Saturday, January 24, 2015
Gwynne Forster, pioneer in Black romance fiction, has passed.
I had read about this last week but had forgotten to post about it. With a heavy heart I discovered that a pioneer in BLACK/MULTICULTURAL romance writing died on January16th, 2015. Gwynne Forster, along with a handful of other BLACK women created the subgenre of romance that showcases non-White characters. Yes, after the colorblinded (not a misspelling) romance publishing industry finally realized that non-White women wanted to see themselves in romance books, and would pay for it, the short-sighted industry caved and started accepting manuscripts from non-White authors. And yes it matters if the writer is non-White. A non-White writer's perspective/depiction of a non-White character has nuances that a White writer might miss (though some give it the good, old college try even though the realness is cursory at best where non-White characters are leads). She sold to Harlequin and this was back in the 90s. She and they started it all. Not the Joanie-come-lately default writers whose watered-down works are hyped by publishers to the mass audience. Not the default writers that the publishers push to give them a "genuine non-White heroine" just ethnic enough to entertain, but not jar because the Big 5 can't resist passing up a buck or missing the KA CHING! of a cash register. And lastly, not the ones who say that they are allies but conveniently hog every opportunity to take credit for a genre that they know full well they didn't build. Rest in peace dear lady! And even though I never met her, tell Monica Jackson I said hello.