Friday, March 1, 2013

Open Your Eyes

Photo courtesy of
Let me ask you a question. How many romance books speak to you?  How many reflect you?  The real you?

I don’t mean simply the color of your skin, your hairstyle, or the fact that you breathe an oxygen/nitrogen mix.  No. Not that. Go deeper.

Have you ever read a book about a black female computer geek?  A “poor little rich girl”?  A “BAP”?  (I’m not talking about that movie, either.) How about a young adult novel about a girl who just doesn’t want to be bothered with Jack and Jill anymore because all of the members are money-hungry clones looking for an early admission decision from Harvard….in ninth grade?  How about a woman who yearns to break free from her role as a “lady that lunches” and cancels her membership with The Links?

Despite what the television, movies and some books will tell us, not all black women are painted with the same brush. Not all black women attend church on Sundays (or at all) and cook for the annual church picnic and sleep with a satin scarf on our heads so as not to muss our weekly $75 hairdo.  Not all are teachers or nurses or secretaries looking for “dat one good man.” And we all aren’t the all-powerful CEOs of our own company and rich, rich, rich, either.

Not all of us flock to the newest movie deemed “for black audiences”.

Some of us are heavy metal headbangers, with too many piercings and tattoos to count.  Some of us are looking for that one good woman.  Some of us are aimless, wondering what to do with the rest of our lives after that Yale education and a tour of Europe….backpacking, no less.


Greetings, dear reader!  My pen name is Dahlia DeWinters and I write romance.  Not just any romance, but romance that (I hope) gives you a different black female character. Romances off the beaten path.
Hold up.  No shade, no judgment. I freely admit that I’m nobody’s spokesperson.

In the words of Common:
Who am I to judge one's perspective?
Though some of that sh*t y'all pop true it, I ain't relating
If I don't like it, I don't like it, that don't mean that I'm hating…..

And in the words of Toni Morrison:  “If there's a book you really want to read, but it hasn't been written yet, then you must write it.”

That’s what I do.   I write stories about characters who speak to me.  People and personalities that I know, that I have experienced, that I have loved.   These are the books that I want to read, the ones that reflect my experience.

I’ve read enough reviews to see that these books, much like The Cosby Show, are seen as “different”.  “Black people don’t live like that.” “This is a fantasy world.”

I call cow manure. 

Some of us do live like that.  It is not a fantasy world. The more that we push these varieties of images in the media, the more the true spectrum of black women will come to light.  

There is room for everyone.  

Readers – Demand a variety images of black women in your entertainment.  Don’t settle.  Don’t be spoon fed.
Authors – Write the book YOU want to read.  Everything else is just noise.