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Melanii
09-11-2014, 08:58 PM
Okay, well I've been debating between making a main character in a story of mine black. One of the reasons is because if I don't, she'll look like me when I draw her (no pictures of mine will be represented in the book, but still). I can also picture her that way, very easily. Like it seems natural to me.

Plus, she has a cousin who's black, and I don't want to make it seem so... random.

Like... "This white girl and her sister have a black cousin, and he's the only black character in the book."

It sounds lazy to me. Or even forceful.

The ONLY issue I see with changing her race from white to black is the story's concept. Most of the main characters are reincarnated from Greek gods, living in mortal bodies. They have similar traits and even physical characteristics of who they once were.

I had this idea for a scene where this MC's younger sister is supposed to be flipping through a book and sees a painting of one of the gods. She then notices a strange resemblance the goddess has to her older sister. I don't know if a black character and a white character can have any similar characteristics. I'm THAT ignorant. ;_;

IF it helps, the goddess I'm referring to is Persephone, Queen of the Underworld, and goddess of spring and flowers. Living in the Underworld would make her skin pale, or lighter, but being outside and tending to earth means she'd have some kind of tan.

Any suggestions or tips? Thanks. ^^

samtaztic
09-11-2014, 09:08 PM
It's fantasy. She can easily be reincarnated into a different race without explanation.

My issue is your own admittance at being ignorant concerning black and white people having simmilar characteristics. I am assuming you mean physical characteristics so I would suggest you google 'mixed race twins: one born white one born black' (something along those lines) and see how yes people of different races can indeed bear a resemblance.

Best of luck.

Melanii
09-11-2014, 09:27 PM
*googles*

Oooo, I learned something today! I think I'll be fine now. XD

I think. :P

Lillith1991
09-11-2014, 10:44 PM
*googles*

Oooo, I learned something today! I think I'll be fine now. XD

I think. :P

Thing is, mixed twins only happens as far as people are able to tell to child born to biracial parents. The genes for another group have to be present in both parents.

thisprovinciallife
09-11-2014, 11:46 PM
Lillith, that's what I thought too! But this just happened:

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/femail/article-2739797/The-colour-skin-no-concern-Jonah-healthy-happy-baby-matters-Million-one-white-baby-born-surprised-black-mother.html

So I guess anything is possible. And to the OP - in your fantasy world, you have control over the rules of reincarnation. But it will take a lot of research to learn how to write a main character with a different race/culture than your own! I'm glad that you want to take on the challenge, good luck :)

Melanii
09-11-2014, 11:57 PM
I think I'll have them have similar physical features, and that's it. XD

The only difference in culture is that her parents are way better off than mine ever were. :P

((I might have to figure out hair textures and different products, though.))

Midian
09-12-2014, 12:22 AM
I've seen many people that look like people of other races. The most memorable: I met a black man that looked exactly like an ex boyfriend except for the hair, skin, and eye color. Cheeks, nose, chin, jaw, lips, eye shape...all very similar. Even the texture and clarity of their skin was similar. My ex had blonde hair, blue eyes, and was whiter than white.

Lillith1991
09-12-2014, 01:09 AM
Lillith, that's what I thought too! But this just happened:

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/femail/article-2739797/The-colour-skin-no-concern-Jonah-healthy-happy-baby-matters-Million-one-white-baby-born-surprised-black-mother.html

So I guess anything is possible. And to the OP - in your fantasy world, you have control over the rules of reincarnation. But it will take a lot of research to learn how to write a main character with a different race/culture than your own! I'm glad that you want to take on the challenge, good luck :)

The baby is biracial. We mixed race kids are known to be fairly unpredictable in appearence. There was a girl at my school who was also mulatto like me, her father was dark too. But she was almost white in skin tone, had naturally kinky-curly blonde hair, and light eyes. It also looks like the baby pictured inherited a recessive gene from his mother, which is what happens in cases like the twins. Only in those cases both parents have the recessive gene. In this case, the mother's recessive gene combined with the dominant one in little Jonah's father.

thisprovinciallife
09-12-2014, 01:52 AM
The baby is biracial. We mixed race kids are known to be fairly unpredictable in appearence. There was a girl at my school who was also mulatto like me, her father was dark too. But she was almost white in skin tone, had naturally kinky-curly blonde hair, and light eyes. It also looks like the baby pictured inherited a recessive gene from his mother, which is what happens in cases like the twins. Only in those cases both parents have the recessive gene. In this case, the mother's recessive gene combined with the dominant one in little Jonah's father.

I agree! I am also mulatto, and I work in a school district with an exceptionally high proportion of mixed-race kids - and we all look so unique! There is no way to imagine what mix produces what :) I just thought the article was interesting, as I hadn't seen a recessive gene surface from that far back in a person's ancestral history - very cool.

