Re-posted with permission from Yaminatoday.com:
The short answer of why I decided to make the female heroine of my fantasy/romance novel The Last King really dark and really feminine is because such a woman is a rarity to see in literature, film or television.
I mean, even if a heroine is Black, she’s likely brown-colored or light, and she is most certainly going to have straight hair and not her natural curls.
Not so with Emmy Hughes – I decided to make her everything this world insists should not be considered beautiful, lovely and worth perusing – dark-skinned with kinky hair (okay, it’s BIG kinky hair for sure, no teeny weeny afro’s I admit, but that’s because I like BIG hair).
The main reason I did this is because I’m tired of seeing the same images played out in the media of what’s attractive. I specifically wanted to contribute, no matter how small, to the idea of Black women being seen as attractive and feminine.
Why feminine? Because Black women have traditionally been denied the right to be seen this way, and personally, I think this has hurt us in numerous ways.