Famous Black Non-Fiction Writers

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 1 
James Baldwin
(Author Best Known for His Novel 'Go Tell It on the Mountain')

James Baldwin
4
Birthdate: August 2, 1924
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Harlem, New York, United States
Died: December 1, 1987

Amongst the greatest writers of the 20th century and a leading literary voice in the civil rights movement, James Baldwin extensively explored issues like race, sexuality and humanity in his work. His best known work include his debut novel Go Tell It on the Mountain and his books of essays Notes of a Native Son and Nobody Knows My Name.

 2 
W. E. B. Du Bois
(Civil Rights Activists)

W. E. B. Du Bois
4
Birthdate: February 23, 1868
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Great Barrington, Massachusetts, United States
Died: August 27, 1963

W. E. B. Du Bois was an American civil rights activist, sociologist, and Pan-Africanist. Du Bois played an instrumental role in fighting for full civil rights for people of color around the world. A co-founder of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, Du Bois also played an important role as the leader of the Niagara Movement.

 3 
Ta-Nehisi Coates
(Author and Journalist Known for His Non-Fiction Books: ‘The Beautiful Struggle’ and ‘Between the World and Me’)

Ta-Nehisi Coates
4
Birthdate: September 30, 1975
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Baltimore, Maryland, U.S.

Author and journalist Ta-Nehisi Coates gained international prominence while serving as the national correspondent at The Atlantic. His writings on socio-political issues related to African Americans and white supremacy garnered him much appreciation. He is a recipient of the Harriet Beecher Stowe Center Prize for Writing to Advance Social Justice. He also writes fiction and comics.

 4 
Olaudah Equiano
(Anti Slavery Activist)

Olaudah Equiano
3
Birthdate: 1745 AD
Birthplace: Igboland
Died: March 31, 1797

Olaudah Equiano was a writer and abolitionist who was part of the abolitionist group, Sons of Africa, composed of Africans living in Britain in the 18th century. Enslaved as a child and sold to different “masters,” he eventually purchased his freedom and became one of the leaders of the anti-slave trade movement in the 1780s.  

 5 
Carter Woodson
(Historian)

Carter Woodson
3
Birthdate: December 19, 1875
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: New Canton, Virginia, United States
Died: April 3, 1950

Historian Carter Woodson was is remembered for pioneering Black studies in schools and colleges. He began the Negro History Week, which is now celebrated as the Black History Month. Poverty had pushed him to work in the coal mines initially, and he couldn’t join high school before 20.

 6 
Van Jones
(CNN News and Political Commentator Best Known for His New York Times Bestselling Book 'The Green Collar Economy')

Van Jones
4
Birthdate: September 20, 1968
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Jackson, Tennessee, United States

Especially known for his honest and poignant commentaries, Van Jones is an award-winning political contributor, commentator, and the host of popular CNN programs like Van Jones Show and The Redemption Project. Also a leader in the fight for criminal justice reform for more than twenty-five years, he has founded number of non-profit organizations and authored several best-selling books.

 7 
Larry Elder
(Radio Host)

Larry Elder
3
Birthdate: April 27, 1952
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Los Angeles, California, USA
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 8 

Mangosuthu Buthelezi
3
Birthdate: August 27, 1928
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Mahlabathini, South Africa

Mangosuthu Buthelezi is a South African politician who is credited with founding the Inkatha Freedom Party (IFP). He was widely regarded as one of the most important black leaders during the apartheid era. From 1994 to 2004, he served as South Africa's minister of home affairs. He has also won many awards, such as Nadaraja Award and Magna Award.

 9 
Cass Pennant
(Writer)

Cass Pennant
3
Birthdate: March 3, 1958
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Doncaster, South Yorkshire

 10 
Jayson Williams
(Basketball player)

Jayson Williams
0
Birthdate: February 22, 1968
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Ritter, South Carolina, United States

 11 

Colson Whitehead
3
Birthdate: March 11, 1969
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: New York City, New York (state) New York, U.S.

 12 

Kenneth Bancroft Clark
3
Birthdate: July 14, 1914
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Panama Canal Zone, United States
Died: May 1, 2005

 13 
Henry Ossian Flipper
(Military Leader)

Henry Ossian Flipper
3
Birthdate: March 21, 1856
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Thomasville, Georgia, United States
Died: April 26, 1940

Then first Black to have graduated from West Point’s Military Academy, Henry Ossian Flipper was born to slave parents. He also became the first African-American to command US Army troops. He was dismissed unjustly on embezzlement charges and later worked as a civil engineer. His name was cleared posthumously.

