Famous African American Authors The World Really Loves

Many people around the world agree with the saying ‘A Pen Is Mightier Than A Sword’. Authors have undoubtedly been quite influential in changing the world to a great extent. The works of several famous works have changed governance, sparked off revolutions and led to the evolution of society in general. The contribution of African American authors in the evolution of our society has often gone unnoticed. Over the past few decades, several African American authors have impressed literature lovers with their works and some of their books even went on to become bestsellers. Toni Morrison, Richard Wright, Alice Walker and Ralph Ellison are a few eminent African American authors who are famous worldwide. Toni Morrison has penned several critically acclaimed novels like ‘The Bluest Eye’, ‘Sula’ and ‘Solomon’. She has been felicitated with several laurels such as the prestigious ‘Nobel Prize in Literature’, ‘Pulitzer Prize’ and ‘American Book Award’ for her immense contribution towards literature. Similarly, Alice Walker is another author who has admirers all over the world. She is best known for her acclaimed novel ‘The Color Purple’, which fetched Walker the ‘National Book Award’ as well as the ‘Pulitzer Prize For Fiction’. Alice Walker has also often raised her voice against unjust practices in the society. ‘Their Eyes Were Watching God’ written by Zora Neale Hurston has attained the status of a cult classic. We have compiled a list which includes the names of several eminent authors of African American descent.

This ranking is based on an algorithm that combines various factors, including the votes of our users and search trends on the internet.

Vote for Your Favourite African American Authors The World Really Loves

 1 Tupac Shakur

Tupac Shakur
148
Listed In: Singers
Famous As: 100 Greatest Artists of All Time by Rolling Stone
Birthdate: June 16, 1971
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: New York City, New York, United States
Died: September 13, 1996

 2 W. E. B. Du Bois

W. E. B. Du Bois
19
Famous As: Civil Rights Activists
Birthdate: February 23, 1868
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Great Barrington, Massachusetts, United States
Died: August 27, 1963

 3 Toni Morrison

Toni Morrison
23
Listed In: Writers
Famous As: Novelist
Birthdate: February 18, 1931
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Lorain, Ohio
Died: August 5, 2019

 4 Booker T. Washington

Booker T. Washington
20
Listed In: Leaders
Birthdate: April 5, 1856
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Westlake Corner, Virginia, United States
Died: November 14, 1915

 5 Ben Carson

Ben Carson
41
Listed In: Leaders
Famous As: U.S. Secretary of Housing & Urban Development (2017 – 2021)
Birthdate: September 18, 1951
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Detroit, Michigan, U.S.
Height: 6'0" (183 cm)

 6 Ida B. Wells

Ida B. Wells
5
Listed In: Activists
Famous As: Journalist
Birthdate: July 16, 1862
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Holly Springs, Mississippi, United States
Died: March 25, 1931

 7 Gladys Knight

Gladys Knight
8
Listed In: Singers
Famous As: Singer-Songwriter
Birthdate: May 28, 1944
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Atlanta, Georgia, United States
Height: 5'3" (160 cm)
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 8 Angela Davis

Angela Davis
23
Listed In: Activists
Famous As: Political Activist
Birthdate: January 26, 1944
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Birmingham

 9 Zora Neale Hurston

Zora Neale Hurston
9
Famous As: Folklorist, Anthropologist
Birthdate: January 7, 1891
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Notasulga
Died: January 28, 1960

 10 Marcus Garvey

Marcus Garvey
2
Listed In: Leaders
Famous As: Political leader
Birthdate: August 17, 1887
Sun Sign: Leo
Died: June 10, 1940

 11 Olaudah Equiano

Olaudah Equiano
7
Listed In: Activists
Famous As: Anti Slavery Activist
Birthdate: 1745 AD
Birthplace: Igboland
Died: March 31, 1797

 12 Lorraine Hansberry

Lorraine Hansberry
1
Listed In: Activists
Famous As: Writer, Theatre director, Screenwriter, Playwright, Human rights activist
Birthdate: May 19, 1930
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Chicago, Illinois, United States
Died: January 12, 1965

 13 Eldridge Cleaver

Eldridge Cleaver
3
Listed In: Leaders
Birthdate: August 31, 1935
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Wabbaseka, Arkansas
Died: May 1, 1998

 14 Amiri Baraka

Amiri Baraka
2
Listed In: Writers
Famous As: Writer
Birthdate: October 7, 1934
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Newark
Died: January 9, 2014

 15 Henry Louis Gates Jr.

Henry Louis Gates Jr.
4
Famous As: Author
Birthdate: September 16, 1950
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Keyser, West Virginia
Height: 5'7" (170 cm)

 16 Larry D. Alexander

Larry D. Alexander
1
Listed In: Miscellaneous
Famous As: Painter
Birthdate: May 30, 1953
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Dermott

 17 Gwendolyn Brooks

Gwendolyn Brooks
2
Listed In: Writers
Famous As: Poet
Birthdate: June 7, 1917
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Topeka, Kansas
Died: December 3, 2000

 18 Claude McKay

Claude McKay
2
Listed In: Writers
Famous As: Writer
Birthdate: September 15, 1889
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Clarendon Parish
Died: May 22, 1948

 19 Dwayne Glenn McDuffie

Dwayne Glenn McDuffie
1
Listed In: Writers
Famous As: American writer
Birthdate: February 20, 1962
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Detroit, Michigan, United States
Died: February 21, 2011
Height: 6'5" (196 cm)

 20 Michelle Alexander

Michelle Alexander
1
Listed In: Lawyers & Judges
Famous As: Lawyer
Birthdate: October 7, 1967
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Chicago, Illinois, United States

 21 William Julius Wilson

William Julius Wilson
0
Famous As: Sociologist, University teacher, Professor, Writer
Birthdate: December 20, 1935
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Pennsylvania

 22 Jamaica Kincaid

Jamaica Kincaid
1
Listed In: Writers
Famous As: Novelist
Birthdate: May 25, 1949
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: St. John's

 23 Mumia Abu-Jamal

Mumia Abu-Jamal
5
Famous As: Journalist, Activist
Birthdate: April 24, 1954
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Philadelphia

 24 Walter Dean Myers

Walter Dean Myers
5
Listed In: Writers
Famous As: Writer
Birthdate: August 12, 1937
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Martinsburg
Died: July 1, 2014

 25 Angie Thomas

Angie Thomas
2
Listed In: Writers
Famous As: Novelist
Birthdate: March 6, 1988
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Jackson, Mississippi, U.S.

