Richard Delgado


Should minority writers aim for a "crossover" audience of mainstream (white) readers or write mainly for a circle of readers like themselves, viz., minorities or people of color? Despite the attractions of achieving crossover status -- including fame, fortune, and book reviews -- the article argues that writers of color should usually visualize an audience of their peers, that is, readers of color. Writing for a broad audience of mostly white readers risks that the minority writer will adopt topics, language, and approaches that will appeal and ring true to this group. Consciously or unconsciously the writer may pull his or her punches, cater to an audience other than his own, lose her own voice, and end up reinforcing stereotypes or writing in a sentimental and inauthentic mode.