on Writers Helping Writers:
Where to begin a conversation about stereotypes of People of Color (POC)? This is a fraught topic. For clarity, let’s start with a definition for this term:
People of Color: Applying to non-White racial or ethnic groups; generally used as an alternative to the term ‘visible minority.’
Be aware, though, that some members of ethnic and racial groups take issue with being lumped together as POCs rather than being treated as unique. Others, however, embrace Racialized or POC as terms of solidarity and empowerment.
As writers, we have a role to play in ensuring that the worlds we create are representative of the broad spectrum of personalities, identities, traits, cultures and races in our communities. Whether we’re talking protagonists, villains, or supporting characters, let’s keep them entertaining, fully formed and authentic. What do I mean by ‘authentic’? Believable, realistic, genuine individuals. Mind you, that’s a best practice for any character you create, isn’t it?
Let’s talk about some of the common stereotypes that have been used in portrayals of Racialized People.