On The “Columbusing” Of Interracial/Multicultural Romance

There seems to be yet another bit of fuckery going on in my genre these days. Authors have been putting books with white characters in the IR/MC category on Amazon. And I’m here to say, if you do that you will be called on it. Readers will post reviews warning other readers about your deceitful bullshit, so it would behoove you not to do it. You always know that something has become popular and profitable when white folk show up to take it over. When folk like Suzanne Brockmann start claiming to have created t. Again, hell no. And don’t step to me about your tender fee-fees. Y’all didn’t give a shit about our feelings when you were claiming black folk don’t read. And it’s most recent iteration; black writers can’t write. Don’t bring any white women’s tears up in here. You will regret it.

And before some other kumbayah idiot comes along I know that white people have culture. I have advanced degrees in sociology, but I also know that for the purpose of the romance genre there’s never been a separate category for books about white people regardless of what countries or cultures they come from. White folk aren’t claiming not to be able to relate to books about white people, even when they’re fucking aliens or trees. Yet somehow they can’t relate to books by black authors. So, please, if you post some crap like that on my blog I will drag you like a dead body on The Walking Dead. You have been warned.

This genre was created by, and nurtured primarily by black women. We grew it from nothing. We have the best fans in the world. Fans who have gone through hell and back with us, and no you WILL NOT disrespect them. If left up to me I would absolutely ban anyone who isn’t black or brown from writing in the genre. However, if you insist on coming to our house, you will respect it. Period. Failure to do so will result in you being summarily dismissed.

17 thoughts on “On The “Columbusing” Of Interracial/Multicultural Romance

  1. another thing I hate is when I am looking specifically for bwwm or bw and other men… that i find books about white women and black men coming up in the search list.

  2. Thank you for addressing this. Nothing burns me more than to see a book, advertised as a IRR and then find out it isn’t. Also, how do most online bookstores categorize this genre because I am seeing an increase in LGBT as interracial when it really isn’t. I’ve also seen an uptick in WW with non-White men as an IRR, which, I guess, technically, it is but there needs to be a distinction made. I groused about this to one popular online bookstore and they gave me my money back but it’s the principle. Don’t go about trying to deceive for money’s sake. I hope more BW IRR authors protest. I’m at the point where I will only buy books from authors I know but it’s unfair to new authors who are legitimate.

  3. Thank you for writing about this issue, I buy books from certain writers of this genre. I have notice lately amazon has been placing books by non-black women writers under interracial romance. To my dismay many such authors are getting over with this nonsense. I called bully on this, leaving a review regarding the poor writing and character development of that story. Also the fact their bait and switch is notice by the readers. One such author Sam Cresent has started to jump on the band wagon writing interracial romance and I have made it a point to avoid these cheap’s. I cannot and will not support anyone who is trying to destroy black women image. Once again thank you for this truthful article.

  4. I write IR, I’m white. I write BM/WW. I list them on Amazon as BM/WW. Why is it that I’m in the wrong? I’ve been in an IR relationship for almost 20 years. Why is it okay for BW/WM books to be listed as IR but not BM/WW? And why is it wrong for me to write what I know? The IR genre is hard enough for me to sell in because I have black men on my covers. Look on Allromanceebooks under IR… it’s all white men on the covers for the first 7 pages under best selling.

    People putting white H/h books under IR is wrong. But white people can write IR. We have the ability and the skill and BM/WW need stories as much as BW/WM.

  5. White people are unacceptable in IR books, or white women? Just seeking clarification. Is it okay to have black women and white men, because a lot of my friends write IR books with that scenario.

  6. I bow down to you Ms. Hardy Holcomb. Glad I’m not the only one ticked about this. Practically everyday of the week you will find a book on Amazon’s IR/multicultural list deliberately miscategorized. Sorry people, but a Ukranian romancing a hot Greek isn’t IR or even multicultural if they are both

    @michelprince I agree that your story is indeed an IR because a book doesn’t have to feature a black woman to make it so. There are other races out there and plenty of combinations. However, as a seven year veteran in this industry, I will tell you that your preferred match up, BM/WW, isn’t popular and doesn’t sell well for a reason. Just sit down and think about it. This genre’s biggest audience is black women. They want to read books featuring heroines that look like them. We’ve been force fed other heroines for years and then you compound that with a black hero lusting after our society’s vision of beauty. I bet if you tried a different combination, and no don’t limit yourself to BWWM, you’ll see an uptick in sales.

  7. Thank you Ms Hardy Holcomb…. I’ve come across this twice already, talk about pissed! Fortunately, there’s no commitment to reading the samples. For so many years and too many times; what we create and make popular is censured, criticized, and denounced…then repackaged and sold by others for billions!! I hope and wish that more writers and readers/fans speak on this farce!

  8. So glad you wrote this! I read that madness this past weekend (in that FB group)and it pisses me off how now everyone wants to be part of this genre when they can see the dollar signs! If you weren’t brave enough to write it and categorize it as IR back then don’t try to reap the benefits now! Kudos to you Ms. Hardy Holcomb!

  9. Ms. Holcomb you have my full support. I dont buy on Amazon as much as I used to because I usually get my books thru Allromancebooks. I have noticed that its happening over there too. I just take my time and read the book summary and check who the author is. I may have to just still with the authors I already know of, even though I like supporting new black writers too.

  10. I’m actually a non-fiction writer dipping her toes into the world of speculative fiction. I do have my own website and FB group for science fiction and fantasy for teens and young adults of Color, featuring main characters of Color. It’s all about inclusion in my favorite genres, so there is room for the classics – with warnings about content. (If you have any great books to recommend, do please let me know!!)

    So, this is just my opinion because I don’t normally read romance (and we know what opinions are like) — BM / WW are IR, BUT I think that it should be very, very clearly expressed in the book description so no reader feels deceived by looking at the category and thinking that she’s purchasing a book with a Black (Asian, Native) woman as the main character. I know I’d be highly pissed if that happened to me.

    And while I’m mentioning opinions, please don’t get me started on whitewashing book covers. I have a whole rant and can go on for days about it. If the main characters are a Black woman and a White man (or the reverse, or two guys or women, or an alien and a human), I want to see it on the cover. In every genre. Like, something that actually relates to the story!! And that’s why I’ll be doing my own covers (I can do it – book designer for 10 years) so I can control what is on the cover — and what’s not.

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