As you guys can read from the title of this blog post, this will be me talking about I’d like to see actual POC representations in books. In recent years, particularly, starting from last year (2019), I started to be more invested in books featuring POCs and written by POC authors. If you don’t know what POC is, POC is People of Colour, basically those who are not white.
As much as I enjoy discovering books with POC characters and with the right representation, there were some characters, authors or books that annoyed me, which I shall not name them. It occurs to me that there are just some books that feature POC and THAT’S IT. It stated the colour of the skin and nationality and that’s just it. Do you know how painful it is for a POC like myself to witness this kind of character in books? Does POC is just about the skin colour? No, we’re more than that, we have our history, our culture, our stories and our food as well, if you must include it. So, to just throw in a character with Asian traits or black skin colour and then just make them the bff of the main character (could be white or could be another POC as well) is just not it.
When an author decides to include a POC in their book (desn’t matter a side character or main character), I think what could be done is they should write about them, tell us their stories, how do they feel as a POC. A big red flag is when a POC is being chucked into a book JUST because it’s a trend these days, JUST because we’d like to see diversity, JUST because people tend to pay more attention in books with POC characters. This kind of books will usually get a pretty bad review from me. It’s just a big turn off. Like I said earlier, POC is beyond their skin colour.
When writing a book on POCs, don’t write it for the sake of marketing or the trend, write it and think of how it will make us feel as a POC, how well could we relate to these characters, what kind of impact it will leave on the other readers and that itself is a good book featuring POCs. This is what I’d like to see in books with POC characters.
Some of my favourite books with the right representation of POCs would be:
- The Woman Who Breathed Two Worlds by Selina Siak Chin Yoke (The book of my LIFE btw)
- The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas
- Snow Flower and The Secret Fan by Lisa See
- The Night Tiger by YangSze Choo
- American Panda by Gloria Chao
- The Weight of Our Sky by Hanna Alkaf
There are more of course, but these books come across as my top reads for all the years I’ve been reading avidly. I’d highly recommend these books and hopefully in future, I could recommend more books featuring POCs on my blog.
Also, before I forget, I’m so forever grateful for the books with great representation of POCs and authors who wrote these amazing books. Thank you might not even be enough to express my gratitude. It’s very important for our stories to be read by everyone in the world and you make it possible. You make us visible and you make our voices heard by people worldwide.
That’s a little rant (and gratitude) post for today, I’ll see you on my next post! 🙂
5 thoughts on “I’d Like to See Actual POC Representations”
I read Snow Flower and The Secret Fan years ago but the plot still sticks to my mind and the heartbreak of it all because of a misunderstanding, should reread it again sometime soon.
I loveeeed that book, I also need a reread!
YAS JESSICA! Loved this! And I 100% agree about how poc characters need to have their own stories! I hate it when a poc side character is just there for decoration! Like “Helllooooo, I’m here to decorate your page with my presence”. However, like a decoration, if authors are gonna use POCs as decors, they need to describe THAT decor as well… Like a lamp! What colour is the lampshade? How big is the bulb? How bright is It? What is the design? Is it old school or modernized? It is wireless or it needs to be plugged in??? AHHHH!!!! Love this post!!!
You have the mind of a writer gurll, go write a book, and ABOUT POC! I’ll buy it! And thanks for loving my post :’)
Hmmmmmm, fingers crossed that someday I’ll get it done 😂