Race is not just a color, race is about culture, ethnicity, religion, family background, heritage, history.
That’s why it is not enough, Wellmeaning Clueless White Person, to take a character, say they’re brown skinned and continue writing them exactly as you’d write a white character and think you’ve done due dilligence. As N.K. Jemisin said herself (in comments):
“I don’t walk around constantly thinking “Hey, I’m black today. Blackitty blackitty black…”, but being black informs nearly every part of my daily existence. Where I choose to live (generally communities with a certain percentage of black people in the population, so I won’t be alone), what clothes I wear (earth tones look good on me; pastels do not), what foods I grow in my balcony garden (my collard greens have aphids! ::wail::), how I wear my hair (hmm, a blowout today, I think. Nah, it’s Saturday, I’ll just put it up in a puff), etc.”
We white people have been fooled into thinking that white is a base, a state of normalcy, that it is not it’s own ethnicity.
Apple pie is an ethnic food. Country-western music is an ethnic music. My name (Megan) is an ethnic name. It’s just that my ethnicity, my race, has dominance, gets treated like the norm, the standard. But it doesn’t make it any less an ethnicity.
My race also infuses and informs every part of my daily existence, just as Ms. Jemisin’s does her.