How Dare a Black Woman Make Love to a White Man! Black Women Romance Novelists and the Taboo of Interracial Desire

Publication year

There's a synopsis in the Introduction (pages 7-8):

In Chapter Eight, Guy Mark Foster examines the fast-growing African-American romance novel, looking particularly at black women authors who portray inter-racial relationships in which the heroine is black and the hero white. Noting that industry “figures suggest that black women have been readers of popular romances since the genre first emerged with the appearance of Harlequin in the late 1940s,” Foster explores ways in which those readers have had to negotiate with the texts in order to take pleasure in a narrative with a white couple, particularly a white hero, at its center (106). While romance novels in which heroes and heroines are both black now flourish, one of the negotiations black readers have made is to envision romance with inter-racial overtones, a psychological move that brings longstanding conflict into play, especially for politically aware black women who struggle with white men’s role in the historical past. Noting that “the subject of contemporary black women’s sexual relationship to white men largely comprises an unmapped terrain within the mainstream African American literary canon” (125), Foster describes the ways in which several African American romance authors are boldly creating their own maps.