I still remember the exhilaration I felt when I saw my first pornographic image.
It was Vanessa Williams’s famous layout in the issue of Penthouse magazine
published in November 1984 when I was eight years old. My friend and I had
taken the magazine from her stepfather’s secret hiding place in the back cor-
ner of a closet when her mother was at work one day. Seeing Williams in an
array of erotic poses with another woman was both shocking and titillating.
She was the first African American woman to be crowned Miss America, so
when the news broke it was a big deal. My friend and I had overheard our par-
ents talking about the scandal and wanted to see what all the fuss was about.
The images were absolutely thrilling to me. Williams was so beautiful and,
though I did not yet understand fully what the term meant, sexy. I instantly
became captivated with everything about sex, and I wanted to see more nude
pictures, even though I knew that it was not allowed!
This book emerges from my longtime fascination with porn and the
women in the images. In my over ten years of research into the history of
black women in pornography, I have been humbled by the generosity and sis-
terly affection that my informants have shown me and greatly moved by their
powerful courage, wisdom, and grace. This book would not have been pos-
sible without these incredible women, many of whom I proudly call friends.
I am so grateful for the generosity of Jeannie Pepper, Angel Kelly, Sinnamon
Love, Vanessa Blue, Diana DeVoe, Lola Lane, Marie Luv, Sasha Brabuster,
Sierra, Carmen Hayes, India, Midori, Mya Lovely, Lollipop, Candice Nicole,
Lacey Duvalle, Spantaneeus Xtasty, Damali X Dares, Lexi, Kitten, Obsession,
Ayana Angel, Angel Eyes, Aryana Starr, Capri, Loni, Adora, Precious Tia,
Phyllis Carr, Tony Sweet, Stacey Cash, Black Cat, Crystal, Sandi Beach, Hon-
ney Bunny, Lady Cash, Monica Foster, Serria Tawan, Dee, Dior Milian, Jade
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