Tag Archives: race

The Frustrated Reader: Let’s Talk about Race

Race not diversity. Because those are two different things and diversity will be talked about at another time.

What makes this topic for me frustrating are two main ideas on two levels: the publishing end and the writers, who decide to talk about race through their characters. For African American writers, no matter what the genre is your book will be listed as African American and placed in an African American section. For instance, Octavia Butler is one of the queens of Sci-Fi but you will only find her book in the African American section of a library and not the Sci-Fi section.

This is an issue that needs to be addressed if the literature world is ever going to deal with race. It shows that African Americans are not only good enough to stand with White authors. It’s not a fair race when some of the competitors get a mile head start. Although this is a publishing issue, a lot of authors are unaware of this (yes, there are some who don’t care but I care). It is obvious how to fix this but it isn’t going to be fixed unless more authors care.

Frustration number 2:

What gives me the right to talk about the struggles of a Hispanic person if I am black? I have not been Hispanic a day in my life, so why I would I do that? I have an issue with this because although a story may be fiction it still holds truth relevance and a connection to the reader. By being Black, White, Indian, Hispanic, Native American anything other than my defined race no matter how much I study I cannot write about an event or a person’s feelings about their race and their struggle if I have never experienced it.

And let’s be clear, if you’re writing about faeries, animals or any kind of inanimate objects, you’re not talking about race. Race and its issues are only talked about with humans.

The way to fix this is to be conscious as a writer that you cannot write about everything and the attempt should not be made. As a reader, I want to be able to connect with the character, especially when it comes to issues regarding race. Reading about something and writing about is not the same as writing your experience through a character. If you are writing about a black person getting into a fight over being bullied for their dark skin, it isn’t going to be an accurate portrayal because it is told through you as a non-black person looking at it. This is something authors need to understand. Trust me when I say readers can tell and authors do matter.

Characters shape the author and their viewpoints, so it is important that authors new and old to be conscious of writing about race.



Book Review: Dawn of the Arcana Vol 1 by Rei Toma


Although I didn’t fall in love with the first book, I fell head first into the second . . . well the entire series. Princess Nakaba of Senan is forced to marry Prince Caesar of the enemy country Belquat. This is supposed to bring peace to the two fighting cities; Nakaba is a prisoner and Caesar has no qualms of telling her as such. With only her faithful “attendant” Loki, Nakaba must survive her marriage, and a power she has never heard of.

Now just base on that description it sounds like a fairly unattractive book; however, the author Rei Toma, was able to actually captivate me to read the second volume. In this series, there are some things that are exactly what they are but then there are a lot of things that aren’t even close to what you think they are. For instance, Caesar isn’t an asshole and Loki is nothing as he seems.  

There are a lot of issues in this series regarding race but it’s not black and white; it’s something more than that. The artwork was great; there are no issues regarding that.  But with all the good things in this series the only flaw I can honestly say is each book should have been longer (lol).

Set in medieval times, this series has adult themes in some parts so I would not recommend it to children or those lacking maturity.

Dawn of the Arcana series  by Rei Toma gets a 10 out of 10.