now I like them on days when I prefer a lighter read.

Best Wishes!

http://www.stacy-deanne.net


message 17: by Stacy-Deanne (last edited Mar 03, 2010 05:44PM) (new)

Stacy-Deanne Stacy-Deanne (wwwgoodreadscomstacydeanne) Back to the mentioning race part. Another thing about it is it's so unrealistic. Danielle brought this up in one of her posts about the characters's love scenes are written like they're exploring something foreign to them. Like she said, these are PEOPLE, not matter their race.

It's silly when the characters have to go through so much mentally just to go get a cup of coffee together. LOL! In real life, people who are into interracial relationships usually travel those circles so they naturally meet folks that are of the race they are attracted to. So it's stupid in the books to act like it's such a big deal. And sometimes I'm like, "Come on! This is the 2000's not the 1900's! It's not that big of a deal!"

I hate it when they paw around each other like they're of a different species.

Now for the strong black woman, Great point! This is why I wanted to smack Sanaa Lathan on Something New. She was an intelligent woman (supposedly), yet she let people dictate who she should be with. I'm sick of this "token black man" thing in these books. They always throw a brother in there that is supposed to be the white dude's competition. I read a short story one time when the BW kept saying she was dating the white man because she couldn't find a good black man. (I wanted to smack the author for writing stuff like that). Then all of a sudden a good black man happens to pop into the picture to screw up the IR romance yet he was nowhere around before? The BW dumps the white man and ends up with the BM then realizes she really loved the white man! Can we get another template please? LOL!

When I read a IR book with a black woman like this I go, "Well fool if you got such a problem with him being white, why the hell are you in his bedroom?!!!!" LOL! It makes me mad because it's stupid to write these characters like this. If you have an attraction for someone, you have an attraction. And I, like you guys are sick of these black women who claim to be so strong when it comes to her feelings for the white man, yet she lets her FAMILY tell her who to date!

I would say someone like that doesn't deserve the love the other is willing to give and I wouldn't be able to connect with a woman that bullheaded and ridiculous. If the black heroine has such a problem with the white man, why doesn't she move on and stop wasting everyone's time?

I read a IR book one time where the author had the characters say over and over, "Vanilla and chocolate" when the main couple would come around. I found that racist and stupid. Grown folks don't act like that!

I always wondered why they always have the black woman the one with the problem? You notice it's her that's always backpeddling with the romance? Why not the white guy? I guess the authors don't want him to appear racist or something? I just always wonder why it's the BW. And I am sick of BW in these stories telling the white man, "I'm waiting for a good black man." Why can't it just be her PREFERENCE to be with the white man? Why does she always have to be written like she's "on hold until the black dude comes along" or like she's settling for the white man because he's around?

Best Wishes!

http://www.stacy-deanne.net


message 18: by Arch , Mod (new)

Arch  | 6601 comments Mod
Stacy-Deanne wrote:"I always wondered why they always have the black woman the one with the problem? You notice it's her that's always backpeddling with the romance? Why not the white guy? I guess the authors don't want him to appear racist or something? I just always wonder why it's the BW. And I am sick of BW in these stories telling the white man, "I'm waiting for a good black man." Why can't it just be her PREFERENCE to be with the white man? Why does she always have to be written like she's "on hold until the black dude comes along" or like she's settling for the white man because he's around?"

I've mention in an earlier thread about the black woman wanting to quit the relationship, behind race.

I have never read a BWWM book, where the hero wanted to end the relationship.

I feel the same way, if a black woman is waiting on her right black man, then don't date outside of our race, because you are being a hypocrite.

I don't want to read about a black woman, who's with a white guy, but wants to be with a black guy, but confesses that she's in love with the white guy.


Elise-Pinterest+Goodreads=The Perfect Book Boyfriend (eliselovesshinyandnew) | 56 comments Everyone knows my number one pet peeve so I won't bother to mention it again. However, the other thing that will really turn me off is the ghettorizing of the black woman. A great IR book for me is one that has a great storyline, depth to the characters and oh, by the way, the heroine is black. And, if you think it's difficult to find a great IR, try locating a good paranormal story with a black heroine. I keep sending my pleas to authors, and they keep saying they can't write "black". Seriously. You don't have to write "black" just write. If you are a good writer it should be okay. UGH!!


message 20: by Arch , Mod (new)

Arch  | 6601 comments Mod
saninbham wrote: "Everyone knows my number one pet peeve so I won't bother to mention it again. However, the other thing that will really turn me off is the ghettorizing of the black woman. A great IR book for me is..."

What do they mean they can't write black?

