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.
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 1 
Tupac Shakur
( 100 Greatest Artists of All Time by Rolling Stone)
Tupac Shakur
273
Listed In: Singers
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
(Civil Rights Activists)
W. E. B. Du Bois
29
Birthdate: February 23, 1868
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Great Barrington, Massachusetts, United States
Died: August 27, 1963
 3 
Gladys Knight
(Singer-Songwriter)
Gladys Knight
23
Listed In: Singers
Birthdate: May 28, 1944
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Atlanta, Georgia, United States
Height: 5'3" (160 cm)
 4 
Booker T. Washington
(American Educator Who was the Dominant Leader of the African-American Community Between 1890 and 1915)
Booker T. Washington
30
Listed In: Leaders
Birthdate: April 5, 1856
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Westlake Corner, Virginia, United States
Died: November 14, 1915
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 5 
Toni Morrison
(Novelist)
Toni Morrison
42
Listed In: Writers
Birthdate: February 18, 1931
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Lorain, Ohio
Died: August 5, 2019
 6 
Ben Carson
(U.S. Secretary of Housing & Urban Development (2017 – 2021))
Ben Carson
94
Listed In: Leaders
Birthdate: September 18, 1951
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Detroit, Michigan, U.S.
Height: 6'0" (183 cm)
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 7 
Ida B. Wells
(Women's Rights Activist and Civil Rights Leader)
Ida B. Wells
21
Listed In: Miscellaneous
Birthdate: July 16, 1862
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Holly Springs, Mississippi, United States
Died: March 25, 1931
 8 
Zora Neale Hurston
(Folklorist, Anthropologist)
Zora Neale Hurston
19
Birthdate: January 7, 1891
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Notasulga
Died: January 28, 1960
 9 
Angela Davis
(Political Activist)
Angela Davis
46
Listed In: Activists
Birthdate: January 26, 1944
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Birmingham
 10 
Ta-Nehisi Coates
(Author and Journalist Known for His Non-Fiction Books: ‘The Beautiful Struggle’ and ‘Between the World and Me’)
Ta-Nehisi Coates
10
Listed In: Writers
Birthdate: September 30, 1975
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Baltimore, Maryland, U.S.
 11 
Olaudah Equiano
(Anti Slavery Activist)
Olaudah Equiano
11
Listed In: Activists
Birthdate: 1745 AD
Birthplace: Igboland
Died: March 31, 1797
 12 
Lorraine Hansberry
(Writer, Theatre director, Screenwriter, Playwright, Human rights activist)
Lorraine Hansberry
6
Listed In: Activists
Birthdate: May 19, 1930
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Chicago, Illinois, United States
Died: January 12, 1965
 13 
Eldridge Cleaver
(American Writer and Political Activist who Became an Early Leader of the Black Panther Party)
Eldridge Cleaver
17
Listed In: Leaders
Birthdate: August 31, 1935
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Wabbaseka, Arkansas
Died: May 1, 1998
 14 
Henry Louis Gates Jr.
(Literary Critic and Scholar Who Became Popular for His Pioneering Theories of African and African-American Literature)
Henry Louis Gates Jr.
7
Birthdate: September 16, 1950
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Keyser, West Virginia, United States
Height: 5'7" (170 cm)
 15 
Amiri Baraka
(Writer)
Amiri Baraka
4
Listed In: Writers
Birthdate: October 7, 1934
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Newark
Died: January 9, 2014
 16 
Gwendolyn Brooks
6
Listed In: Writers
Birthdate: June 7, 1917
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Topeka, Kansas
Died: December 3, 2000
 17 
Roxane Gay
(Writer Known for Her 2014 Essay Collection 'Bad Feminist')
Roxane Gay
10
Listed In: Writers
Birthdate: October 15, 1974
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Omaha, Nebraska, United States
 18 
Angie Thomas
(Novelist)
Angie Thomas
2
Listed In: Writers
Birthdate: March 6, 1988
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Jackson, Mississippi, U.S.
 19 
Claude McKay
(Writer)
Claude McKay
2
Listed In: Writers
Birthdate: September 15, 1889
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Clarendon Parish
Died: May 22, 1948
 20 
Dwayne McDuffie
(Known for Producing and Writing the Animated Series: 'Static Shock', 'Damage Control', 'Justice League Unlimited')
Dwayne McDuffie
2
Listed In: Writers
Birthdate: February 20, 1962
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Detroit, Michigan, United States
Died: February 21, 2011
Height: 6'5" (196 cm)
 21 
Mumia Abu-Jamal
(Journalist, Activist)
Mumia Abu-Jamal
6
Birthdate: April 24, 1954
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Philadelphia
 22 
Oscar Micheaux
3
Listed In: Writers
Birthdate: January 2, 1884
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Metropolis, Illinois, United States
Died: March 25, 1951
 23 
Walter Dean Myers
10
Listed In: Writers
Birthdate: August 12, 1937
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Martinsburg
Died: July 1, 2014
 24 
Anna Julia Cooper
(One of the Most Important African-American Scholars in US History)
Anna Julia Cooper
6
Listed In: Activists
Birthdate: August 10, 1858
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Raleigh, North Carolina, U.S.A.
