Those of you who are in the industry, or even just hang out in Romancelandia for a minute probably know that we have a bit of a controversy as it pertains to race. Essentially it’s very difficult for a black romance writer to make the best-seller lists because very few non-black readers read multi-cultural romances. Over the years we’ve heard a myriad of excuses. The consensus seems to be that relateability is the primary issue. I suspect that it’s difficult for many readers, including black ones, to see a black man as a romance hero. (Quiet as it’s kept, there are black readers out there who will not read black romances.) Of course, some of it is stereotypical and some is historical.
In most romances the hero is powerful, wealthy a real mover and shaker. This is not a role we typically see a black man in. Of course now we have a black man in what is essentially the most powerful role in this country. The fact that he’s young and handsome certainly helps. The photo above could grace pretty much any romance novel. (Uh, could I have it for my next book?)
It will be interesting to see if there is any change. Especially in regard to publishers and their acceptance of multi-cultural books.