“Here’s what I am: A human being. I’m a woman.
Here are some things about me: I love cartoons. I love to draw. I can dance. I love the beach. I am a great swimmer. I suck at it, but Russian is my second language. I love folk music and pop and rap and jazz and some country and metal. I’m pretty freaking polite, especially to strangers. I’m a little obsessed with PBS. And I have three black siblings who can claim the same things. My sister’s Russian is excellent. I am not abnormal. Plenty of black kids come from great homes and have perfectly regular interests.
Here’s what I am not: A joke. A piece of entertainment. I don’t now and never want to be a nanny. I’m not that great of a cook. I’m not quick to anger. It would take you a while to realize you’ve even pissed me off. I’m a quiet storm, baby. I’m not promiscuous to other people’s detriment. I don’t dance or sing on cue. I don’t do stand up, nor do I have plans to be on a sketch comedy show. I have no idea how to break and/or enter. I have no interest in any sort of violence, at all. My diet doesn’t consist of watermelon and fried chicken. No one in my family would be a suitable spokesperson for Popeyes. With my blackness, I cannot help you win a golf tournament, get a publishing deal, out wit plotting angels, reunite you with your estranged family member, cure you of your awkwardness in dating situations (though this is something I like to play when I’m bored) and any other magical thing Hollywood would have you believe.
Here’s what I’m tired of seeing: Authors who turn to the stereotype. Authors who claim they are not in control of their characters. Authors who set characters in diverse urban areas and omit every bit of diversity. Token minority characters. We were not put on this Earth to play supporting roles. Please believe me.”