Honoring Our Roots

Monica-Jackson

I’ve been thinking about this ever since Monica Jackson died, and today with the passing of Gwynne Forster I think it’s time that we African American and multicultural romance authors start thinking seriously about some type of memorial, a tribute of some such to those who forged the way for us. Remember, before these amazing women came along THERE WAS NO SUCH THING AS ROMANCE NOVELS WITH BLACK FOLK, OR ANY NON-WHITE FOLK. PERIOD. Wrap your mind around that for a minute, and imagine what an incredible thing they did. Think about the grief we get in this industry and imagine what it must have been like for them, starting at the very beginning. Doing as black women always do; making a way out of no way.

I don’t know what form this should take; Scholarships? Donations to libraries? I’m not sure, and this is well out of my wheelhouse, but we’ve been fortunate enough to have some really amazing women in our genre and we must find a way to honor them. And even more so, to nurture new talent and support other young women and girls with an interest in literature. What do y’all think? Any ideas? Yes, I know we’re all crazy busy. But I don’t want to look back someday and have our newbie authors asking “Who was Gwynne Forster?” Or even worse, having outsiders writing our history for us. Others are already claiming credit for creating multicultural romance. This cannot stand. Let’s put our heads together and come up with a fitting way to memorialize our roots, our mothers. The women who made us what we are today.

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