That question probably raised a few eyebrows--if so, it did what it was intended to do. This is a short blog here. I happened to be on a publisher's website, and I was browsing through the categories, and overall, there were about 16 categories on the side, and there was one: AFRICAN AMERICAN. In general, most AA books fell under the AA category. Many of these books fall into the other categories, but because of the author's color or because of the main characters' colors, or a combination of both, or a combination of both and other factors, the books are separate and not equal.
This is definitely not to point a finger at this one publishing house because all houses do it and most bookstores do it, too. As a black writer who is trying to market her work to the masses, it's disheartening to see that we need this label because ultimately, whether people will say it or not, by placing these books within one category, we are saying that they only fit THIS category and that, overall, only these people, in this case African Americans, will read the works. There are, of course, exceptions. Other races do read AA fiction; however, this pigeonholing into a section seems to hurt writers and their sales more than help them.
If you have a thought...leave it. I'll pick it up and return it to you. :-)