Why I Write Romance Featuring Black Women

A few weeks ago, a popular IR author posted a negative review on her Facebook page. Negative reviews are common, and not to be unexpected when you put your writing out there for others to read. What made this review particularly negative is that the reviewer admitted to not reading the book. Yup. You read that correctly the reviewer didn’t even read the book, but instead chose to leave a one star review as a “warning” to other prospective romance readers that the heroine in the story was…wait for it…a black woman. The reviewer identified herself as a Hispanic woman, who just couldn’t “relate” to stories about black women and therefore felt it her duty to caution others who may come across this book.

I wish incidents like this were isolated, but they are not. Just the other day on my Facebook page there was a discussion of some authors who write IR, leaving out the physical descriptions of the female heroine, but not the white male hero.

Coincidence?

Simple oversight?

I highly doubt it.

For years, Black authors have discussed how large publishing companies will try to persuade them to either write white characters or downplay the physical characteristics if they must write black or non-white characters. It seems the mainstream audience has trouble relating to non-white characters.

Now, can we think about this?

In the literary world, books featuring wizards, talking animals, witches and aliens are easily put on book shelves, made into movies and sell millions, but stories featuring black people, in particular, romance featuring black women is just too much to relate to? Does that make sense to you? Says a lot about our society when black women being loved and protected is where people throw up their hands because it’s just too absurd a concept.

This is why I write romance featuring black women.

When I first discovered the world of Black romance, I was shocked to discover a genre in which black women were prominently featured as being loved and protected. Today, with digital books allow more black authors to break into the genre and be discovered by their targeted audience. This has created the opportunity for a host of more dynamic and diverse stories featuring black women to be told.

In a world where black women are often told we are too strong, too independent, too masculine, too much of this and not enough of that, and that is why we’re single, unloved and uncared for, romance featuring Black women being loved is my safe space. I enjoy reading and writing about black women who’ve overcome whatever trials they may have gone through, and are able to find love that is worthy of their greatness. These stories allow me to take a few hours out of my day and escape to a world in which a woman being black does not take away from her beauty or humanity. It allows me to read about women with café au lait, caramel or dark chocolate colored skin (excuse the food references), with full lips, thick thighs, wide noses and kinky to relaxed hair not only being the recipient of mind-blowing orgasms but love.

I write romance featuring black women because even as I write this post there is a video circulating social media of a young black girl being tossed from her chair and dragged like an animal from a classroom by a school police officer. In that video not only were the actions of the school officer abhorrent, but the non-reactions of everyone else in the classroom is just as telling. Unfortunately, not even the teacher in that classroom saw that young girl worthy of a “Be careful!” or “Not so rough!” directed at the officer.

I write black women in romance to remind ourselves that we are not the problem.

I write black women in romance as a reminder that our black is beautiful.

I write to remind ourselves that we are worthy of love and protection because the world so often tells us the opposite.

I write black women in romance as a reminder to myself that my worthiness of being loved is not dependent on my proximity to whiteness, but simply because I exist (and you are too 😉 ).

Why do you read romance featuring black women?

 

14 Comments on Why I Write Romance Featuring Black Women

  1. LaTanya Galloway
    October 27, 2015 at 4:46 pm (2 years ago)

    Perfect! I wanted to let you know I totally agree with EVERY thing you said. I see a trend in IR books where, when described, the female lead has “light colored” eyes,(grey, green, etc), and I’m like, that isn’t the majority of women out there. My daughter and son have light brown eyes. I’m not saying that they need to stop, just not every character in your works be described that way. Makes me think there is something wrong with my natural dark brown eyes. Yeah, books are a total escape from the day to day hustle and bustle of life and yeah, it fictional, but I also want to relate. I applaud you and a few other who write IR because I can relate to the female lead. You write women who are strong, yet need to be cared for and cherished, smart yet make mistakes, strong without being over the top and most of all women who know their worth despite what they have been through. You rock sista!

    Reply
    • Tiffany
      October 27, 2015 at 7:17 pm (2 years ago)

      Thank you so much for the support! You rock as well :)!!!

      Reply
  2. Natoi
    October 27, 2015 at 9:40 pm (2 years ago)

    You said that perfectly!!!

    Reply
    • Tiffany
      October 28, 2015 at 3:30 am (2 years ago)

      Thank you!

      Reply
  3. Candace
    October 28, 2015 at 12:42 pm (2 years ago)

    Great post!

    Reply
    • Tiffany
      October 28, 2015 at 5:04 pm (2 years ago)

      Thank you!

      Reply
  4. CeeJonz
    November 26, 2015 at 4:08 pm (2 years ago)

    Please continue doing what you’re doing. I am loving the fact that authors are finally featuring black women in all genres. I read all types of books, but I tend to look for books featuring black woman as main characters, and will delete a book from my queue with a quickness if I discover a vague and deliberately ambiguous leading lady. I am also getting a bit peeved with the ever present green eyed and/or violet eyed black heroine with long hair cascading down her back as if that is the only depiction of black women. I would love it also if there were more romances featuring women ages 40+ but that is another fight altogether. I am an avid book lover and probably read 5 or more a week and I love my Kindle Unlimited subcription, but I buy books for my personal collection also. One in my collection is your book, Black Pearl. I love that book and have read it four times. I am typing on my tablet without my reading glasses, so please excuse any typos and grammatical errors as this keyboard drives me crazy. I am waiting anxiously for your next book also.

    Reply
    • Tiffany
      November 29, 2015 at 10:31 pm (2 years ago)

      Hi!
      Thank you so much for your comment! I truly appreciate it. I also love that more and more authors are featuring books with Black women, in all our varieties, shapes and sizes. I believe fiction should reflect the world around us and the people in it. I plan on writing stories about us for as long as I am allowed. Thanks again!

      Reply
  5. Erica
    December 25, 2015 at 1:35 pm (2 years ago)

    Thank you! I am so enamored with your writing and the messaging you are sending forth. I love your series and the fact you not only chose black heroin but strong, confident women who are loved. Me being a older single black women sometimes the messages I received are not always positive or hopeful. I find myself drawn to book that depict women who I can relate to and the love I desire. Thank you and continuing writing books that inspire me and other women of flavor.

    Reply
    • Tiffany
      December 25, 2015 at 2:07 pm (2 years ago)

      Thank you so much! And I truly get what you mean. The messages sent to Black women, especially those of us who are single are not always positive and it can be wearing on our self-image and self-esteem. But I know how special we are and aim to depict that in the stories I write. <3

      Reply
  6. Jackie
    February 13, 2016 at 2:27 pm (2 years ago)

    I love your books and you are right, I hate reading an IR book and they describe the male characters but not the female. My thing is all other romance novels describe all their characters why should we be described in books. When I see that type of thing i don’t care how good the author is I won’t buy their books again. Thank you for staying true.

    Reply
    • Tiffany
      May 17, 2016 at 11:13 pm (2 years ago)

      I know I am soooo late, but thank you so much!!

      Reply
  7. Margene
    November 4, 2016 at 7:13 pm (1 year ago)

    You can definitely see your enthusiasm in the work youu write.
    The arena hopes foor moree passionate writers like you who aren’t afraid to say
    how they believe. Always go after your heart.

    Reply
    • Tiffany
      February 26, 2017 at 1:49 pm (11 months ago)

      Thank you <3

      Reply

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