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samtaztic
09-01-2014, 08:56 PM
In my WIP, my MC is part Black American, part Indian.

Her last name is a clear indicator if her Indian heritage. I've describe her skin as medium brown and given her a mane of curls. Based on those two factors I can not assume that readers see her as a mixed woman (who identifies as black.)

However, I've reached a point where I would like the reader to know she is biracial, and I am not sure how to go about doing this. I have her speaking in Gujarati and when asked she states that she is somewhat familiar with the language because of her father. It would be a perfect time to bring up her mother's race, therefore showing the reader she is biracial, but I am struggling how to make that knowledge come about naturally. Not have her just announce "By the by, I'm part black as well."

I am also curious if this is something that maybe should have been addressed when I described her skin tone.

Suggestions please.

Wilde_at_heart
09-01-2014, 09:04 PM
If she identifies as black, maybe show it through other relatives of hers, or her friends? Is there anyone else in that particular scene?

It's hard to say, not knowing your particular story. I played up the biracial thing a bit my own MS; my MC's dad is of Goan origin but was raised in the US, while her mum was white, but born in India and later immigrated. I actually work it in an admittedly rather 'telly' way and partly through dialogue.

samtaztic
09-02-2014, 10:11 PM
If she identifies as black, maybe show it through other relatives of hers, or her friends? Is there anyone else in that particular scene?

I could slip a line in when she s comparing herself to her sibling.

'Asthetically my sister and I were an almost identical mix of our parents African American and Indian union. Same large eyes, brown skin and curly hair. '

Does that sound fitting?

Keyan
09-06-2014, 11:25 AM
My guess is that if she's mixed race with an Indian surname, she'll be treated as though she's of Indian descent. Her looks as you describe them would fall within the spectrum of Indian appearance. (Google Kamala Harris? Black father, Indian Tamil mother.)

So if she's identifying as Black, she has to make a point of it. Maybe something like, "Yes, my father is from India. But my mom's Black, and so am I."

Wilde_at_heart
09-06-2014, 06:41 PM
I could slip a line in when she s comparing herself to her sibling.

'Asthetically my sister and I were an almost identical mix of our parents African American and Indian union. Same large eyes, brown skin and curly hair. '

Does that sound fitting?

To me, that sounds a bit too much of an author intrusion. Maybe have her wearing something 'African' like a giraffe or something, or something with that distinct green/gold/red that those with a bit of cultural pride in one direction are wont to wear. I say this as someone from Toronto, who'd lived in Guyana as a child - so I'm somewhat familiar with living somewhere where Indian and black people who are either Canadian or Caribbean-born live alongside. Your book of course, but just a suggestion. She could catch the person glancing at it, or commenting on it and she says it's a gift from so-and-so on her mother's side, whose black or something.

samtaztic
09-10-2014, 09:24 AM
My guess is that if she's mixed race with an Indian surname, she'll be treated as though she's of Indian descent. Her looks as you describe them would fall within the spectrum of Indian appearance. (Google Kamala Harris? Black father, Indian Tamil mother.)

So if she's identifying as Black, she has to make a point of it. Maybe something like, "Yes, my father is from India. But my mom's Black, and so am I."

Thanks for responding. Honestly Kamala Harris looks like a light skinned black woman to me. My Mc would be of the same complexion.

I do like the idea of her saying she is black like her mother.

samtaztic
09-10-2014, 09:28 AM
To me, that sounds a bit too much of an author intrusion. Maybe have her wearing something 'African' like a giraffe or something, or something with that distinct green/gold/red that those with a bit of cultural pride in one direction are wont to wear. I say this as someone from Toronto, who'd lived in Guyana as a child - so I'm somewhat familiar with living somewhere where Indian and black people who are either Canadian or Caribbean-born live alongside. Your book of course, but just a suggestion. She could catch the person glancing at it, or commenting on it and she says it's a gift from so-and-so on her mother's side, whose black or something.


Maybe I should have simply said 'Black American' because my MC would not wear something "African" because culturally she identifies with her magical tribe (it is a fantasy book with multi racial tribes) she just happens to be of a mixed race.