Black Women love to read, but…

istock_000010009746largeBlack women love to read. I don’t know if you’ve gotten the memo, but this is a well-known fact. We already know that women read more than men. However, the most likely woman to read a book is a college-educated black woman.

Now that we have that out of the way, I want to discuss something that has kind of made my eye twitch over the last three years. There has been an influx of new authors and new books on the market. Amazon has made it easy for anyone who thinks they’re a storyteller to write a book AND publish it. That’s not the part that grinds my gears.

I’ve come across many romance books that I love. However, a year or so ago, I tried to get into the IR (interracial) Romance craze that seemed to have taken over black women authors and found it left a bad taste in my mouth. In just about all of these novels, the black woman was some kind of damsel in distress. The black man was the devil, and the white man was her savior.

At first I thought it was just one author who had a tainted view of black men, but then, I came across more of these kinds of books. It didn’t take me long to figure out they just weren’t my cup of tea. Some novels even have the white male hero kidnapping, abusing, and (let’s just call it what it is) raping the black heroine. I mean, they even have a term for it called non-consensual consent. What in the whole entire seventh level of hell is this?

Just like I have a problem with stories like this with an African American cast, I most definitely have an issue with a white man (any man) kidnapping a black woman, holding her hostage, raping her, and then she falls in love with him by the end of the book. No way! People give black authors who write Urban Lit with this kind of story line so much crap (as they should), but are perfectly okay with creating a very lucrative market for white men who treat black women like trash? I think not!

Now don’t get me wrong, not all authors who write IR Romance do this, but I’ve come across enough books where the black men are the villain, the black women need saving, and here comes a white man on a white horse to save her. Not to mention, the dark IR Romance were black women are subjected to horrors and still fall in love with creepy racist, rapey bastard. That is absurd. I said all of that to say, I wish artists would stop using black women as crutches for this kind of crap.

Side note: I did come across an article a while ago where one African American female author called to task the white women authors who pretended to be black women to sell black women readers this kind of crap. That’s a whole other different monster to tackle.

The IR Romance genre is wildly popular and while I know there are some gems, just like the Urban Lit market, I have no desire to try to find the needle in the haystack. Black women don’t always need saving in books and even if we do, we absolutely DO NOT need to be rescued— or kidnapped for that matter— by violent-ass white men or white men who come to save us from the big, bad black man. Yes, we know our dollars are valuable, but we also deserve quality. Please quit pushing us the garbage because you know we don’t mind spending money on books.

With that, I leave you with one of my favorite reader’s list of African American female authors who write the best IR Romance and IR BDSM themed novels.

Kenya Wright

Power (Interracial Gangster Romance with Twists BWWM) (Din City Book 1) by [wright, kenya]

Bridget Midway

Is This Love? by [Midway, Bridget]

Lena Matthews

JanJan Untamed 

The View From The Bottom by [Untamed, JanJan]

Madasin Skye

Platinum! (BWWM Romance) (World Hitz Records Series Book 1) by [Skye, Madasin]

Nikki Michelle is an author and writer. Pick up a copy of her latest book Bi-Sensual. Connect with Nikki on Twitter @NikkiMichelle84. Leave your thoughts below on this article.

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7 thoughts on “Black Women love to read, but…

  1. Uh, hold up a second, while I appreciate your article, you are throwing a huge generalisation in there. Not every IR author writes about being kidnapped/raped/abused and falling in love with the perp, many just write ordinary romance using a black woman and a white male, just as in real life. No one demonises black males to make IR better or to find a crutch on which to base a story. Please, if you found a heap of the stories you describe, I understand, but such a blatant disregard of authors who do not write these topics, will have them overlooked as being “just another ‘creepy racist, rapist bastard” story. Take the time to find those stories, not lump and tar and feather the whole genre.
    Respectfully.

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    1. “Now don’t get me wrong, not all authors who write IR Romance do this, but I’ve come across enough books where the black men are the villain, the black women need saving, and here comes a white man on a white horse to save her. ” <<< The very first sentence says not all…

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  2. Reiterating for people who don’t read further than their saltiness allows. She said/reposted, “Now don’t get me wrong, not all authors who write IR Romance do this, but I’ve come across enough books where the black men are the villain, the black women need saving, and here comes a white man on a white horse to save her. ”

    She also said, “The IR Romance genre is wildly popular and while I know there are some gems, just like the Urban Lit market, I have no desire to try to find the needle in the haystack.”

    I guess there’s an IR literary gang out there now. SMH Some people like getting insulted just to feel special.

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  3. You’re absolutely right, there is a lot of crap out there, but please don’t get completely soured on the genre! There are fabulous five star authors out there like Pepper Pace, Tiana Laveen, Yvette Hines, Aaliyah Burke, and too many others to count that are mistresses of their craft. I encourage you to try any one of their works to see how good it can be.

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  4. Thank you so much for this article. I love all romance novels. I enjoy IR novels also but I totally agree with the AA woman’s role in most novels. She’s hardly ever represents the strong women that we are. I have read some great ones. I will continue to read them as long as I can find those with a great story line and strong AA women.

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