 14 
Anna Julia Cooper
(Author, Educator)

Anna Julia Cooper
2
Birthdate: August 10, 1858
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Raleigh, North Carolina, U.S.A.
Died: February 27, 1964

 15 

Bebe Moore Campbell
3
Birthdate: February 18, 1950
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States
Died: November 27, 2006

 16 

Kevin Belton
0
Birthdate: 1960 AD
Birthplace: New Orleans, Louisiana, United States

 17 
Mary Prince
(Autobiographer of The History of Mary Prince (1831))

Mary Prince
0
Birthdate: October 1, 1788
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Bermuda
Died: 1833 AD

 18 
Reginald Lewis
(Businessman, Writer)

Reginald Lewis
3
Birthdate: December 7, 1942
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Baltimore, Maryland, United States
Died: January 19, 1993

 19 
Robby Robinson
(Bodybuilder)

Robby Robinson
3
Birthdate: May 24, 1946
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Damascus, Georgia, United States

 20 
Geoffrey Canada
(Educator)

Geoffrey Canada
0
Birthdate: January 13, 1952
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: New York City, New York, United States

 21 
George Padmore
(Writer, Journalist)

George Padmore
2
Birthdate: June 28, 1903
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Arouca, Trinidad and Tobago
Died: September 23, 1959

 22 

Randall Robinson
2
Birthdate: July 6, 1941
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Richmond, Virginia, United States

 23 
Tony Martin
(Academic, Writer)

Tony Martin
2
Birthdate: February 21, 1942
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Port of Spain, Trinidad and Tobago
Died: January 17, 2013

 24 
Hamis Kiggundu
(Businessperson, Writer)

Hamis Kiggundu
0
Birthdate: February 10, 1984
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Lukerere, Kalungu, Uganda

 25 
Antenor Firmin
(Anthropologist)

Antenor Firmin
2
Birthdate: October 18, 1850
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Cap-Haitien, Haiti
Died: September 19, 1911

 26 
Mahmoud Mohammed Taha
(Politician, Civil Engineer)

Mahmoud Mohammed Taha
0
Birthdate: 1909 AD
Birthplace: Rufaa, Sudan
Died: January 18, 1985

 27 
Pauline Hopkins
(Novelist)

Pauline Hopkins
2
Birthdate: 1859 AD
Birthplace: Portland, Maine, United States
Died: August 13, 1930

Tété-Michel Kpomassie
0
Birthdate: 1941 AD
Birthplace: French Togoland

 29 
Carlos Baker
(Writer)

Carlos Baker
1
Birthdate: May 5, 1909
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Biddeford, Maine, United States
Died: April 18, 1987

 30 

Esther Kamatari
0
Birthdate: November 30, 1951
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Bujumbura, Burundi

Henry Sylvester Williams
1
Birthdate: February 15, 1869
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Arouca, Trinidad and Tobago Arouca, Trinidad
Died: March 26, 1911

 32 
Godfrey Mwakikagile
(Writer, Journalist)

Godfrey Mwakikagile
0
Birthdate: October 4, 1949
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Kigoma, Tanganyika

 33 
Amal Aden
(Writer)

Amal Aden
0
Birthdate: 1983 AD
Birthplace: Somalia

Amal Aden is a Somali–Norwegian writer, lecturer, and lesbian activist. From being an illiterate street child to becoming a successful author, Amal Aden's story of grit and determination has been a source of inspiration to many. Over the years, she has been honored with prestigious awards such as the Zola Prize and Erik Bye's Memorial Prize.

 34 
Gus John
(Writer, first black Director of Education and Leisure Services in Britain)

Gus John
0
Birthdate: March 11, 1945
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Grenada

 35 

Eric D. Walrond
1
Birthdate: December 18, 1898
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Georgetown, Guyana
Died: August 8, 1966

 36 
Osman Saleh Sabbe
(Former writer)

Osman Saleh Sabbe
0
Birthdate: 1932 AD
Birthplace: Hirgigo, Eritrea
Died: April 4, 1987

 37 
Jacob Wainwright
(Missionary and Non-fiction writers)

Jacob Wainwright
0
Birthdate: October 23, 1859
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Lake Malawi
Died: April 1, 1892

 38 
Kekla Magoon
(Writer)

Kekla Magoon
1
Birthdate: 1980 AD
Birthplace: Michigan, U.S.

 39 
Yvan Sagnet
(Writer)

Yvan Sagnet
1
Birthdate: 1985 AD
Birthplace: Douala, Cameroon

 40 
Patricia McFadden
(Activist and Scholar who worked in the anti-apartheid movement for more than 20 years)

Patricia McFadden
0
Birthdate: 1952 AD
Birthplace: Eswatini

 41 

Odette Roy Fombrun
0
Birthdate: June 13, 1917
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Port-au-Prince, Haiti

Mohamed Abdulkarim Ali
0
Birthdate: October 20, 1985
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Mogadishu, Somalia

 43 
Asma El Dareer
(Physician, Activist)

Asma El Dareer
0
Birthdate: 1949 AD
Birthplace: Sudan

 44 
Henry Louis Gates Jr.
(Known for His Pioneering Theories of African Literatures and African American Literature)

Henry Louis Gates Jr.
0
Birthdate: September 16, 1950
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Keyser, West Virginia, United States

Henry Louis Gates Jr. is an American literary critic, historian, professor, filmmaker, and public intellectual. He is currently serving as the director of the Hutchins Center at Harvard University. Over the years Gates has been honored with several prestigious awards including the National Humanities Medal. In 1997, he was named in Time magazine's 25 Most Influential Americans list.