There is no such thing as black.


message 21: by Yolonda (new)

Yolonda | 406 comments saninbham wrote: "Everyone knows my number one pet peeve so I won't bother to mention it again. However, the other thing that will really turn me off is the ghettorizing of the black woman. A great IR book for me is..."

I've had a similar response once. To me it's just a cop out used by some authors. I've stopped reading some authors works when I realized that they have no desire for diversity even for their background characters.


Elise-Pinterest+Goodreads=The Perfect Book Boyfriend (eliselovesshinyandnew) | 56 comments It's what she said. I told her exactly what I put in the post. Write a great story with good characters and then make the character black. You don't have to dwell on the race issue and it's okay. Most people don't want that anyway. Although I enjoy writing, I don't write for the purpose of publishing so, obviously, I don't have a grasp on the complexities of writing about this issue. The only thing I can come up with is that it must be harder than my simplified version of the solution or we would have more great IR books.


message 23: by Arch , Mod (new)

Arch  | 6601 comments Mod
saninbham wrote: "It's what she said. I told her exactly what I put in the post. Write a great story with good characters and then make the character black. You don't have to dwell on the race issue and it's okay. M..."

What kind of stories do you write Saninbham?

You will have to join our writing challenge. Only if you want to. I like reading other people stories.

I know you know by now I don't read erotic stories.

If that's not the kind of stories you write and if you aren't shy about sharing, I'll like to read one of your stories one day.

Do you write about vampires, werewolves, etc.?


message 24: by Danielle The Book Huntress , Sees Love in All Colors (last edited Mar 03, 2010 10:40PM) (new)

 Danielle The Book Huntress  (gatadelafuente) | 7314 comments Mod
I try very hard to write stories where the character's ethnicity is only a part of their description, and it's not a plot point. I am a human being and a woman who happens to be African American. That's what I look for in a story. I'm with you on the ghettooization issue, Saninbham. My sister is very supportive of Black media. I will avoid the ghettoish stuff like a plague. I'm not saying that telling the hood stories doesn't have value, but it's certainly not the sum total of the African American existence, and I resent it being treated as if it is.


message 25: by Stacy-Deanne (last edited Mar 03, 2010 11:02PM) (new)

Stacy-Deanne Stacy-Deanne (wwwgoodreadscomstacydeanne) I was on an online writing forum one day (almost all the posters were white women). I was disheartened because someone posted a thread, "Would you read a black romance?" Some of them said yes but a lot said no. When asked why some said no the first lady said, "Well if it's black I feel I can't relate to it." Say what?

Another woman contradicted herself and tried to sugarcoat her answer, she said, "I'll read one if the book focuses on the romance and not race. If it's advertised as a black book, I won't read it." WTF?

I almost punched my computer monitor. That was one the most racist things I'd ever heard! Since this woman has NEVER read a book with black characters from what she says, how the heck does she know they all focus on race? Sure I've read some black books where it focused more on race than the plot and it does pull down the story. But not all black books are like that. I was really disappointed in those so-called readers. I guess I was being naive. I really thought people read books because they might be good and not just assumed that just because it's minority characters the book focuses on race! Why is it okay to lump books with minority characters together but no one does it to books with white characters?

Why is it that readers like this assume books with white characters don't focus on race or some other issue? They might not but my point is this, don't assume and lump stuff together. I think the second woman was being a wimp. She didn't have the guts to just say, "It's not my cup of tea to read black romances or stories." So she tried to dress it up and say she doesn't usually because they focus too much on race? How the heck does she know if she's never read one? Ignorance!! Some people try too hard to not seem racist then in the process look like idiots.

As for "writing black". I only have one word to describe that, racism. I didn't know writing had a race and color. Maybe I'm being slow. When did this happen? I hear this from some white authors. That's the "excuse" some of them use when folks ask them why they never have minorities or black characters in their books. They also say, "I don't want to offend anyone so I don't wanna deal with it." Can't you write a black person or another minority as REAL people like we are? You're supposed to be a writer! Aren't you worldly enough to step outta your little sheltered world and realize you can write about other races without being racist? If they wrote black characters as people, like we should be written as, then there will be no need to offend. I find that a lot of white writers focus way more on race than black authors. If not, you wouldn't have these flimsy excuses as to why they can't write black characters and why they don't even read black books. Sometimes I feel like they think we are really another species from another planet. I'd love to see more whites writing more minority characters. That doesn't offend me but giving an excuse why they don't, does.

