I’m writing a story where the main theme is about white privilege (and racism). The setting begins in a tiny midwestern town, with a population primarily white. It’s first person POV and when the MC (white) describes her friends and family there, she doesn’t use race/ethnicity. For her, white is the norm, so I don’t think it would be something she would note (example of white privilege).

My story progresses and the MC begins spending time with a diverse group of people. I’m cautious of the fact that as an author by noting their race/ethnicities, without noting the previous characters’, I’m playing into the “white is normal and PoCs are other” problem. I took out direct mention of race/ethnicity but that was confusing and it felt like I was going down a “color-blind path” which is not what I want. Race/ethnicity is central to my story, and I just want to make sure I get it right. What do you think is the best way to handle this situation?

Thank you so much in advance for your help!