Justine Larbalestier recently posted two excellent blog entries on topics related to protagonists of color:
First: "Why My Protags Aren't White."
And second: "Ain't That a Shame," talking about the fact that the US cover of her latest book shows a white girl's face, even though the protagonist is black.
The issue of book covers whitewashing characters of color has been around for a long time. And it's been getting a little better in recent years—I've seen several excellent covers in the past few years that show protagonists of color.
But we've still got a long way to go.
Thank you, Justine, for both of those posts.