The fact that some white writers feel they will offend automatically scares me because it's like they only have a negative perception of blacks or minorities. I admire white authors who write characters of different backgrounds but anyone who doesn't is a wimp. I just wish authors would be honest. Just say they don't have the guts to write a minority character, or better yet, be honest and say you don't want to! A lot of white writers are scared of stepping into the area of race because it's not in their comfort zone. If that's how they feel, be honest. The same for white readers who say they don't read black romances. If you aren't interested, be honest at least but don't dress it up!

Me, I'll read anything that interests me and I'm not stupid enough to assume something about a book before I've read it. Every book is different and so is every author.

Best Wishes!

http://www.stacy-deanne.net


message 26: by Stacy-Deanne (last edited Mar 03, 2010 11:09PM) (new)

Stacy-Deanne Stacy-Deanne (wwwgoodreadscomstacydeanne) On that note, another thing I hate is the token black/minority character. I'd rather people not have the character at all if they're just thrown in to "diversify the novel", but the author does nothing important with the character. You know what I mean, the black or Latino girl that's the best friend that only appears when the heroine has issues. Or the token black dude who has no real reason to be in the story because it's some one-dimensional character that the author's stuck in as if to say, "Look I have a black character in my book!". I also hate it when a minority character is used to show the attributes of the main characters. Like, If Mike has a best friend who's black, "we automatically know he can't be racist so he must be great!" Please. If you don't do anything with the characters you might as well leave them out.

Best Wishes!

http://www.stacy-deanne.net


message 27: by Danielle The Book Huntress , Sees Love in All Colors (new)

 Danielle The Book Huntress  (gatadelafuente) | 7314 comments Mod
I've heard people say that about being afraid of writing Black characters because they'll mess it up. On a forum, some of us in the IR community addressed this. I will say it many times, I am more than happy to read books written by White authors with Black characters, so long as they are not stereotyped. That's why I do respect Suzanne Brockmann. She has written about Black characters numerous times, and they never felt like stereotypes. Those Black readers who complain about Alyssa not acting Black just made themselves look kind of silly in my opinion. How junior high is that? I wonder if some of those women who say they won't read Black romances read Harvard's Education, and the Troubleshooter books. Ahem, there's Black romance in those. :)

Stacy-Deanne, I have to be honest with you. I used to feverishly devour the BET/Arabesque Black romances, but I lost interest, because I started getting bored. I thought the characters were too cardboard. Certainly not negative stereotypes, but not interesting. I hope that doesn't make me sound like some of those women online. I'd love to read Black romances again. I just need them to have a spark that catches my interest.


message 28: by Stacy-Deanne (new)

Stacy-Deanne Stacy-Deanne (wwwgoodreadscomstacydeanne) Eugenia,

I laughed when that lady said, "I can't assume I can't relate to black books". Yet do white people (and I am not trying to pick on ALL white people only the ones who feel this way), believe that all the millions of blacks and minorities can relate to all books with white characters? I laugh when a white reader says this because look, this is what minority readers have had to deal with for ages! We've never had people in commercial novels (especially romances) we could relate to. If minorities used this excuse as a reason to not read books, we wouldn't read anything!

How many black, Latino, Indian or Asian women can relate to Miss Susie living in the high rise apartment, having cappuccinos with her shirtless, tycoon boyfriend Brett who is about to take over her father's company? LOL! Minorities don't use that excuse when we're reading the millions of romance books written with only white characters! How would that look coming from us?

That's what peed me off about that lady the most! She had the nerve to say, "she can't relate". Honey, we NEVER related to most of the books on the market and it still hasn't changed. But we've had no choice because until now, minorities weren't getting books that showcased them. So a white reader can't say that about ANY books because all the books written have catered to white readers so, please. LOL!

Best Wishes!

http://www.stacy-deanne.net


message 29: by Yolonda (new)

Yolonda | 406 comments IMO...you can generally tell the authors that are used to a diverse group of friends. They are the ones that likely will write a world based on the reality that the world is made up of so many different ethnicites.

Authors seem to mostly write based on what they know. If it's an author who only hangs around with the people who look like them and do the same things...that's what they'll write about most of the time. You have black authors that only have black characters, white authors that only have white characters because that's what they're comfortable doing. IR authors tend to have been in IR relationships and are therefore more than likely familiar with dealing with the interactions of people from different backgrounds.

I've always found it odd that some well established authors have no problem making up elaborate paranormal worlds with mythical creatures, but for some reason have a problem writing love stories about humans of different races.


message 30: by Stacy-Deanne (last edited Mar 04, 2010 12:45PM) (new)

Stacy-Deanne Stacy-Deanne (wwwgoodreadscomstacydeanne) Danielle said,

Stacy-Deanne, I have to be honest with you. I used to feverishly devour the BET/Arabesque Black romances, but I lost interest, because I started getting bored. I thought the characters were too cardboard. Certainly not negative stereotypes, but not interesting. I hope that doesn't make me sound like some of those women online. I'd love to read Black romances again. I just need them to have a spark that catches my interest.

