April 4th, 2019

hamster

Fifty shades of white: the long fight against racism in romance novels

Fifty shades of white: the long fight against racism in romance novels

For decades, the world of romantic fiction has been divided by a heated debate about racism and diversity. Is there any hope of a happy ending?


PLEASE NOTE THAT THIS POST DOES CONTAIN ADULT CONTENT.

Last year, the Strand Bookstore in New York convened an all-star panel titled Let’s Woman-Splain Romance! The line to get in the door stretched down the block, and the room was thrumming with glee even before the panel started. This was not an audience that needed to be told that smart women read romance novels, or that the genre could be feminist. The authors speaking that night were all big names, including Beverly Jenkins, an iconic author of African American historical romance – who blew a kiss to the audience as she was introduced to whoops of delight – and two breakout stars of the previous year, Alisha Rai and Alyssa Cole.

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OP note: The discussion mainly focuses on racism in the romance industry, but homophobia is mentioned in passing. I think it is also important to note that, this industry is: (1) racist racist racist, (2) homophobic and heteronormative, (3) transphobic, (4) ableist, (5) ageist. Yuck.

OP note 2: I wish the article hadn't referenced 50 Shades of Sh*t, which needs to disappear into oblivion IMO.