I'm a nice, white, Jewish girl from a nice, white, Jewish city neighborhood who got engaged to a nice, white, Jewish boy from the suburbs when I was in my mid-twenties, over twenty years ago. One day, I handed my soon-to-be mother-in-law a stack of books I'd loved reading and she was thrilled.
A few weeks later, she cornered me and said, "Did you realize all those authors are black?"
I had not.
Every book I gave her was written by an African-American woman author. Looking back, I'd have known the characters were black if it was part of the story, but that never influenced my choice of books and I obviously didn't think it was part of what she needed to know. I didn't hide it from her, it didn't enter my mind. Here, read this, it's awesome. That's all I thought of. It also hadn't occurred to be to racially profile my authors. In those days, I read the backs of books, the inside jacket copy, I walked up to the counter and I paid.
I gobbled up these books and loaned them with verve, completely colorblind.
I don't remember if my former mother-in-law liked the books - but I do remember some of the titles and authors. They remain on my list of favorites. Unlike the in-laws.