Monday Musings: No More Shhhh…Let’s Talk About The “R” Word


This post has been brewing in my mind and in my heart for a minute, and truthfully, it’s been the reason I’ve decided to change the primary focus of this blog from interracial romance to include both African-American and multicultural romance. The “r” word I wanna briefly touch on is race-the big damn elephant in the room when it comes to not only interracial romance but mainstream romance as well.

More importantly though, I really wanna talk about what I perceive to be the deliberate bashing of black men that I often read about in some of these IR romance novels. I mean these brothas are portrayed as if Satan himself birthed him the way they do these sistas so dirty. Then she meets Mr. White Savior who rides to the rescue to save her from her brutish, black ex. I literally want to SCREAM when I come across stories like this!


Now, don’t get me wrong, I get it-to an extent. The ex has to be a horrible person who has hurt this woman beyond repair, but damn, when I read some of these stories, my immediate question is often, “Who hurt you?” As in you, the author. What kind of message does this send? Or am I personally reading to much into this? Some may think so, but I be feeling some type of way when I read this mess…

The other thing that makes me wanna go into orbit is this colorblind sentiment I often read about. Noooooooooooooooooooooope. I do not subscribe to it, because personally, to tell me when you look at me you do not see color is to deny me of my humanity and all the struggle that black people have endured in this world, but I digress…Now, I understand this may all be a sincere attempt (or even your true philosophy) to be politically correct, but let’s stop pretending not to see race when we’re reading and writing these stories.

Isn’t the fact that this man is white (or non-black) one of the main attractions? Isn’t it the fact that this man’s skin is so vastly different from ours part of the appeal? I’m not saying it’s the only reason the dude is the end all, be all, but c’mon, if his skin tone weren’t a factor, then why is there a whole genre called interracial romance? Instead of “When I see you, I don’t see color?”, can we be like, “Yeah, I’m black, you’re white, I’m feeling your vibe, I acknowledge our differences, and it’s one of the things that I love about us so let’s not trip over it”?  While you may not “see” color, everybody else and they mama sure will…and will remind you of it too!

Also let me state that these are my opinions, and I speak only for myself. I know nothing will change, but I had to talk about it…


10 thoughts on “Monday Musings: No More Shhhh…Let’s Talk About The “R” Word

  1. What I’ve loved about your blog from day one Patrice is your willingness to be direct. You’re not offensive but direct. You say things many of us are thinking but some refuse to address. I have my own thoughts about a lot of books in the IR genre and why the topic of race is dealt with in an “interesting” manner but I digress. This post isn’t about my musings but yours. It’s cool to say race doesn’t matter but, sometimes when I read these novels where there is so much conflict surrounding race and it’s either dealt with in a tacky manner or just completely glossed over, I find myself staring at my Kindle like… huh? How is this possible? Especially considering the climate in the US now when it comes to race relations. I’m all for HEA but I also opt for realism.

    1. I feel you. Yes, we all process things differently, and I firmly believe in speaking your truth even if we don’t agree. I just think this is a dialogue that needs to happen sometimes even in something as ordinary, for lack of a better description, as romance novels. Sometimes I just can’t be quiet even when I know I’m gonna rock the boat.

  2. I think most don’t know how to approach the subject when it comes to dealing with race in their stories…to them it may feel like they are about to step in a minefield. So you have a lot of things done incorrectly or ignored. I wish the subject can be approached with honesty or with folks not bashing one race to make another look better. We still have a long way to go in real life so you know our books are going to lag just as well.

    Great topic to discuss too…I hope there are more of them.

    1. Thank you for your insightful comment. We do have a long way to go. I feel like we’re going backwards though. And I’m not referring to romance novels either…

  3. You are so right..with all the nonsense that has been going on of late, we are definitely going backwards. This world is big enough for all of us. Its just sad in so many levels that we cant move forward but until.folks are willing to see pass their ignorances…no growth will be acheived.

  4. Thank you for this post because I have been frustrated with how much disrespect is shown in this genre from these dumb 50 page books (God forbid we get a full page book) to this stupid billionare phase and don’t get me started on these asinine books that the author never describes the female lead as a BLACK woman so I am glad that other readers have voice their frustration

  5. Wow. You said a lot with this post. I get some authors wanting to avoid ‘race’ because they feel like it takes out the escapism-but after awhile it just seems like avoidance and creating paper thin characters. And although Black women are a variety and not the ‘ghetto girl’ stereotype dominant media likes; there is nothing inherently wrong with attending a black church, or eating soul food, or even growing up in a ghetto or the country. Every Black woman deserves dignity. Some times I feel like authors try to hard to point out how the heroine is ‘not typical’ Black to the point of farce.

    The ‘bad black man’ trope is done to death. Let it go:) And a good black father now and then would be nice.

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