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Book Review: Black Love Matters Real Talk on Romance, Being Seen, and Happily Ever Afters

Black Love Matters Real Talk on Romance, Being Seen, and Happily Ever Afters

Edited by Jessica P. Pryde

Non-fiction Anthology

Reviewed by Cardyn Brooks


Simultaneously an unequivocal declaration, two adjectives qualifying a noun, and an amorphous concept for some, Black Love Matters as anthology title and subject addressed in these 14 essays delivers complex, multifaceted examinations and discussions from multiple angles and attitudes.

What are love and romance?

How and by whom are they defined—and activated?

Beverly “Ms. Bev" Jenkins, Dr. Margo Hendricks, and Piper Huguley provide historical context. For intimate personal contemplation applied more broadly, Allie Parker, Jasmine Guillory, Adriana Herrera, and Sarah Hannah Gomez share details of their private experiences in service to fostering a deeper understanding of the essential need for intersectional representation in real life and fiction. Accessible, engaging scholarly fare from Nicole M. Jackson and Julie E. Moody-Freeman, analytical dissection from editor Jessica P. Pryde, and existential challenges deconstructed and addressed piece by piece by Kosoko Jackson all acknowledge the complicated nature and many emotional tripwires Black Love Matters embodies.

Closing essays from Da'Shaun Harrison and Christine C. Jones blend journalistic witness and documentation with raw, impassioned testimony. Black Love Matters is destined for readers to own, reread, and refer to with high frequency. In addition to the “Referenced and Recommended” section, the introduction, postscript, acknowledgments, and bibliography mention trailblazers, creators, books, podcasts and more to add to readers' TBR and to-be-explored lists. It's an overdue addition to the literary canon of inspiration, information, entertainment, and affirmation.*

*A riff on themes in “I'm Rooting for Everybody Black" by Carole V. Bell, and another essay that explores reading motivations

Published by Berkley, February 1, 2022


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