Resources for writers who want to include characters who are a different race, ethnicity, or culture from their own in their work. Learn about common stereotypes and tropes, language to use and avoid, find research sources, and learn about available on demand classes.
These links represent a portion of the resources available to students who attend a Writing the Other class or Master Class.
Tropes & Stereotypes to Avoid
- Martha as Mammy and yet more ‘ism’s in the Whoverse by Karnythia aka Mikki Kendall
- Negative Racial Stereotypes and Their Effect on Attitudes Toward African-Americans
- Latino Stereotypes Thrive in the Media, Negative Attitudes Dominate | Colorlines
- The Damaging Effects Of The ‘Model Minority’ Myth | ThinkProgress
- “Model Minority” Seems Like a Compliment, but It Does Great Harm – By Bernadette Lim at NYTimes.com
- Native People Respond to J. K. Rowling’s Magic in North America
- Writing, Tonto & The Wise-Cracking Minority Sidekick Who Is the First to Die by Cynthia Leitich Smith
- The Problem with the word ‘Gypsy’ – Gypsy Appropriations
- 5 Words Reporters Need To Stop Using to Describe Black People | Essence.com
- Why using food metaphors to describe people of color is problematic – Writing With Color blog
- Writing with Color: Description Guide – Words for Skin Tone
- Do Asians actually have almond-shaped eyes?
Resources and Research
- Writing With Color Blog
- This site is one of the best resources for writers we’ve ever come across and we recommend it highly. The link will take you to the Navigation page for all the topics discussed. You’ll find everything from description and language to stereotypes and tropes to specific information about different races and ethnicities.
- People of Color in European Art History – Non-white people existed back then in that place. Yes, even then. Yes, even in that place.
- Pro tips for SF/fantasy writers interested in “Native” themes…. Storify by Daniel Heath Justice
- Everything You Wanted to Know about Indians But Were Afraid to Ask by Anton Treuer
- Do All Indians Live in Tipis?: Questions and Answers from the National Museum of the American Indian
- I’m Latino. I’m Hispanic. And they’re different, so I drew a comic to explain
How To Do It Well
In this seminar, Native scholar and activist Debbie Reese talks about the missteps J. K. Rowling and many other authors have made in writing Native characters, why they are a problem, and offers writers strategies for avoiding them and doing better.