“Black Love Matters” edited by Jessica P. Pryde

About the book, from Penguin Random House:

“An incisive, intersectional essay anthology that celebrates and examines romance and romantic media through the lens of Black readers, writers, and cultural commentators, edited by Book Riot columnist and librarian Jessica Pryde.
Romantic love has been one of the most essential elements of storytelling for centuries. But for Black people in the United States and across the diaspora, it hasn’t often been easy to find Black romance joyfully showcased in entertainment media. In this collection, revered authors and sparkling newcomers, librarians and academicians, and avid readers and reviewers consider the mirrors and windows into Black love as it is depicted in the novels, television shows, and films that have shaped their own stories. Whether personal reflection or cultural commentary, these essays delve into Black love now and in the past, including topics from the history of Black romance to social justice and the Black community to the meaning of desire and desirability. 
Exploring the multifaceted ways love is seen—and the ways it isn’t—this diverse array of Black voices collectively shines a light on the power of crafting happy endings for Black lovers. 

Jessica Pryde is joined by Carole V. Bell, Sarah Hannah Gomez, Jasmine Guillory, Da’Shaun Harrison, Margo Hendricks, Adriana Herrera, Piper Huguley, Kosoko Jackson, Nicole M. Jackson, Beverly Jenkins, Christina C. Jones, Julie Moody-Freeman, and Allie Parker in this collection.”

About the Editor, Jessica P. Pryde:

“Jess is a black reader, writer, and librarian in Tucson, Arizona. She doesn’t get to work with books during the day, so she surrounds herself with them at home. Whether she’ll ever make it through said books? No one knows.

She loves kissing books of all kinds, but prefers them with a Happily Ever After. Basically, give her a romance novel and she’ll be set. She’s particularly interested in stories that link love and social justice, and will always advocate for the underrepresented to get their happy ending, whether in the present, the past, or a galaxy far far away.

She hopes to share her own love stories with the world, and when she does, you’ll be the first to know. You might see some shorts here, or writing prompt responses.

She mostly writes about books, though she can occasionally be found pondering on music and pop culture. As an equal-opportunity nerd, she is happy to talk about everything from Doctor Who to Rachmaninoff’s All Night Vigil.

Which she might. Non-stop.”

Why I selected Black Love Matters for the March 2022 Giveaway:

  • Jessica is local! It’s always exciting when this gnome can support amazing local authors doing great work.
  • As an essay collection, this book provides some genre variety – it’s time that we branch out, people!
  • The essays included in this collection set out to confront the absences – and all too-often overlooked stories – that focus on the joyfulness of Black love ❤
  • It’s a captivating read that not only demonstrates the need for diverse representation, but also provides it at the same time.
  • There is a GREAT list of references and recommendations for books, films, TV shows, and online articles for diversifying your future reading and watching… so as you read, you don’t have to write it all down for yourself, because it’s all been compiled for you!

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