My experience, so far, is that anything I try to write (as a non-white) is bound for financial failure... That could just be me. Certainly, some have made this work for them - Walter Moseley comes to mind. Alexander McCall Smith, too. Tony Hillerman. Still, I do have some questions that I'll repeat from my comment on Tess's blog:
There might be a difference also between people of color among their own kind as opposed to out and about in the white world. Also, people of color who don't raise a fist - Mma. Ramotswe, for instance. A black detective in Harlem? No problem. A black detective raising a gun at whites in Westchester County? Maybe not so good. Again. I don't know. I wouldn't doubt you if you said there is a successful, serious series with a black detective in Beverly Hills. Eddie Murphy already did the comic side of things.
What thinkst thou?