Danielle there's nothing at all wrong that. Of course not! I feel the same as you do about some black books. I read black books where the authors (black, white or whatever), know how to write characters that aren't stereotypical as well. There are just as many black authors who are guilty of being stereotypical too and I avoid those books because once I've read a few, I knew that I didn't like how these books were. That's why I don't read Steet/Ghetto Lit, I'm sorry. I tried to read a few and they were all the same. They say it's a few that stick out but I never found them. I just can't get into all that and I get tired of blacks being painted as pimps, drugdealers, strippers and crackheads, especially by other black authors. Street Lit is another thing where authors jumped on the bandwagon because it was popular.

So Danielle, no, I wasn't speaking about what you said. We all feel like you toward certain books. And once again I wasn't picking on white authors or white readers, just ones that feel like they can't write for minorities and give that flimsy excuse because it's offensive.

Just like Loni pointed out. She made a wonderful point!

It's ridiculous when you got some authors saying they can't "write for blacks", but yet they can write about vampires, werewolves, dragons and monsters? Obviously those things are easier for some to write about than a black person?

That's sad. That's very sad.

Danielle, I feel the same as you. I was just pointing out what a lot of white authors say and I find it an excuse. I know a lot of white authors with guts who write about minority characters. It's the fact that some white people see blacks in a certain light. The point is scary that they feel they're going to offend. So that makes me wonder what they really think about blacks and that's frightening coming from authors who are putting out books to the public.

Best Wishes!

http://www.stacy-deanne.net


message 31: by Stacy-Deanne (last edited Mar 04, 2010 01:01PM) (new)

Stacy-Deanne Stacy-Deanne (wwwgoodreadscomstacydeanne) Loni, I understand what you're saying about authors say they write about what they are used to being around. But I've never been around British people, murderers, people with multiple personalities, psychos, rapists and stalkers either, but I've written about them many times, LOL! I don't believe authors really mean that when they say it. I think it's another cop out they use. An author is supposed to be able to use their imagination and create a story with all types of characters. If they can write about vampires and werewolves (things that don't exist), they can't write about blacks?

I say this for every kind of writer not just white authors. I always tell blacks to write more versatile characters. Every person in your book doesn't have to be black.

Once authors let go of "their assumptions about folks" they will be able to see that people are people. Write these people just as people. You can write a black without having a "race" issue. You can write a gay person without them being stereotypical.

I think many authors, no matter what color don't want to come out of their little boxes but if that's the case, they shouldn't make any excuses. I do think it's ridiculous that you can write about made up monsters, but yet they can't comprehend how to put words in a minority character's mouth? I give them a hint, write them just like a white character with a different description. There's no need for people to think just because it's a minority, race has to be an issue. They get that from the media's misconception of certain people.

Thanks for bringing up that great point about the mythical creatures and stuff, LOL!

Best Wishes!

http://www.stacy-deanne.net


message 32: by Stacy-Deanne (last edited Mar 04, 2010 12:55PM) (new)

Stacy-Deanne Stacy-Deanne (wwwgoodreadscomstacydeanne) The most fun thing to me about being a novelist is I can have my characters experience things I haven't, and give them an exciting life and let them go places I haven't been and let them meet folks I'd never be able to meet in my dreams. It's about exploring and escaping a world I already know. I don't write only what I know and wouldn't want to. Can you imagine how boring a novelist's books would be if they only wrote about what they experienced? You gotta step outta your world as an author or there's no need for writing fiction.

Best Wishes!

http://www.stacy-deanne.net


message 33: by Tina (new)

Tina | 8 comments You'd be surprised (well maybe not) about how many times the issue of multiculti books come up where a reader will say that she 'can't relate' to a book where the heroine is black. I've heard that 'reason' tons of times. And yet, these same people will read historical or even paranormal romances.

It boggles my mind that you can't relate to a modern woman who probably has many of the same issues as you --marriage, family, job, men etc. -- just because she's black and yet you have no problem 'relating' to a woman couldn't vote, couldn't own property, couldn't go about in society without a companion, sometimes wasn't even supposed to be educated? or better yet you can 'relate' to a a woman who can sit there and turn into a wolf or is basically dead and has to drink blood to continue to survive her undeath? It purely boggles!

