On Being a Melanated Author

I know I’m not some best-selling author or someone with a huge following, but I still have to say something.

I’m sure all of you know about what happened to George Floyd over a week ago. There’s been awesome support with peaceful protests and even people outside of America have been calling out the cops who murdered him.

Not going to lie, I’ve been nervous and depressed about those issues. 2020 has been going downhill with the Coronavirus and now this unrest.

Some of you may or may not know this, but I’m the son of an interracial couple with a white dad and a Black mom. While I may have “lighter skin” (side note: screw colorism), I’ve dealt with a ton of racism in my life like being profiled by police, being called the N-word, and people saying dog-whistle terms to my face. This added to a lot of internalized strife for me and I noticed how much people like me have been derogated in many stories whether they are books, TV shows, movies, etc. I wanted to do something different by having multi-ethnic casts and positive representations while trying not to be preachy or too overt about it. I wished others would realize that audiences shouldn’t be so limited. If I have a reader who tells me that they liked a character and did positive representation for someone like them, then I felt like I did my job. Not everyone will like my ideology, but it’s taken years for me to not give a crap about that kind of disagreement.

Stay safe and appreciate the humanity of others, everyone.

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