African-American Romance Authors
I recently read an article that contained a quote by Beverly Jenkins, a prolific author of romances featuring African-American characters. Ms. Jenkins stated that she creates heroines who are beautiful in "who they are and how they live their lives," "women who are the first African-American doctors, journalists and business owners." It made me start thinking about how quickly the romance genre went from having only white characters to having a wealth of styles and storylines featuring African-American and multicultural characters.
In 1980, journalist Elsie Washington published Entwined Destinies under the pen name Rosalind Welles. It was the story of a jet-setting romance between a magazine reporter and an oil executive and was the first known romance featuring African-American characters written by an African-American author. Ms. Washington only wrote the one book, but it established the basis for the next 20 years of romance novels, seen in the work of the authors listed below.