In my mind, just own your issues. If you don't want to read a book with a black heroine because they don't appeal, then say so. I have lots of themes, setting, people types in books I don't like or am really not interested in reading. And I will say so. I personally don't need to relate to anyone in any book I read, that isn't the point of reading, imo.

That is why I like Shelly Laurenston, unless you know it, you have no idea her heroine is going to be Latina or Black or Native American until you're well into the book sometimes. And even then she doesn't make any type of a big deal about it. it just is. She comes closest to my ideal of a writer because she populates her books with a wide variety of people and races and that is what I like.


message 34: by Arch , Mod (new)

Arch  | 6601 comments Mod
The question that needs to be asked to authors that feel that they can't write about black women is - What race of women are you writing for?.

If they say, every race. Then they need to be asked - How come your heroines are only one race?


message 35: by Danielle The Book Huntress , Sees Love in All Colors (new)

 Danielle The Book Huntress  (gatadelafuente) | 7314 comments Mod
Stacy-Deanne wrote: "The most fun thing to me about being a novelist is I can have my characters experience things I haven't, and give them an exciting life and let them go places I haven't been and let them meet folks..."

I'm with you on this. It's so much fun to get outside of your box and write something different. It's a learning process as a writer, and you get better at doing it, the more you do it. And, nowadays, the internet is a very powerful research tool.

I think you're right about people showing how narrow their world is by what they write, Loni. But it doesn't have to be that way. I want to thank you for starting this discussion, Stacy-Deanne. I've found it tremendously valuable!


message 36: by Danielle The Book Huntress , Sees Love in All Colors (new)

 Danielle The Book Huntress  (gatadelafuente) | 7314 comments Mod
Tina wrote: "You'd be surprised (well maybe not) about how many times the issue of multiculti books come up where a reader will say that she 'can't relate' to a book where the heroine is black. I've heard that..."

I'm with you, Tina. I love to see books with diverse sorts of characters.


message 37: by Danielle The Book Huntress , Sees Love in All Colors (new)

 Danielle The Book Huntress  (gatadelafuente) | 7314 comments Mod
Arch wrote: "The question that needs to be asked to authors that feel that they can't write about black women is - What race of women are you writing for?.

If they say, every race. Then they need to be asked..."


That is so true, Arch. But I wonder if they overlook all the races that truly do read their book. I know I've spent thousands of dollars on books in my life, and I'm Black. So I think I should be considered the target audience, since I buy a lot of books.


message 38: by Arch , Mod (new)

Arch  | 6601 comments Mod
Some readers wear the "I can't relate" shoes as well, but they can relate to vampires, etc.

I'm glad that I see people, even in books.


message 39: by Yolonda (last edited Mar 04, 2010 05:11PM) (new)

Yolonda | 406 comments Danielle "The Book Huntress" wrote: "Arch wrote: "The question that needs to be asked to authors that feel that they can't write about black women is - What race of women are you writing for?.

If they say, every race. Then they nee..."


I agree, Danielle. I love historicals, particularly the Regency ones. I only know of one book out of the literal hundreds of historicals that I've read over the years that had a major black secondary character. And I appreciated that the author managed to avoid stereotypes while staying true to the fact that black people existed in society in some form or fashion even back then.

She obviously had no problem with a black character and she didn't make it a big deal. Just treated it like normal and it worked very well in the story.


Elise-Pinterest+Goodreads=The Perfect Book Boyfriend (eliselovesshinyandnew) | 56 comments The following is the response that I got from Christine Feehan when I emailed her about a black woman heroine. I love her books.

this is an interesting question which I discussed at great length with one of my best friends, an African-American counselor for women. I had placed a similiar character into my books and wanted to make her a main character, but wanted to get her right. Eventually I did in fact use that character as a main character, BUT, and here is where I ran into some unexpected trouble. As my friend and I have known one another for years and were comfortable with one another, I patterned my character after her and asked her questions and used her responses. It didn't occur to me that I live in an area where the African Americans I know are all professional people. So in writing this character I obviously wrote what we both knew. I had plans to expand into more characters but realized from the response that many African Americans didn't feel she was believable because her education and experiences were far different from theirs. So in answer to your question, it would be difficult without primary sources and a fundamental understanding of inner city culture, I doubt if I could write a believable character to everyone's satisfaction. I loved my character and felt she was a wonderful personality to work with and fortunately, as I do have many diverse readers, she did get a lot of readers who loved her. I do believe you're correct that the paranormal realm is a great way to diversify and I honestly am still kicking the idea around in my head that I wanted to use, but until I can find a way to get around the existing problem I have to shelve it. If you're a writer and want to do write a character and you have a primary source you feel comfortable with, I say go for it.
best,
Christine
http://www.christinefeehan.com<1>


message 41: by Danielle The Book Huntress , Sees Love in All Colors (new)

