When I started this blog (and still to this day) the top concern of authors I work with is is stereotypes and tropes. It's an important concern, stereotypes aren't just lazy writing (there isn't a person of color in the world simply bored of reading cliches), but they're also harmful one-dimensional images rooted in ignorance and bigotry.
Here is a list of style guides from journalistic societies and cultural groups to help you avoid offensive terminology. These guides not only define terms but also directly state if they are slang, offensive, or simply outdated.
When you avoid pointing out whiteness and put effort into to point out non-whiteness what you're doing is increasing the invisibility of whiteness, standardizing it, making white the norm and making everyone else the "other." You are helping to increase the privilege of being the standard that everyone else is judged by.
Your agent should love your story and believe in it enough to pound the proverbial pavement to get it sold. With all the problems with the lack of diversity in published it's important you don't waste your time querying just any person.
There are hundreds of agents out there but it's important to find an agent LOOKING for diverse stories, marginalized characters, and "own voices" authors to represent. You want someone who wants...
Once I worked with an author who intentionally veiled the race of several of her characters. She thought she was being clever. To her having no race means the reader could just see them as human beings and not be categorized. She had good intentions but I advised against it. But it wasn't the first time I've had to field the question, Does this character's race really matter? If you're wrestling with...
Recently I've sensitivity read manuscripts and I've been noticed characters with unacknowledged privilege and it needs to be addressed. Privilege extends far beyond the advantages of being a "straight white male." Class, able-bodiedness, religion, immigration status, sexual orientation, and so many more categories can be areas where people benefit from privilege.