 26 Oscar Micheaux

Oscar Micheaux
2
Listed In: Writers
Famous As: Author
Birthdate: January 2, 1884
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Metropolis, Illinois, United States
Died: March 25, 1951

 27 Anna Julia Cooper

Anna Julia Cooper
3
Listed In: Activists
Famous As: Author, Educator
Birthdate: August 10, 1858
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Raleigh, North Carolina, U.S.A.
Died: February 27, 1964

 28 Bebe Moore Campbell

Bebe Moore Campbell
0
Listed In: Writers
Famous As: Author
Birthdate: February 18, 1950
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States
Died: November 27, 2006

 29 Rita Dove

Rita Dove
0
Listed In: Writers
Famous As: Poet, Writer
Birthdate: August 28, 1952
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Akron

 30 Henry Van Dyke

Henry Van Dyke
2
Listed In: Miscellaneous
Famous As: Writer
Birthdate: November 10, 1852
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Philadelphia
Died: April 10, 1933

 31 Lucille Clifton

Lucille Clifton
2
Listed In: Writers
Famous As: American poet
Birthdate: June 27, 1936
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: New York, United States
Died: February 13, 2010

 32 Stanley Crouch

Stanley Crouch
0
Listed In:
Famous As: Musician, Novelist, Writer, Music critic, Journalist
Birthdate: December 14, 1945
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Los Angeles

 33 Robert Hayden

Robert Hayden
0
Listed In: Writers
Famous As: Consultant in Poetry to the Library of Congress from 1976 to 1978, a role today known as US Poet Laureate.
Birthdate: August 4, 1913
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Detroit, Michigan, United States
Died: February 25, 1980

 34 Chester Himes

Chester Himes
0
Listed In: Writers
Famous As: Writer
Birthdate: July 29, 1909
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Jefferson City, Missouri,United States
Died: November 12, 1984

 35 Edna Lewis

Edna Lewis
0
Listed In: Food Experts
Famous As: Chef
Birthdate: April 13, 1916
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Freetown, Virginia, United States
Died: February 13, 2006

 36 E. Lynn Harris

E. Lynn Harris
0
Listed In: Writers
Famous As: Author
Birthdate: June 20, 1955
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Flint, Michigan, United States
Died: July 23, 2009

 37 Alice Dunbar Nelson

Alice Dunbar Nelson
0
Listed In: Writers
Famous As: Poet
Birthdate: July 19, 1875
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: New Orleans, Louisiana, United States
Died: September 18, 1935

 38 Edward P. Jones

Edward P. Jones
0
Listed In: Writers
Famous As: Novelist
Birthdate: 1951 AD
Birthplace: Washington, D.C., United States

 39 Gloria Naylor

Gloria Naylor
0
Listed In: Writers
Famous As: Novelist
Birthdate: January 25, 1950
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: New York, New York, United States
Died: September 28, 2016

 40 Bob Herbert

Bob Herbert
0
Famous As: Journalist
Birthdate: March 7, 1945
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: New York City, New York, United States
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 41 Sarah Louise Delany

Sarah Louise Delany
2
Listed In: Miscellaneous
Famous As: Educator
Birthdate: September 19, 1889
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Lynch Station, Virginia, United States
Died: January 25, 1999

 42 Sofia Samatar

Sofia Samatar
0
Listed In: Miscellaneous
Famous As: Poet
Birthdate: October 24, 1971
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Indiana, United States

 43 Claude Brown

Claude Brown
0
Listed In: Writers
Famous As: Author
Birthdate: February 23, 1937
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Harlem, New York, United States
Died: February 2, 2002

 44 Pauline Hopkins

Pauline Hopkins
0
Listed In: Writers
Famous As: Novelist
Birthdate: 1859 AD
Birthplace: Portland, Maine, United States
Died: August 13, 1930

 45 George Moses Horton

George Moses Horton
0
Listed In: Writers
Famous As: Poet
Birthdate: 1798 AD
Birthplace: Northampton, North Carolina
Died: 1884 AD

 46 Jessie Redmon Fauset

Jessie Redmon Fauset
2
Famous As: Editor
Birthdate: April 27, 1882
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Camden County, New Jersey, United States
Died: April 30, 1961

 47 Rudolph Fisher

Rudolph Fisher
0
Listed In: Writers
Famous As: Physician
Birthdate: May 9, 1897
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Washington, D.C., United States
Died: December 26, 1934

 48 Timothy Thomas Fortune

Timothy Thomas Fortune
1
Listed In: Miscellaneous
Famous As: Orator
Birthdate: October 3, 1856
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Marianna, Florida, United States
Died: June 2, 1928

 49 William Raspberry

William Raspberry
0
Famous As: Journalist
Birthdate: October 12, 1935
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Okolona, Mississippi
Died: July 17, 2012

 50 Carlos Baker

Carlos Baker
0
Listed In: Writers
Famous As: Writer
Birthdate: May 5, 1909
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Biddeford, Maine, United States
Died: April 18, 1987