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Authors: Skin Color or Talent? Essay

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As I writer, I struggle with a number of things: finding the time to write, finding the inspiration to write, stopping myself from obliterating everything I’ve written in one fell swoop of my editing marker, and so much more. But the biggest struggle I have is not so much with the writing itself but with the color of my own skin.

Authors: Skin Color or Talent?

Like most writers, I read a lot. I’ve described this tendency to be gluttonous, or more complimentary, voracious. However, one thing most readers can agree on is that there is not a whole lot of ethnic or racial diversity in protagonists out there. Nevermind the clear racial bias in the authors that make it to the top-shelf magazines and newspapers. Roxane Gay and her assistant
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Why aren’t there more protagonists like James Patterson’s Alex Cross?

White Culture?

There is an interesting phenomena in this country when you start talking about race and ethnicity, especially when it comes to the university setting. There are courses on Women’s Studies, Black Studies, Asian Studies, and Everyone-Else-Who-Isn’t-White-Anglo-Saxon-Christian-Male Studies. Why are these courses not incorporated into the “mainstream” courses that everyone is required to take? Along with being exceptionally hetero-normative (whole topic for another essay), American society treats being Caucasian as a given rather than one of numerous possibilities. With 54% of the world’s population being Asian (broken down into East Asian, SE Asian, and South Asian), shouldn’t we treat being Asian as the given if we’re looking purely at statistical demographics?

The major problem with Caucasian-normative perspectives is that it is exclusionary. Writing, literature especially, is intended to explore and normalize the human experience. It is intended to give the reader insight into another world, one that they may not have any experience with at all, and to allow them to connect with someone who may or may not be completely different from them. This need to connect, to feel like you’re not isolated in your
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