…I will attempt to discuss diversity in The Conn-Mann Chronicles and not offend anyone.
There isn’t much.
There are two reasons for this.
- The time period was not an extremely integrated era. It’s a cheap excuse, but it’s true. The neighborhood involved in middle-class New York in the 1870s was likely to be fairly homogenous. Though I am reminded by the editor over my shoulder that the Irish were considered a minority and highly discriminated against in this timeframe, and Jo, Bridget, and Kevin are all in this boat.
Now, in the story “The Most Alarming Incident at Doc Adele’s Laundry” in Lost Trails 2: Forgotten Tales of the Weird West from Wolfsinger Publications Jo encounters an African-American laundress and her Chinese helper in the wilds of California, and I hope I have depicted both with respect. Mei Lin may someday become a continuing character…I just haven’t decided whose household to attach her to.
Which leads to reason 2.
2. I am afraid to get it wrong.
Yes, that is the coward’s way, but I have studied enough of culture (I have a degree in Asian Studies) to know how badly people can get it wrong.
These days, having sensitivity readers is quite common, but I have enough trouble getting beta readers to give me regular feedback.
But that’s just a lazy excuse.
If the situation arises that a character would logically or historically be diverse, or where it really wouldn’t matter and therefore could be easily done, I would love to get more diversity into the Chronicles. Right now, this is where I am. And that isn’t good enough…