Against Odds: Beverly Jenkins’ Indigo and Black Historical Romance

Publication year
Journal of Popular Romance Studies

Here's the description from the introduction to this special issue of JPRS:

Margo Hendricks’ essay “Against Odds: Beverly Jenkins’ Indigo and Black Historical Romance” offers a close reading of Beverly Jenkins’ historical romance Indigo. In it, she argues that while Jenkins’ depiction of the politics of class and colorism in the novel’s pre Civil war setting affects her characters’ lives, her novel does not center the central love story through the lens of “Black trauma porn.” Hendricks uses interviews with Jenkins and literary criticism to instead illuminate the ways Indigo reveals the burgeoning love between Hester and Galen and challenges notions of “historical authenticity” that “elide or erase truths” about enslaved and free Black people’s lives in pre and post emancipation. Hendricks argues that Jenkins’ interviews and novel bears witness to the reality that Black people do love.