Died: February 27, 1964
 25 
William Julius Wilson
(Sociologist, University teacher, Professor, Writer)
William Julius Wilson
1
Birthdate: December 20, 1935
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Pennsylvania
 26 
Michelle Alexander
(Lawyer)
Michelle Alexander
5
Listed In: Lawyers & Judges
Birthdate: October 7, 1967
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Chicago, Illinois, United States
 27 
Bebe Moore Campbell
(Author)
Bebe Moore Campbell
1
Listed In: Writers
Birthdate: February 18, 1950
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States
Died: November 27, 2006
 28 
Henry Van Dyke
4
Listed In: Miscellaneous
Birthdate: November 10, 1852
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Philadelphia
Died: April 10, 1933
 29 
Rita Dove
(Poet, Writer)
Rita Dove
1
Listed In: Writers
Birthdate: August 28, 1952
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Akron
 30 
Robert Hayden
(Consultant in Poetry to the Library of Congress from 1976 to 1978, a role today known as US Poet Laureate.)
Robert Hayden
0
Listed In: Writers
Birthdate: August 4, 1913
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Detroit, Michigan, United States
Died: February 25, 1980
 31 
Chester Himes
(Writer)
Chester Himes
1
Listed In: Writers
Birthdate: July 29, 1909
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Jefferson City, Missouri,United States
Died: November 12, 1984
 32 
E. Lynn Harris
(Author)
E. Lynn Harris
0
Listed In: Writers
Birthdate: June 20, 1955
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Flint, Michigan, United States
Died: July 23, 2009
 33 
Edna Lewis
(Chef)
Edna Lewis
0
Listed In: Food Experts
Birthdate: April 13, 1916
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Freetown, Virginia, United States
Died: February 13, 2006
 34 
Stanley Crouch
(Musician, Novelist, Writer, Music critic, Journalist)
Stanley Crouch
10
Listed In:
Birthdate: December 14, 1945
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Los Angeles
 35 
Alice Dunbar Nelson
(Poet)
Alice Dunbar Nelson
1
Listed In: Writers
Birthdate: July 19, 1875
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: New Orleans, Louisiana, United States
Died: September 18, 1935
 36 
Gloria Naylor
(Novelist)
Gloria Naylor
0
Listed In: Writers
Birthdate: January 25, 1950
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: New York, New York, United States
Died: September 28, 2016
 37 
Edward P. Jones
(Novelist)
Edward P. Jones
0
Listed In: Writers
Birthdate: 1951 AD
Birthplace: Washington, D.C., United States
 38 
Bob Herbert
(Journalist)
Bob Herbert
0
Birthdate: March 7, 1945
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: New York City, New York, United States
 39 
Sarah Louise Delany
(Educator)
Sarah Louise Delany
2
Listed In: Miscellaneous
Birthdate: September 19, 1889
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Lynch Station, Virginia, United States
Died: January 25, 1999
 40 
Jessie Redmon Fauset
(Editor)
Jessie Redmon Fauset
2
Birthdate: April 27, 1882
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Camden County, New Jersey, United States
Died: April 30, 1961
 41 
Sofia Samatar
(Poet)
Sofia Samatar
0
Listed In: Miscellaneous
Birthdate: October 24, 1971
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Indiana, United States
 42 
Claude Brown
(Author)
Claude Brown
0
Listed In: Writers
Birthdate: February 23, 1937
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Harlem, New York, United States
Died: February 2, 2002
 43 
Pauline Hopkins
(Novelist)
Pauline Hopkins
0
Listed In: Writers
Birthdate: 1859 AD
Birthplace: Portland, Maine, United States
Died: August 13, 1930
 44 
Timothy Thomas Fortune
(Orator)
Timothy Thomas Fortune
1
Listed In: Miscellaneous
Birthdate: October 3, 1856
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Marianna, Florida, United States
Died: June 2, 1928
 45 
George Moses Horton
(Poet)
George Moses Horton
2
Listed In: Writers
Birthdate: 1798 AD
Birthplace: Northampton, North Carolina
Died: 1884 AD
 46 
Rudolph Fisher
(Physician)
Rudolph Fisher
0
Listed In: Writers
Birthdate: May 9, 1897
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Washington, D.C., United States
Died: December 26, 1934
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 47 
William Raspberry
(Journalist)
William Raspberry
0
Birthdate: October 12, 1935
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Okolona, Mississippi
Died: July 17, 2012
 48 
Houston A. Baker, Jr.
(Scholar)
Houston A. Baker, Jr.
0
Listed In: Writers
Birthdate: March 22, 1943
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Louisville, Kentucky, United States
 49 
Carlos Baker
(Writer)
Carlos Baker
0
Listed In: Writers
Birthdate: May 5, 1909
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Biddeford, Maine, United States
Died: April 18, 1987
 50 
Lorenzo Thomas
0
Listed In: Writers
Birthdate: August 31, 1944
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Panama
Died: July 4, 2005