Love Prevailed Despite What American History Said: Agape and Eros in Beverly Jenkins's Night Song and Through the Storm

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Romance writer Beverly Jenkins employs agape and eros in historical romances set during Reconstruction and post-Reconstruction - crucial times to black women's struggles to uplift the race and to claim self-determination in their romantic relationships with black men. An analysis of Beverly Jenkins's Night Song (1994) and Through the Storm (1998) reveals that she counters negative historiography by highlighting black women's meaningful agape efforts, complicates these efforts with the intervention of eros (embodied in the male suitor/hero), subverts male chauvinism with the black heroine's sexuality, and resolves the agape-eros conflict in a successful heterosexual marriage functioning as a microcosm of what the larger, currently corrupt society could be. (151)