What is Black Romance?

Y’all have to forgive me while I rant a minute, then I promise we’ll be back to the regular program. On more than one occasion out here in the big ole blogosphere I’ve read posts by someone complaining about black romances. Of course, I always read those posts, after all I am a black romance writer. Every time, bar none, the writers they’re talking about ARE NOT romance writers. Now, I understand how these things happen. In most places around this country all books by black authors are ghettoized into a ‘black section’ of the bookstore. Black romances aren’t in the romance section typically, so it’s easy to pick up all manner of books and because there are relationships or sex in them, they’re considered ‘romances.’ Not so much.

Black romances are, for the most part very much like any other romances. In a word, they’re not filled with baby mama drama, adultery and various forms of dysfunctionality. In fact, I can assure you, if any of this mess is involved, you’re NOT reading a romance. And yes, most of these books are monoracial, though there are plenty of interracial books as well if that’s your preference.

Any number of publishers have specific imprints for black romance. Harlequin and Kensington have the Kimain and Dafina lines respectively. Parker and Genesis exclusively publish black romances. Of course, many black romance novelists don’t write for a specific line or publisher, and there’s a lot of good romance books out there from e-pubs as well. This is especially true if you like your stories a bit steamier and more sensual. Bridget Midway’s Love My Way will give you insight into the BDSM lifestyle that is guaranteed to make you re-examine your views of it.

Two of the best-known authors are Brenda Jackson and Donna Hill. Both were recently featured in a New York Daily News article. If you like historical romances Beverly Jenkins is phenomenal, in fact, her books are great even if you just like reading history, period. Like your stories a little bit funny or a little bit scary? Check out Monica Jackson and Sharon Cullars. I guarantee Cullars’ Again will keep you awake nights. Monica will make you laugh until you pee your pants, guaranteed.

Like your stories a little sweeter? In fact, prefer stories with no sex at all? Then Pamela Leigh Star is your girl. She expertly crafts fascinating stories and characters who manage to keep their clothes on. Seressia Glass is one of the finest writers I know, bar none. She’s one of the few writers who can make me cry like a baby and then scare the living crap out of me. And I can’t leave out Lisa G. Riley, she’s my critique partner, and it drives me insane that she’s a much better writer than I am. Her book Simply Wicked is one of the best books I’ve ever read.

If you’re looking for reviews and listings of black romances check out romanceincolor.com. It’s Wayne Jordan’s website, and he writes a damned fine novel as well. Understand that I’m not trying to put down any other genre or writer, but it would be remiss of me if I didn’t defend my own. Oh, and happy reading.

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10 thoughts on “What is Black Romance?

  1. I have loved Beverly Jenkins’ novels for years!! Actually she is the only historical romance writer I read regularly.

    Thanks for putting out a list of real romance writers out there.

    Peace

  2. Thank you for the information. I have read work by most of the authors and have to agree with what you wrote about Beverly Jenkins and Monica Jackson.

  3. It doesn’t help AA romance’s cause when authors are lumped together with street lit because black romance authors are largely invisible to the average reader…

  4. The publishing industry is changing so rapidly, but I think this issue is still relevant. Despite the onslaught of e-books, it seems most black romance readers still prefer print books. I suspect that in less than ten years, probably more like five bookstores will go the way of record stores. When you shop online at Amazon and such categories are more or less meaningless. So I think eventually this issue will become irrelevant.

  5. I hope so. A few months ago Beverly Jenkins ran an informal poll on Facebook amongst her readers and a good percentage own Kindles, Nooks, Sonys, etc and/or installed those apps on their Apple products and smartphones. Obviously the audience for e-published e-books is there, but it’s untapped and under-served.

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