Some minor link sluttage:
An excellent overview of race and racism in romance is in the most recent edition of At The Back Fence at All About Romance.
I don’t have much to add to the dialogue, except my puzzlement at the whole “African American Literature” section in certain bookstores. It didn’t even occur to me to look for black romances there, for example, until somebody pointed out that certain stores, like Borders, sometimes shelve their black romances there. You don’t generally see, say, Asian American lit, or Hispanic American lit, etc. etc. pushed into their respective little niches in stores. That, more than anything else, says volumes about how very much black people are viewed as the Other.