Tea and Conversation 20: The Race Thing


Today I’m sharing a picture of “make tea not war” with a bird that I posted on my tea pin board.

Please do not copy this image. Click image to share on Pinterest.

Today in my meditation I’m thinking about Eternal Curse and Full Moon, and I’m writing about: Why the race thing?

My work isn’t that culturally diverse in comparison to works that aim for cultural diversity, but I do mix races and cultures a tiny bit sometimes. I can still remember one reviewer being shocked to learn that Mira, from Eternal Curse: Giovanni’s Angel, was black. Apparently I revealed her race in a very dramatic kind of way. In actuality, I just think most people have preconceived ideas about how black/ethnic characters should be written.

In my mind, I was simply providing a reveal between characters who’d gotten to know each other online without ever wasting time talking about the color of their skin because so many other matters were much more important. In any case, I’ve made some changes to the chapter structure of that book, which should tone down the “race reveal”, since that’s not the point of that scene.

Now in my first attempt at a contemporary romance, I’ve included one black character who plays a supporting role to my white main character. Some people have asked why am I writing about white people. The truth is that race is never brought up as an issue in this story. I wrote the story based on the way the inspiration came to me. The story is not about race. It’s about all the crazy things that happen in the pursuit of love, but I’m sure someone will be fixated on the one black character for whatever reason because that’s how it always goes.

I’m still fairly new to this whole writing thing and even though I have so many other stories to share and so many other characters to create, some people will complain that I’m not culturally diverse enough, that I’m not black enough, that I’m too edgy, that I’m too PC, that I’m not PC enough, and so on. So, since I know it’s coming, I’m already prepared to simply ignore it all and keep on writing.

Thank you for taking the time to read this post. If you like it let me know and share it with others. See you next time, Toi Thomas. #thetoiboxofwords

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Toi Thomas

I like reading, writing, cooking, dancing, movies, and music. I'm a big kid and choose to see the world in my own special way. Yes, I'm educated, but I haven't let that stop me from being who I want to be. I'm a wife, teacher, author, blogger, and more.

3 thoughts on “Tea and Conversation 20: The Race Thing”

  1. I’m amazed that the colour of Mira’s skin should matter to anyone. Surely its the kind of person she is that really matters. I suppose with Giovanni, being an angel, he could be any colour at all, or lots of different shades, according to his mood at the time. But so what? Should we judge people differently because they wear a green coat rather than a red one? No, it’s just a matter of style and maybe a reflection of their tastes and artistic flair. The same cannot be said about skin colour. Unless we are Michael Jackson, we get what we get and have to live in it. But it’s the person inside that counts, not the wrapping.
    I was born in Scotland and taken to Africa whilst still very young. I began by education in a mission school where most of my classmates came from surrounding villages and the local army camp. Many of them are still my friends over sixty years later, but it took fifty years before someone pointed out that I’d been an ethnic minority at school, being the only white kid. It never mattered at the time and it doesn’t matter now, I still love my friends in the same way because of the lovely people they are.
    Mira is a lovely person too, with so many fascinating and endearing qualities. So what if she’s well sun tanned? She’s obviously a gorgeous, sexy girl.

    1. Ian, thanks so much for your profound words. I don’t tend to consider a person’s color until others turn into a factor of consideration. I wrote Mira the way I saw her in my dreams and write all my characters the same way.

      1. You’re like me, Toi. You see people as people. Then you look at what they’re wearing, because I know you’re interested in fashion and have an good eye for it. You probably consider whether their colour choice matches their skin tone but that’s entirely different from caring what colour their skin is. Hell, its only skin, and we all have that, but is it healthy, or blotchy, or scaly or damaged? Those are the things we should notice.

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