 Danielle The Book Huntress  (gatadelafuente) | 7314 comments Mod
I have to say I have tremendous respect for Christine Feehan. It grieves me that some Black women would complain because MaryAnn wasn't like them, like they know all the Black women in the world. How silly is that? Now if an author always wrote the same Black character all the time, maybe I'd have an issue with that. I really like MaryAnn, when I read Dark Destiny. I haven't read Dark Possession yet, but since I really like CF's female characters, I doubt my feelings will change.


message 42: by Tina (new)

Tina | 8 comments Saninbham, I think it is great that CF took the time to respond to you very thoughtfully.

But this segment from her response really is a head scratcher to me:

I had plans to expand into more characters but realized from the response that many African Americans didn't feel she was believable because her education and experiences were far different from theirs. So in answer to your question, it would be difficult without primary sources and a fundamental understanding of inner city culture, I doubt if I could write a believable character to everyone's satisfaction.


Now, I could be misinterpreting this, but it sounds like she believes that in order to satisfy her black readers she'd have to write a character who comes from the inner-city?

If I am not interpreting this incorrectly then I am bothered by the response because it plays into the idea of a monolithic black experience. That a less educated, inner city experience is more valid and weighs more than a better educated, middle to upper class experience.

Admittedly I am not a fan of Ms. Feehan's work at all, but I was a tad perplexed by her response.

Thanks for sharing the note, Saninbham.


Elise-Pinterest+Goodreads=The Perfect Book Boyfriend (eliselovesshinyandnew) | 56 comments I think she is saying that when she TRIED to write a story with a character that did not have that inner city quality then her black female readership said that they could not relate. She never felt she HAD to write the character that way because the character she wrote was not. BTW, that particular book was her lowest selling book in the series, which goes back to the comment of people saying that they would not read a book with a black female heroine. Even if the black readers could not identify with her due to her socioeconomic level, I would think that other readers should have been able to relate. I have not read that book so I cannot speak to the writing itself to know if that was a contributing factor, however, the series is pretty much formula paranormal writing (I still like the series though). To me, this is an example of the sqeaky wheel. Only the ones that couln't relate voiced their opinion. Next time, I am going to try to make sure my voice is heard loud when an author writes something besides the typical inner city experience (which is not my experience). Maybe we can balance this thing.


message 44: by Davina (last edited Mar 07, 2010 07:33AM) (new)

Davina D. | 796 comments Loni wrote: "IMO...you can generally tell the authors that are used to a diverse group of friends. They are the ones that likely will write a world based on the reality that the world is made up of so many diff..."

This is an interesting discussion and I wish I had more time to participate. Unfortunately, 4 days of illness last week has resulted in me having to work like a horse the whole week plus the weekend. Anyway, I must say that I fully concur with your viewpoint, especially the following:

Authors seem to mostly write based on what they know. If it's an author who only hangs around with the people who look like them and do the same things...that's what they'll write about most of the time. You have black authors that only have black characters, white authors that only have white characters because that's what they're comfortable doing. IR authors tend to have been in IR relationships and are therefore more than likely familiar with dealing with the interactions of people from different backgrounds.

I think this is very well said indeed. I used to think a lot of authors were racists myself until I started writing. I came to realise that there are some scenarios and characters that appeal to me and some that don't. Aside from my regular w/w stories, my interracial stories feature the white/black combination in the vast majority of cases and will continue to do so for the forseeable future.

Writing is an art that is largely dependent upon inspiration. At this time I have no interest to go beyond the b/w combination because that's what gets my creative juices flowing right now. I have stories that I want to tell rather than stories I feel I have to write to conform to -- in this case, white-- societal expectations. However, does that make me a racist against Asians and Latinos?

It's interesting because outside of my reading world I'm very pro-gay rights. Even before the Gay Revolution exploded, I've been acquainted with many gay people. In fact, the director of my firm, my boss actually, who I've worked with for the past 10 years, is gay. I try not to let what consenting adults do in the privacy of their bedrooms affect my wellbeing as it's really none of my business. Having said that, I've had absolutely no interest in reading gay romance. I simply prefer reading M/F romance. I've never monkeyed around it and I'm not about to start. I'm heterosexual so it's most enjoyable for me to read about such couplings. I read for pleasure and escape. Therefore, I will not conform to any pressure to read beyond what meets my needs. And I have read enough gay romance novels to know they're not for me.

