Well, okay, not really. But if I were a character in a novel and the author took the time to describe my skin color, they'd probably use the word chocolate. Or maybe cinnamon... Anyway, my skin is brown, but saying "black" or "of African descent" would be too obvious, I guess, even though describing skin color with foods has become a handy cliché that makes certain people feel like racist cannibals.
Although we've certainly come a long way, race is still a touchy subject for a lot of people, and that's no different in the world of publishing. Statistically, people of color don't get published nearly as often as whites, and when they do, the book covers sometimes prominently feature Caucasians - even if the book itself does not. No, it's probably not a conscious decision on the part of the publishers or the book designers or whoever else determines what makes it to the shelves or not (for the low rates of published minority authors, anyway - the whitewashing of book covers is totally their fault), but it's still very hard to support the notion that people are color blind, even if we'd like to think that we are.
Take me, for example. I read a lot of books in a whole lot of genres and styles. I have bought so many books over the years that I've probably demolished a whole forest, and because of that I've been well acquainted with the layouts of bookstores and libraries. And in a lot of them, there's usually an "African American literature" section, despite the fact that I've never seen an Asian American or a Native American shelf. Every time I see those signs, I cringe. It gives the impression that only black people want to read books about black people or by black authors when obviously that's not true. I mean, I've never tossed a book aside just because the main characters was white. Good writing is good writing.
But at the same time, when I read a book and find a minority character where I wasn't expecting one, it makes me happy, like I've found the needle in a haystack. Unless the author specifically says otherwise, I automatically assume all characters are white, and I think that's because after all my years of reading, 99.9% of the time that's true. So why would I consciously avoid the "chocolate" section, then? It's hard to say. Sometimes I think it's because I don't want to perpetuate the stupid segregation of books, but other times I think it's because I'd only wander into that area and read a chocolate book because I felt obligated to. I've had some people actually scold me for avoiding the African American literature section, because I should have some special loyalty to authors simply because they have a similar heritage.
It's a delicate balance, I suppose - choosing between the desire to read only what is interesting and the desire to make the effort to read something out of duty. But a book is a book is a book, and if I had my way, chocolate and vanilla and olive and cinnamon books would be in a big vat of sweetness for everyone to enjoy without having to do something so superficial as put a label on it. So yes, when someone recommends a great book that just happens to feature people of color, I'll be more than happy to give it a try. But it irritates me when someone hands me a book regardless of genre or quality and says, "Here - you're black, she's black, black power. You'll love it."
I'll never reject a book simply based on the color of its characters or its author - but I won't accept a book simply because of color, either. To do otherwise would be disrespectful to people of all food groups.