Episode 9 - "Adam and Eva"
Sandra Kitt's Adam and Eva was the first Harlequin romance written by an African American author about a African American couple, in 1984. It's not the first black category romance - as far as we know that's Rosalind Welles' Entwined Destinies, which was published by Dell Candlelight in 1980. There's also a rumor that Anne Weale's Blue Days at Sea is a "stealth black romance" - evidently the protagonists' race just isn't mentioned but the people on the cover are even whiter than usual. (And they are usually really white.)
Note: Silver Angel is fucking cursed. It's been moved to next.
Also note: there's still time to give to our RAINN fundraiser! Help support the largest nonprofit fighting sexual violence. Give before March 1 through our link and you're entered to win a Bodice Tipplers tote bag full of awful books! And if we raise $500 we will release our Glamour Shots!
Also also note: we did not plan this for February on purpose, we swear. We are all about celebrating black love all year long. We're just celebrating it in February this time.
We're taking a look at growth in black romance from this early book to Beverly Jenkins' Night Song, published in 1994 - look for our episode on that one after this goddamned Silver Angel nonsense is finally put to bed.
So, Adam and Eva: Eva goes to the Virgin Islands (snerk) to put tragedy behind her and meets Adam, who she for some reason calls by his last name, who is the worst marine biologist in the world. They swim and drink rum and bone. As usual, the modern cover (above) looks like a Cialis commercial and the vintage cover (right) is so much more fun and also has little tiny versions of the same people doing Activities at the bottom.
There is no sexual assault in this book. None whatsoever! There is at least one fashion crime, however. Pink. Walking. Shorts.
There's a great virtual exhibit from Bowling Green State University - Romance in Color: Pioneering African American Romance Authors, if you're interested in learning more about these important contributors to the genre. Plus, this will help you prep for Beverly Jenkins, who we're covering later this month (after we exorcise Silver Angel.)
I think a lot of people probably forgot that Hurricane Irma hit the Virgin Islands pretty hard, because it was followed so quickly by Maria in Puerto Rico. Here's a playlist of songs by local VI musicians compiled to support relief efforts: