I am often asked to explain the debate around writing characters from under-represented backgrounds when the writer does not share the same background as the subject. There are many issues that arise, not the least of which are privilege, power and a history of stereotypical representation. There have been many excellent books and articles on these issues. I've compiled some here with links:
Anita Heiss (2002) ‘Writing about Indigenous Australia--some issues to consider and protocols to follow: A discussion paper,’ Southerly, Vol. 62 No. 2, pp.197-206.
Jeanine Leane (2016) 'Other People's Stories,' Overland, 225 Summer 2016.
Aileen Moreton-Robinson (2004) Whitening Race: Essays in social and cultural criticism, Aboriginal Studies Press: Canberra.
Alexis Wright (2016) 'What Happens When You Tell Somebody Else’s Story?' Meanjin (Summer 2016).
Evelyn Araluen (2017) ‘Decolonial theory should not be safely contained within the classroom: why poetics and academic practice are insufficient,’ Literary Hub.
Tony Birch (2013) ‘Too many Australians remain ignorant of Aboriginal writing,’ The Guardian, 31 August 2013.
Ghassan Hage (2014) ‘Continuity and change in Australian racism,’ Journal of Intercultural Studies, vol.35, no.3, pp.232-237.
Ghassan Hage (1998) White nation: fantasies of white supremacy in a multicultural society, Routledge; Pluto Press, New York; Sydney.
Stuart Hall (1997) 'Spectacle of the Other,' Representation: Cultural Representations and Signifying Practices. London/Thousand Oaks, CA/New Delhi: Sage.
Marsha Langton (2003) ‘In reply to Germaine Greer's Quarterly Essay 11, Whitefella Jump Up: The shortest way to nationhood’, Quarterly Essay (August 2003).
Toni Morrison (2017) The Origin of Others, Cambridge, Massachusetts: Harvard University Press, ebook.
Sandra Phillips and Grace Lucas-Pennington (2017) ‘Black&Write! session at 2017 IPEd Brisbane Conference: Editing work with Indigenous content,’ SL Blogs: Indigenous Voices (State Library of Queensland).
Binyavanga Wainaina (2006), 'How to Write about Africa,' Granta 92.
Edward Said (2003), Orientalism (Penguin classics). London: Penguin.
Chinua Achebe (1977), 'An Image of Africa: Racism in Conrad's 'Heart of Darkness,' Massachusetts Review. 18. 1977.
Arnold Zable, Gleeson, M, Hekmat, AK, Rizvi, J (2016), Panel: ‘Can the Refugee Narrative be Shifted’ (Panel), Melbourne Writer’s Festival, (04 Sept 2016).