Lillith1991
09-12-2014, 02:28 AM
I agree! I am also mulatto, and I work in a school district with an exceptionally high proportion of mixed-race kids - and we all look so unique! There is no way to imagine what mix produces what :) I just thought the article was interesting, as I hadn't seen a recessive gene surface from that far back in a person's ancestral history - very cool.

My maternal grandfather was Indian and European, my maternal grandmother descended from predominantly European Jews with some Native heritage. What happens with my mom and her sibblings who are 75% white? They look like both their parents are white. My dads family is mostly black, with some native chilean and a tiny bit of Irish. What do I look like? A mash up most of the time, though I get mistaken for half-Indian more often when my hair is pressed. Sometimes I get mistaken as having more recent Indian heritage than my grandfather even with my hair worn in it's natural state. Genetics are a major craps shoot with mixed kids.

Hell, three of my aunt's four kids are half-khmer. One of them can pass as white if you don't know her dad is a refugee from the Cambodian genocide, the other two you are able to tell they're clearly mixed. The cousin who can pass, her son looks more Cambodian than she is even though in reality his father is Italian American.

But, yes. Genetics are a really cool thing!

Cyia
09-12-2014, 02:40 AM
A potential word of caution - make sure that if your Queen of the Underworld is a POC, you don't make Hades domain into a caricature of hell. I know the story of Persephone, and I know that she wasn't an evil character - for the most part, neither was Hades, but that's how they're often portrayed, and when you go down that road you risk falling into the "POC = villain" trope.

I'm fairly certain that Persephone's father was supposed to be Zeus, so you'd either have to make Demeter POC, or use the idea that the girls share common physical traits via other means. (A lot of stories like this use the idea of a special birthmark to denote deity.)

Have you considered mixing mythologies? Maybe mashing Demeter together with a similar goddess of African origin? Maybe Isis?

Melanii
09-12-2014, 02:48 AM
A potential word of caution - make sure that if your Queen of the Underworld is a POC, you don't make Hades domain into a caricature of hell. I know the story of Persephone, and I know that she wasn't an evil character - for the most part, neither was Hades, but that's how they're often portrayed, and when you go down that road you risk falling into the "POC = villain" trope.

I'm fairly certain that Persephone's father was supposed to be Zeus, so you'd either have to make Demeter POC, or use the idea that the girls share common physical traits via other means. (A lot of stories like this use the idea of a special birthmark to denote deity.)

Have you considered mixing mythologies? Maybe mashing Demeter together with a similar goddess of African origin? Maybe Isis?

I hate when people think Hades is evil. I don't think he is.

Unfortunately, I can't mix mythologies since the whole idea of this story is shared between me and my childhood best friend. XD

backslashbaby
12-27-2014, 06:57 AM
I have a friend who looks to me like the white physical version of a certain Black star :) It's their common eyes and smile; but my friend doesn't look Black at all, if that makes sense. The star does ;)

I don't think it's random to have a Black cousin, btw. I have a few, because my cousin married a Black man, lol. It's pretty simple :D ;)

C.bronco
12-27-2014, 07:17 AM
I always thought my grandfather on my mother's side looked like Sammy Davis Jr. He was 100% Polish.

On another note, there were moors around at that time, and the idea would probably not have been as foreign as some would assume it is now.


I may not have helped.

G_Kombo
05-10-2016, 01:52 AM
Have you considered mixing mythologies? Maybe mashing Demeter together with a similar goddess of African origin? Maybe Isis?

This is genius, speaking directly for our times. Mixing mythologies, drawing out there similarites and infusing them in a modern context. Loved this.

cornflake
05-10-2016, 07:27 AM
There can be twins born, one white, one black, if a woman had sex with a white man and a black man closely enough together that two released eggs were fertilized and implanted. That's super rare, obv., but can happen. Those twins would be half siblings, and could certainly have similar appearances, same as any half sibs.

L. OBrien
05-10-2016, 11:34 AM
As if you needed historical justification (you don't--this is a fantasy novel, and whatever you say goes, history be damned) the Romans, who had a fairly similar religion to the Greeks and shared many of their deities, were not as homogeneously White as we have been lead to believe. According to cracked.com (http://www.cracked.com/article_20536_5-ridiculous-lies-you-believe-about-ancient-civilizations.html)(see #4), their empire was pretty diverse, and people from a variety of ethnic backgrounds intermingled.

Might not be in line with common perceptions, and most evidence (that I turned up in a cursory google search) points to the pantheon being White. But I see no reason you couldn't use real facts to fudge things a bit.