Why does race have to be part of the story for it to be mentioned? It helps paint a picture of the scene. That's not necessarily "making it a racial issue". Her age isn't really relevant either. Nor is her gender, I mean sure we are kind of stuck with the gendered pronouns, but why draw attention to it by saying "woman" instead of "person"?
I get and agree with the complaint if we're talking about actual speech if someone said the same thing but with obvious overemphasis on the word "black", but it just seems like in this case you're reading it with that emphasis where it might not actually be intended.