I tend to believe its the same issue with authors who don't choose to write about multicultural characters. Writing for many professional writers is as much a hobby as it is a job, and I can understand if they're simply not interested or exposed as Loni said.

However, I do agree with a lot of you who said they should just be truthful and upfront about it. These lame-@$$ excuses they often come with are an insult and it flies in the face of our collective intelligence. As far as I see it, if people are going to judge you negatively because you dare to write what inspires you then perhaps those are not the people you want reading your books anyway so what's the point in lying?

In far too many cases even if you have characters who are of the same race you'll never be able to satisfy everyone so I say if an author wants to write multicultural, write multicultural and let the chips fall where they may. I personally have never conceived of a black character who isn't a professional. That's what I see; that's what I know; that's what I like. That's what gets my imagination going and what gets me to sit down at my computer and actually produce something. I have no quarrel with inner city characters -- they just don't get me to write. My neighbour and good friend, who is a black female Wall street journalist in an IR relationship with a white investment banker, does. My best friend, a mixed race (she identifies as black) corporate executive who I met many years ago in college, does. My African-Norwegian friend Yacoub, who is the first black historian of that country, does. These people are my inspiration.

White authors, and all other authors, are perfectly within their right to write whatever it is that moves them, but as someone eloquently expressed above don't come with nonsense excuses like "I can't relate" when you're writing about werewolves and dragons. As if werewolves and dragons are more relatable to you than another human being.

With that said, however, we can certainly speculate as to what is the root cause of these excuses authors make. Are they racists? Or are they merely opportunists (very much like a politican) hoping to maximise their gains from the market? Or are they simply cowards (of which some personality types inherently are, imo) who are simply too afraid or preoccupied with wanting to be a part of the crowd to respectfully stand for what they feel? I don't know the answer, but I've come to the realisation that it's no longer as simple as saying "They're all just racists!". Are there some racists among these authors? Probably. But truly, I don't believe it. Many white romance authors know they have a strong black following and as a result I think the vast majority of these women fall into the latter two categories I mentioned above rather than being true racists. JMHO.


message 45: by Michelle, Mod with the Bod (last edited Mar 07, 2010 08:25AM) (new)

Michelle Gilmore | 3396 comments Mod
Eugenia wrote: "I've never read Christine Feehan's books but I think it was responsible of her to do what she did to get it to be a real character. But I think in many ways as black women we are own worse enemies ..."

Well said Eugenia. I recently had a black female friend that I've grown up with say the same thing about my taste in reading; that she couldn't relate. Honestly, I haven't read as many IR short stories and novels and many of you here,but since joining this group, but my tbr pile is steadily growing. After reading some books that have been highly recommended by other AA women, I'm scratching head wondering how they feel they relate to the heroine, when I feel she exemplified every AA ghetto stereotype there was; regardless of her experiences. I don't wake up everyday, thinking "I'm black", and then go to work with an attitude. Its sad really, that SOME women are offended by, what I feel is the more realistic representation of black women. I'll definitely support Christine Feehan, and other authors like her. I'll be heading to the used bookstore this afternoon, lol!


message 46: by Nisha (last edited Mar 08, 2010 09:43AM) (new)

Nisha (parakisu) | 55 comments Racial stereotypes. A person isn't defined based on their race, so I find it really humiliating when writers create characters that exemplify the stereotype.

It's funny how a lot of women say that they cannot relate to some black heroines. Which I really find strange. I'm not black or white, for that matter, yet, a heroine's personality and beliefs help me relate to her, not her socioeconomic status or her neighborhood. And like Michelle said, i don't wake up reminding myself of my race. That's just unrealistic, and how do you actually relate to that?

The reason IRs appeal to me is that they transcend a barrier that most people set, a barrier that I personally want transcend. It makes me happy that a relationship can work even if there is a culture difference or social pressures. I'm always really proud of authors who can write characters who have a race, yet it doesn't limit the story based on that.


message 47: by Davina (new)

Davina D. | 796 comments Nisha wrote: "Racial stereotypes. A person isn't defined based on their race, so I find it really humiliating when writers create characters that exemplify the stereotype.

It's funny how a lot of women say that..."


Well said.


message 48: by Chaeya (new)

Chaeya | 454 comments I've been offended more times than I can count by white authors attempting to write in a black character. The usual sassy, "sweet Jesus" "oh Lord, help me now" type lingo turns me off, and I have to say the only one I read who didn't offend me was Sherilyn Kenyon.

