No... even when you flat out tell them the character is black, they still ignore it.
I write a long running series... the 2 main characters are described as "Persian" and "Scottish".
The series is set in 900s, you know, 500 years before the white Celts invaded Alba(Scotland) and mass genocide murdered the native Pictish tribes.
Throughout the entire series, in every single novel, the Scottish man is described as:
The series features time travel. In novel #22 of the series, they end up in the American Civil War, in the South (state not said). They fall out of a portal and land in a battlefield, full of grey uniformed soldiers, who immediately take them both prisoner, accusing one man of being an escaped slave and the other of being a black sympathizer smuggling slaves to the North.
In the weeks following the release of the book, my email was filled with hundreds of hate emails from readers of the series who were enraged to learn that there was a black character. 97% of all copies sold to America were returned. I received nearly 200 hate emails informing me that I was a "n-loving cracker" (even though I am myself not white, LOL!) and they would never read a book by me again, because they NEVER read books "for black people"
They were enraged and infuriated, by the fact that I suddenly "changed his race".
Dozens of emails proclaimed there was no such thing as a "black Scotsmen", even though the reality is there is no such thing as a white Scotsmen, as any white skinned Scotsman is nothing but a Celt - a descendant of the murderers of the Native tribes of Scotland who were black and almost pygmy hieght. (I am myself a very short, non-white Scotsman of Pictish descent.)
I suppose that taught me that the average white American knows nothing about Scotland or Scottish history.
I suppose, however the most ironic thing of all of this, is that the character in question is also by race, a Unicorn.
As in a horse.
With 4 legs.
Pointy fluffy ears.
And a shiny horn on his head.
Yes. A little black pony.
That's right... he's NOT a Human.
Their hatred of black people was that bad, that they flipped out over a freaking black HORSE.
In addition to describing him:
... he is also described as:
Yes, dear readers, the White Powers of America, hate black people, black HUMANS, so much, that not only did they not notice King Gwallmaiic was black, they also failed to notice, he was a horse.
Here, have a scene from the novel in question:
Many of the readers emails pointed out Unicorn's broken English, in their rants of nigger hating white power, calling him "a stupid illiterate black man".
Notice that Unicorn is Scottish and is speaking ACTUAL Scottish English. (My native language. The language I actually speak myself).
Notice how they jumped to false conclusions of who and what he was, based off their own bigoted images of black people.
They assumed that his speaking Scottish english equaled his being illiterate. And in their minds black man = illiterate, so anyone deemed illiterate, MUST therefore also be a black man. Their immediate assumption that he MUST be a black man, based of his broken English alone, says a lot of the mind set of the average white American and how they view those around them.
Their bigoted notion was "proven" to them, when a drunk Confederate soldier, mistook a black horse for an escaped slave, and called him "a niggah black as tar, blackest damed niggah I ever did see".
They got their panties in a black hating knot, over a black horse.
This scene, where the Necromancer rescues his black unicorn from the white supremacist soldiers, by killing said white power bigots, is the scene that pissed off readers most of all. They raved and ranted and railed on the evils of a black man killing the white soldiers.
But then, Quaraun is not a Human, so, he's not a white man either.
Of course, The Ku Klux Klan doesn't take physical skin pigmentation into consideration either, considering I am physically whiter then the tan-brown skinned KKK members who live n Old Orchard Beach, Maine.
Yet, they say I am not white.
Thus they blew up my house with a bomb, left a big white cross in my yard, filled my motorhome with feces, cut my cats' heads off, cut my car in half, and beat me up leaving my crippled for the rest of my life.
I'm physically whiter then the white sheets they wear.
But, according to them, I'm not white.
By their fruits, ye shall know them, for no good fruit can come from a bad tree. Like the Master they serve, they come to kill, steal, and destroy. There is no light in them. They can not spread love, peace, and joy to others, for they have no love, peace, or joy in their own souls.
Ask yourselves this: what type of person cuts a cat's head off and nails it to a door? Does that sound like a good or God fearing person to you? And yet, the Ku Klux Klan, a religious organization, a branch of the Baptist Church... do exactly that, and they do it in the name of Jesus, a non-white Jew, which makes no sense to me at all, but, who can understand the mind of a mad man?
Like the local KKK, the haters in my email, were infuriated over coloured people, in places where there were no coloured people at all.
Which tells me that they are so full of hate, that they are just going around, out of their way, to try to find things to hate, with the intention of hating on them.
Rather small minded thing to do if you ask me.
I can't understand why someone would want to live their life like that, but it's what some people just WANT to do.
They were upset over the fact that a black man had defended himself against being murdered by white supremacists!
(Even though that is not what had actually happened at all. What they thought they had read, and what I had actually written, were in fact to very different things!)
Behold, the power of the words "niggah" and "slave".
When a drunk Confederate soldier, in a novel, mistook a black horse for an escaped slave... and resulted in 97% of all books sold in America, to be returned, and many hundreds of white power hate letters to be sent to the author's email, calling her a "nigger loving cracker"... because she wrote about a black, Scottish Unicorn - a horse with a horn.
And with him on the cover of nearly every single novel too!
Here... here are a FEW of the 130+ covers in the series... see him there on the cover...
I DID mention race, AND also DID describe skin color, AND I also DID describe physical features, AND he is a character who does NOT like white people and his dialogue is filled with constant, incredibly racist, very anti-white statements AND...
...he's described as being
and a UNICORN,
literally THOUSANDS of times.
The story is about an Elf Wizard and his freaking pet Unicorn, for crying out loud!
Are they that frigging stupid?
And readers STILL translated him as white!
It took a Confederate soldier calling him a "slave" 22 volumes into the series for them to finally see that he was black.
Interestingly, there is a later scene in the closing chapter of the novel, where Unicorn, uses illusions to make the white people see him as a black man, BECAUSE of how they treated him in the opening chapter of the novel. However, near as I can tell from the hate mails and death threats in my inbox from the haters... they never read past the 1st chapter of the novel, past the scene excerpted here, to know that part.
Interestingly, it seems that I have succeeded in creating a very well made set of characters, seeing how they, by their very existence, have pissed off so many people. But then at the same time, I have to wonder at the IQ, common sense, or just basic mental state of the haters who started to read this novel and then stopped because they mistook a horse for a black man?
But they still have not yet figgered out that he's a HORSE!
No where, not ONCE in any of these multiple hundred emails that flooded my inbox April 2015, days before haters trashed my motorhome and beheaded my cats....not once did any of them mention the character either by name or use the word "horse" or "pony" or "unicorn" in their hate mails.
Bigots are going to accuse the lemon yellow pony with a rainbow tattoo on his bum of being a gay Chinese man, and a shaggy black unicorn speaking broken English as a nigger. Because that is what racist bigots do.
Haters are gonna hate, no matter what you write, so just write your story and ignore the haters. They are small minded gutter scum not worth wasting thoughts on.
And for people wondering why I don't blank out the word niggar to N-word like most people do... because doing so gives the word more power then it deserves.
Think about it... Lord Voldemort, was perceived to be more powerful then he really was, because everyone called him "he who could not be named". But blanking out his name entirely, they gave him way more power then he had. By being so afraid of the word nigger that you close your eyes from it and blank it away, you give it more power then it either has or deserves.