On “Normalizing” the PoC Protagonist
It doesn’t have to be about her race. Not every story that includes PoC needs to be about their struggles as a _______. That’s where the concept of escapism comes in. As PoC we know we deal with some ish in real life. It doesn’t have to follow us in the books we grab to have an adventure or relax.
As long as you’re not writing “colorblind” in which you or your characters just ignore race (because one should be able to fully note someone’s race/skin/culture without pretending not to see it as if it’s a sin) nor claim it’s just “over” in the book.
Don’t wanna get into racism in your story? Simply don’t have your character(s) run into racist people, and you should be fine. Same goes with sexism, etc.
On another note, even if your story wasn’t about her struggle as a Woman of Color and merely included moments where yeah, her being a Black woman did affect her life, it still wouldn’t make her “defined” by her ethnicity. Lest being discriminated against left or right, a POC facing situations unique to them shouldn’t detract from the narrative nor in anyway take away the “normal” from the story.
We’re People of Color.
We deal with a brand of judgement, profiling and discrimination that Non-PoC do not. That’s normal for us. And yet we go on about our lives, eating and laughing and sleeping. No matter what we might face, we’re not defined by our color. We’re enhanced by it.