But here's how it happens. I see it on a daily basis where I live. When someone grows up in suburbia with no black families in the neighborhood, where you're lucky if you get one or two black students at the schools you attend, go to work in a predominantly white area, it's understandable how these people watch tv and think all black people are from the ghetto, listen to rap music and all speak in ebonics. After all, hardly any live in their neighborhood, so it must be true to them. We can talk all the shouldas and oughtas here, but it isn't reality.

I know I'm the member of a number of writers boards and I've noticed some (not all) white authors have this sort of upbringing. It isn't that they are racist or prejudice. Some of them wouldn't mind having a black friend or two, it's just that they haven't had the opportunity. So they know nothing of the real black world. When they write, they want to add a little flavor to their book by adding a supporting character of another race.

It's the same with asians. Some of us don't have asian friends and the stereotype is that they all speak broken english, can't drive and know kung fu. In reality, the Vietnemese in my neighborhood sound like inner city kids when they speak. Many of them have the same social problems that blacks and hispanics do. Gangs, because of money issues, have poor job prospects, teen pregnancy issues. One of my friends had to leave her husband because he wouldn't stop cheating on her.

Television and movies are the biggest problems with keeping people living in stereotypes. Recently, that Bruce Willis and Tracy Morgan movie came out and frankly, I'm disgusted by it. I'm tired of the white serious cop and his black stooge, like all black men do is putz around for laughs. I watched the press conference for the movie and Bruce Willis goes - "we didn't want to get into race issue, we just brushed over it." I never liked Tracy Morgan, never been a fan of his because I always found him stupid moreso than funny, so no, they really don't need to go into any racial jokes, he's stupid enough without them. I grew up with black comedy, so Tracy is definitely one I don't care for.

Black movies don't make it easier either. Most of them are about those either dealing with cheating men or inner city problems like gangs, drugs and broken homes. The reason they don't make many movies outside of this is because they don't do well. The Haunted Mansion with Eddie Murphy, didn't do well, the movie with Ice Cube (forgot the name) where he buys the house that everything goes wrong, didn't do well. Black people won't go because they think "oh it isn't realistic." Now most of my family all have degrees, they work, live in regular neighborhoods, and they go to movies too, so how is it not realistic? My kids enjoyed the Haunted Mansion and that darn Ice Cube movie that I can't remember the name of that's in the living room but I'm too lazy to get up and go see what it is. And of course the suburban whites won't go because guess what? They're afraid they might not relate or their kids might not relate.

This is just my take. Like I said, I've been living down here in Orange County for 14 years. They used to call this Klan County back in the 80s and apparently many black people still think it's true.


message 49: by Michelle, Mod with the Bod (last edited Mar 07, 2010 05:24PM) (new)

Michelle Gilmore | 3396 comments Mod
Chaeya wrote: "I've been offended more times than I can count by white authors attempting to write in a black character. The usual sassy, "sweet Jesus" "oh Lord, help me now" type lingo turns me off, and I have ..."

Good points Chaeya. Now, I'm not an author. I've never written anything beyond a paper or something that was required for school. But, shouldn't authors do research prior to writing characters and such? I know what you mean when you say you've been offended more times than you can count by a non-black authors attempt to write a black character, and the character basically ends up "shuckin' and jivin'." Ugh! It really disgusts me. Someone posted an email from Christine Feehan, where she explained that she based the heroine in Dark Possession on her good friend, that just happens to be an AA woman. I would hope that if an author doesn't find someone of a particular race in the circle of friends, they would take the time to get to know a few people of whatever race before attempting to portray them in their work. I mean, enough already with all the stereotypes of various persons of color.

By the way, I can remember people being up in arms years ago saying that the Cosby Show wasn't realistic because of the parents occupations. Really?! Why isn't it? Doctors and lawyers come in all races, always have. It just makes me want to scream. AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAGH!!


message 50: by Arch , Mod (new)

Arch  | 6601 comments Mod
Chaeya,

The movies with Ice Cube is called:

Are We There Yet? - That's part one

Are We Done Yet? - That's part two

I don't think that these movie didn't do well, because a lot of black people didn't go see it.

Don't get me wrong, I didn't really see the movies. Only a few minutes.

I think that a lot of comedy movies don't do well at the box office and if some does, it's because of a certain actress or actor, who has been there and done that, but, because of who they are, their fans go see them.

I don't think that Tracy Morgan is funny. When I've seen the trailer for Cop Out. I was wondering why Bruce Willis was in a movie with Tracy Morgan. The man is not funny. He wasn't funny on Saturday Night Live. A lot of people on Saturday Night Live are not funny.

I wish that Cop Out was a more serious movie. Bruce does serious cop shows well. The Die Hard series.

Was Sean William Scott funny in the movie?


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