Classes did end as all things must, and right on schedule, and with the welcome news that my promotion to professor had come through. But the news did nothing to erase my depression over the rejection of my novel, now the seventeenth one.
'The line is, you're not black enough,' my agent said.
'What's that mean, Yul? How do they even know I'm black? Why does it matter?'
'We've been over this before. They know because of the photo on your first book. They know because they've seen you. They know because you're black for crying out loud.'
'What, do I have to have my characters comb their afros and be called niggers for these people?'
'It wouldn't hurt.'
I was stunned into silence.
From Glyph by Percival Everett:
Have you to this point assumed that I am white? In my reading, I discovered that if a character was black, then he at some point was required to comb his Afro hairdo, speak on the street using an obvious, ehtnically identifiable idiom, live in a certain part of a town, or be called a nigger by someone.