Theme: Black or Afro-American Protagonists
The month of February in the United States is recognized as Black History Month. So in honor of that, this week Sweet Savage Flame takes a look at some vintage romance covers portraying Afro-American couples in intimate embraces.
How unfortunate it wasn’t until the mid-1990s when Pinnacle started their Arabesque line that mainstream romances began showing relationships between Black partners. Or even half-pairings. I’ve read many old-school romances with interracial couplings. Invariably the partner with African heritage was biracial and, usually, that part of their identity was kept secret.
Since then horizons have broadened. There is more variety of characters in romance today than ever before.
Still, there were positive aspects from the late 20th-century that brought us to where we are now.
Part of me wanted to make this an all Beverly Jenkins edition. Jenkins is a pioneer in the romance genre and the “Leading Lady of Historical Romance” featuring Black couples. Look for an Author Spotlight on her career this year. Her covers really were (and still are) divine. Lamentably, I haven’t been able to track down the illustrators for her 1990s books. Avon has a spotty track record identifying cover artists.
For the week of Monday, February 21, 2022, to Sunday, February 26, 2022, let’s appreciate some older romance covers with Black or Afro-American protagonists.