Ep #123


This week Danielle hosts the podcast with special guest Steve Ammidown of the Browne Popular Culture Library and we’re diving into the archives for Black Romance


> DANIELLE (she/her) is the voice behind LoveReadListen.com where she writes about her adventures in reading romance, YA, and audiobooks. Danie has a passion for promoting Black Romance and can’t wait to share her favorites with you. When she’s not reading, Danie enjoys anime, cartoons, and hip-hop. Follow her on Twitter and Instagram @DanieReads


> STEVE AMMIDOWN (he/him) has been the Manuscripts & Outreach Archivist for the Browne Popular Culture Library at Bowling Green State University since 2016. He obtained his Master of Library Science from the University of Maryland College Park in 2014. In 2019, he was named Cathie Linz Librarian of the Year for his work in preserving and promoting the library’s collections that document the history of romance fiction. Visit the library online at https://www.bgsu.edu/library/pcl.html or follow them on Twitter at @BGSU_PopCultLib and on Instagram @PopCultLib


> Browne Library’s excellent Twitter thread on Black Romance for Black History Month 2019 which helped inspire this episode

Link: https://twitter.com/BGSU_PopCultLib/status/1093948727922999296

> Follow the #TodaysButton hashtag to discover Browne Library’s extensive pin collection like Danielle did, one recent example

Link: https://twitter.com/BGSU_PopCultLib/status/1226859029089021952

> For more information on the 2020 Researching the Romance conference “Romance Across Boundaries” please visit the link below

Link: https://www.bgsu.edu/library/pcl/researching-the-romance-conference.html

> Danielle refers to finding Black Romance recs, pre-social media, through ads placed in magazines like Essence like this one shared by Browne Library on Twitter

Link: https://twitter.com/carlafredd/status/1095688471660974080

> When Steve refers to the “explosion of Black Romance” he’s referring to 1994 when a number of “ethnic” romances first appeared on bookshelves including Beverly Jenkins’ debut Night Song

Link: https://twitter.com/BGSU_PopCultLib/status/1146118214847356929

> Title: Adam & Eva

Author: Sandra Kitt

Relation to theme: Early Black Romance

Representation: Black author, Black MCs

Content Warnings: none identified

Link: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/1531802.Adam_and_Eva

> Steve points out that Adam and Eva is the first Harlequin romance written by a Black author featuring Black MCs and Browne Library posted on Twitter about it last February

Link: https://twitter.com/BGSU_PopCultLib/status/1093949616926666759

> Steve goes on to mention The Color of Love by Sandra Kitt one of the earliest Black interracial romance novels

Link: https://twitter.com/bgsu_popcultlib/status/1096159068253753344

Link: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/895187.The_Color_of_Love

> Danielle refers to a recent Browne Library Twitter thread which focused on the first RWA Board of Directors including Vivian Stephens

Link: https://twitter.com/bgsu_popcultlib/status/1214954913542725632

> For more on Vivian Stephens

Link: https://www.bgsu.edu/library/pcl/named/stephens.html

Link: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vivian_Stephens

> Also, don’t miss Browne Library’s current digital exhibit “Entwined Destinies: Elsie B. Washington, Vivian Stephens, and 40 Years of Black Voices in Romance”

Link: https://digitalgallery.bgsu.edu/exhibits/show/entwineddestinies/introduction

> Danielle refers to Publishing Romance: The History of an Industry, 1940s to the Present by John Markert

Link: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/27191377-publishing-romance

> Steve refers to The Merchants of Venus: Inside Harlequin and the Empire of Romance (1996) by Paul Grescoe for a pre-Kindle history of Harlequin

Link: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/2866680-the-merchants-of-venus

> Harlequin announced the closing of the Black Romance Kimani line in 2017, and the final Kimani books were released in the fall of 2019, leading many to question Harlequin’s commitment to diversity

Link: https://bookriot.com/2017/05/15/harlequin-closing-five-lines-including-kimani-romance/

Link: https://www.theguardian.com/books/2018/mar/19/romance-so-white-publishers-grapple-with-race-issues

> Danielle & Steve refer to the annual “The State of Racial Diversity in Romance Publishing Report” compiled and published by The Ripped Bodice bookstore in Los Angeles, and this link will take you to the last three reports, while the 2019 report will be released in March 2020

Link https://www.therippedbodicela.com/state-racial-diversity-romance-publishing-report

> Danielle refers to the Smart Bitches, Trashy Books (SBTB) Book Finder a tool for hunting down favorite tropes or forgotten books

Link: https://smartbitchestrashybooks.com/bookfinder/

> Steve refers to the now defunct Kensington Latinx line Encanto and Browne Library did an excellent Twitter thread on the short history of the line

Link: https://twitter.com/BGSU_PopCultLib/status/1180138693169836032

> Steve refers to Gwynne Forster one of the Black Romance authors featured in the Browne Library digital collection Romance in Color: Pioneering African American Romance Authors

Link: https://digitalgallery.bgsu.edu/exhibits/show/romance_in_color/forster

> Also, don’t miss this great Twitter thread on Gwynne Forster Browne Library did for Valentine’s Day this year

Link: https://twitter.com/BGSU_PopCultLib/status/1228413845988769792

> To learn more about donating to the Browne Popular Culture Library visit the link below

Link: https://www.bgsu.edu/library/pcl/donations.html

> Two of the RomBkPod co-hosts will be presenting at this year’s Researching the Romance conference “Romance Across Boundaries”

>> On Wednesday 4/22/2020 Sarah Jean will present “From Pulp Tragedy to the Romance HEA: The evolution of gay pulp fiction and queer romance at Avon”

Link: https://scholarworks.bgsu.edu/researchingromance/2020/4-22/7/

>> On Thursday 4/23/2020 Melinda will present “Cracked Mirrors: Mental Health Representation in Romance”

Link: https://scholarworks.bgsu.edu/researchingromance/2020/4-23/10/

> For more information on the 2020 Researching the Romance conference “Romance Across Boundaries” please visit the link below

Link: https://www.bgsu.edu/library/pcl/researching-the-romance-conference.html

> Which favorite #BlackRomance would you add to the archives? Please share with us on Twitter or Instagram @RomBkPod

Happy Reading!


Music: “Lift Off” by Jahzzar

From the Free Music Archive

CC BY-SA 3.0