Good morning and welcome to another Let’s Talk Bookish post! Let’s Talk Bookish is a weekly meme, created and hosted by me, where we discuss chosen topics, share our opinions, and spread the love by visiting each other’s posts.
Today’s topic is: Who do you think is qualified to write a book with diverse characters?
At first, I thought it would be best if only people who are a part of that diverse group should write about such characters, but I’ve realized that that is unrealistic, and maybe unfair.
There’s one thing that I hate more than a bad book: a bad one with misrepresentation.
I’m part of a minority group, and I know how frustrating it can be to find books, specifically YA books, with people like me. The few books that do have, for instance, Muslim representation, are not always correct, and they don’t always handle the Muslim aspect of the book very well, which leaves me frustrated and dissatisfied.
I would love to see more diversity and more representation, but I want it to be done right, not halfway, or completely overboard. I want to learn about other minority groups and what life is like for them through books, but I don’t want to be learning/reading the wrong thing.
That’s why I believed that it would be best if only people who are from a minority group should write about characters with that representation. But that’s not possible. It’s unrealistic. It’s maybe a little unfair.
You have no idea if an author grew up in a diverse community or has friends from a variety of backgrounds. You have no idea if they based their book off of said friends, and did extensive research, and were just trying to do something good and help spread awareness. You can’t tell a person like that not to write diverse books, because they are trying, they know people from that diverse group, and they are helping spread awareness by publishing that book. And I’m so happy and grateful for those kind of authors.
But I also don’t want a Caucasian person who isn’t Muslim, and doesn’t know any Muslims or, for example, Hispanics, besides what he or she sees on TV writing a book about Muslims/Hispanics, or with a Muslim/Hispanic MC.
Some people may know a lot about what it’s like to be from a minority group, maybe because they grew up and lived with them, or have friends from such groups, and they take the time to learn about them.
But others have no ties to any minority groups, and their only information and contact with them is through a newspaper or TV, then for sure, I don’t believe someone like that should be writing a diverse book.
Honestly, we can’t choose who writes what, because everyone’s entitled to do whatever they want, but I just hope that in our bid to increase diversity, we get the good kind, the accurate kind more often than the disappointing misrepresented one.
This Week’s Participants:
What do you think? Should people be allowed to publish books with diverse characters when they aren’t from the that group? If you are from a specific group, have you struggled to find accurate representation of what it is truly like for you? Chat with me in the comments below!