(My first thread asking this question was quickly sidetracked by discussion about the mechanics of the Urban Fantasy world. That thread has been moved to the SciFi/Fantasy forum, and I am re-doing this one as a clean slate to keep the focus on the most important question.)

My Urban Fantasy is about a group of three drug dealers turned bank robbers the lead protagonist being a Black lesbian named Charlie, the secondary protagonist (and first-person peripheral narrator) being a straight white man named Alec, and the tertiary protagonist being a straight white woman named Amy who discover the secret existence of the supernatural.

I realized recently that I haven't been as quick to ask for feedback on "Charlie as a Black villain" as I have been to ask for feedback on "Charlie as a lesbian villain" and on "Amy as a sexual-assault-surviving villain with PTSD," and I'm hoping that my asking for a second look now (having finished a first draft and having started editing, but not having sent it to any publishers) would be better late than never.

My understanding is that the three most important parts of making a potentially-stereotypical character in this case, Charlie being a Black criminal non-stereotypical are 1) emphasizing that there are other people who share the demographic, but not the trait, 2) emphasizing that there are other people who share the trait, but not the demographic, and 3) emphasizing that the character has more traits than just the one that's stereotypically applied to their demographic.

  1. The first Black person we see is a teller at the bank that Alec robs in chapter 1; in chapter 2, we see a Black man and woman taking care of each other after a bombing at a second bank; and in chapters 4/5, we see a Black security guard at a third bank who Alec manages to charm in chapter 4 with his silver tongue (and a non-zero amount of implicit bias), but who poses a serious threat in chapter 5 once Alec accidentally blows his cover.
  2. Charlie doesn't show up until the end of chapter 2; until then, the focus is on how my decoy protagonist Alec is a white criminal (who brings up in the narration that his white privilege makes many of the criminal parts of his life easier than many of the non-criminal parts of Charlie's life), as is their third friend Amy
  3. Charlie is shown to be the most scientifically-minded member of the group, having originally gone into the drug market to pay for a chemistry degree, and she wants to learn about magic as much for the sheer joy of learning how the world works as for the pragmatic potential of being able to use it in commiting crimes in the future. She is also not a people-person in the way that her two best friends are looking at Myers-Briggs types, Alec is ESFP, Amy is ESFJ, and Charlie is ISTJ but we do see how afraid she is of one or both of them getting hurt or killed, and one of the driving arcs of the book revolves around how guilty she feels that they're always risking their lives for her sake and never the other way around.


Does this mitigate the "Charlie's a Black criminal" stereotype as much as I hope it does, or is there anything in here that I still need to rethink (up to and including the entire book)?