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Thread: Would you consider this a troubling portrayal?

  1. #26
    Attack me with everything you have. Kim Fierce's Avatar
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    Apr 2011
    I really wasn't trying to say your story was like that movie, it was just something that came to mind, meaning a PoC who talked to animals which wasn't looked down upon (even though I know the original character was white.)

    If your MC lives in one of those urbanized areas it could be very interesting as well as possibly enlighten people and go against the safari park stereotypes. I have an editor who lives in South Africa, so I think there could really be an interest in something that promotes the continent in a positive way.
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  2. #27
    Trust: that most precious coin. little_e's Avatar
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    Mar 2012
    I know koalas are actually vicious. But they *look* cute, and that's what makes it funny.

    I ruined a friend's day, once, by telling her that Koalas are vicious.
    ...she doesn't talk to me anymore. These things are actually probably related.

    I have a friend from Africa. (His parents moved to the US, but he has grandparents/extended family over there and visits them occasionally.) He's white.

    Edit: just remembered another friend of mine actually lives in Africa, South Sudan, in fact. Old friend from childhood I managed to find on FB but haven't really caught up with, yet. She's kind of busy doing whatever it is she's up to. She's posted some gorgeous pictures of coastal resorts (obviously not in S.Sudan) and reports that--Uganda, I think--had better street-signage than London. She also happens to be white.

    The world is a great big crazy mixed up interesting place.
    Last edited by little_e; 01-26-2013 at 04:11 AM.

  3. #28
    Simplify. frankiebrown's Avatar
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    Apr 2012
    I don't see why it'd be a problem. She's in a zoo and she can talk to animals; it makes sense to me that she'd feel a connection with the animals that are from her homeland and want to free them.
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  4. #29
    Cultivate the heart quality. - Ali AW Moderator Jcomp's Avatar
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    Jan 2006
    Quote Originally Posted by Rachel Udin View Post
    Dr. Doolittle originally starred a white guy and the main character wasn't evil in the adaptation. Plus he didn't come from Africa.

    Whereas the character here talks to animals, but is evil AND attacks someone violently for saying they are color blind.
    Well, to be fair, I don't think the way the OP describes the main character makes her "evil" at all. And the animal attack appears to be an accident, one in line with the "prank gone too far" trope common to horror.

  5. #30
    figuring it all out
    Join Date
    Jan 2013
    Dallas, Texas
    I struggle with the book because it seems very race-based. If I strip it to bare bones, a black girls is taking revenge on the white people who have mistreated her and her loved ones.

    (I'll let others comment on the adoption aspect.)

    Truth of the matter, goodness and badness knows no color. There are good blacks and bad ones. There are good whites and bad ones.

    Your story would work better if it wasn't black vs white. Open it up, make your characters of many races. Have some nice white folk and some bad black folk in it. And pepper it with a few other races and/or nationalities to ...

  6. #31
    practical experience, FTW Treehouseman's Avatar
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    Jan 2013
    Quote Originally Posted by little_e View Post
    I know koalas are actually vicious. But they *look* cute, and that's what makes it funny.

    I ruined a friend's day, once, by telling her that Koalas are vicious.
    ...she doesn't talk to me anymore. These things are actually probably related. .
    I was bitten on the knee by a wild Koala when I was a teenager. The thing was like Cujo with claws.
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  7. #32
    Red fish, blue fish... J.S.F.'s Avatar
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    Jan 2012
    Pandas are also pretty vicious. I watched Kung Fu Panda 1 and 2 and my eyes were opened. Just sayin'...

    Okay, to be serious about all this, I have a problem with the portrayals in your proposed novel, OP. I'm your average white dude, and I can see the trope right away. Black girl, from Africa, connected to animals...I think you mean well, but by bringing in (however unwittingly) some stereotypes, you're setting yourself up for a beating by pretty much everyone who is not white. That's just how I see it.

    While you want to break the story down into black and white i.e. clean cut characters (good student, racist students who get their comeuppance, best friend, etc.) it sounds like stereotyping at any level. This is something that should be reworked to avoid the tropes if at all possible.

    The premise of your story sounds interesting. As a suggestion, why not have the girl gradually discover her powers, first with, say, a bear, then a zebra, then...and so on. Why not have just one animal break out and wreak havoc? Seems if you can build it up to a climax where the most fearsome animal of all--the koala--does a number on someone, then it might work out better. JMO...

  8. #33
    Shooting stars. lolchemist's Avatar
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    Mar 2012
    I agree with everyone who commented before me and also wanted to add that I realize you're trying to do a Carrie remake BUT you are treading dangerous ground by making EVERYONE WHITE a horrible person and EVERYONE BLACK a good person.

    With Carrie we can root for her because there are no extra layers of discomfort about race, racism, poverty, the murder of a mother and the virtual kidnapping of a young child hanging over or heads let alone wild animals on the loose mauling bratty children.

    One suggestion I would have for you would be to make your adopter parents black. Imagine an Omarosa-type villainess as the mother? Wouldn't it be delicious? And maybe every single damned classmate doesn't have to be white either, they can all be different races too since filthy rich people come in all races. They can still be mean to her and she can still be traumatized because of her crazy mom just like Carrie was, but it wont be so RACERACERACE shoved into our faces nonstop.

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