A Time Line Of Milestones In African American Romance

Inspired by Kelly Jensen's time line of black history in YA fiction, we wondered: has anyone done this for adult romance? We were disheartened to learn that finding a comprehensive history of African American romance isn't so easy. So we reached out to numerous authors, readers, publicists and editors to compile memorable milestones in the genre. The results? A list of how (and when) the genre developed into what romance readers know and love today.

(click image to enlarge)


An image detailing moments in African American romance history. 

A list of books mentioned:

Entwined Destinies by Rosalind Welles (Dell, 1980)

Rites of Spring by Sandra Kitt (Harlequin, 1984)

Careless Whispers by Rochelle Alers (Doubleday, 1988)

Night Song by Beverly Jenkins (Avon, 1994)

Tonight and Forever by Brenda Jackson (Harlequin, 1995)

The Color of Love by Sandra Kitt (Signet, 1995)

The Sex Chronicles: Shattering the Myth by Zane (self-published, 1999)

Incognito by Francis Ray (BET Books, 1999)

Three Times a Lady by Niobia Bryant (BET Books, 2001)

Irresistible Forces by Brenda Jackson (Kimani, 2008)



A tremendous thank you to the following individuals who helped with this project: Shelly Ellis, Kwana Jackson, Shirley Hailstock, Regina Hart, Reese Ryan, Carolyn Gibbs, Lena Hart, Gay G. Gunn, Ursula Shand, Candace Shaw, Delaney Diamond, Vida Engstrand, Selena James and Steven Zacharius.

Did we miss a memorable moment? Let us know in the comments. For a larger, sharable image of the timeline, click here. For more romance check out our Everything Romance page.