Black Romance and the Highlander Trope

Tuesday, October 1, 2019

Another article came out regarding the so-called queen of Romance…. the first “Black” to write a romance with le gasp black people in them. And she isn’t just writing “regular” ol blacks, not JGuillory, she is writing a special kind of Black…you know us educated ones *rolls eyes*.

Quite frankly any article written to frame JGuillory as this is insulting and very dismissive of all the black romance writers whom paved the way for her to even to touted as such. Hell, black women who write in particularly the romance genre still fight for their voices to be heard to this day. I mean all you simply must do is follow only a handful of them on Twitter and you would know this.

And I don’t believe people would be upset over these simple ass articles where no and I mean no research is being done if the author herself wasn’t co-signing the absolute nonsense that is being spewed in them.

I’m not a writer but I am a reader of black books mainly most of the time, black romance books and trust me when I tell you, Ms. Guillory isn’t the first to do any of the things they are attempting to hail her for. See the thing is, I feel like whomever is behind her is marketing her towards a certain group of readers and okay…. if that’s what it is then that’s what it is. But for the life of me, I cannot understand why this author continues to allow such titles as this to be written in her name: "Oaklands Jasmine Guillory wrote romance lit about black people. Now Oprah and Reese Witherspoon are fans"
source: sfchronicle

Say what now? Chile, that title alone is just.... 

By doing this, I feel like Ms. Guillory is actively participating in the dismissal of the pioneering and ground-breaking black women who made her popularity a thing. This is sad because following some black authors on Twitter allowed myself to see how welcoming and supportive they can be. By continuing to agree to these bs articles, I must ask is this the narrative this author really believes about herself ?

I mean there are plenty of black authors who will tell you that they write because they wanted to see black people in books, but these same authors wouldn’t dare be so arrogant to agree they are the first to do it. And sure, we can get at the writers of these articles but let's be real, its not shocking at all to see them. The erasure of black people and our accomplishments happens on a daily. But to see the erasure from our own? I'm always surprised. And I mean seriously how often would you need to be called out before you’ve offended ALL your peers? How many times will you give a half-hearted apology and then turn right back around and do the same thing... again?

I believe, it’s all purposeful at this point. No way anyone is this clueless about a field their new to without knowing the basics.

I fully believe that this whole “there can only be one” movement that seems to catch fire quickly when it comes to black writers needs to stop. Especially within the romance genre. If people took the time to LOOK…and I don’t know also LISTEN to black readers, especially bloggers that specifically cater their blogs to black books they would see the beautiful range of black authors out here. Shoot, I’m still discovering writers and I’ve been blogging since 2008.

What Black romance does not need is division when there are people actively attempting to keep black romance writers in the "back". Especially when Black women in the genre are calling out racism and the lack of inclusivity. I hope this author understands the censure and malice she contributes too. I hope she understands that these articles are hurtful and when people speak out, they are not making things directly about her, but they are protecting a precious thing….Black voices.
I hope she humbles herself and quickly. Because trust, as fast as those gatekeepers are quick to embrace you, when they don’t need you anymore….
And then who will you turn too? Those same women you continue to disrespect? 

As for myself, I don’t want to see just “one” Black as the face of publishing no matter the genre. I want to see them all. 
Shout out to black romance authors mainstream and indie. WE see you; WE appreciate you. WE hope you know that there are readers out here who won't subscribe to the "highlander" trope. WE see all of you and we respect you. WE thank you for putting our stories on paper.
Find me out here in these eStreets:

Post a Comment