Famous Black Playwrights

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

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 1 Lorraine Hansberry

Lorraine Hansberry
6
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

Lorraine Hansberry was a writer and playwright best remembered for her play A Raisin in the Sun which emphasizes the plight of African-Americans living under racial segregation. At the age of 29, Lorraine Hansberry received the New York Drama Critics' Circle Award, becoming the youngest playwright and the first African-American dramatist to win the prestigious award.

 2 Ernie Hudson

Ernie Hudson
4
Famous As: Actor
Birthdate: December 17, 1945
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Benton Harbor, Michigan, USA

 3 Michaela Coel

Michaela Coel
5
Famous As: Actress
Birthdate: October 1, 1987
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: London, England

 4 Colman Domingo

Colman Domingo
4
Famous As: Actor
Birthdate: November 28, 1969
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA

 5 Ossie Davis

Ossie Davis
4
Famous As: Former actor who appeared in films with wife Ruby Dee
Birthdate: December 18, 1917
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Cogdell, Georgia, United States
Died: February 4, 2005

 6 Patrisse Cullors

Patrisse Cullors
4
Famous As: Artist
Birthdate: June 20, 1983
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Los Angeles, California, U.S.

 7 Paul Laurence Dunbar

Paul Laurence Dunbar
3
Famous As: Poet
Birthdate: June 27, 1872
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Dayton, Ohio, United States
Died: February 9, 1906
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 8 Buchi Emecheta

Buchi Emecheta
3
Famous As: Writer, Novelist, Sociologist, Playwright, Editor, Children's writer
Birthdate: July 21, 1944
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Yaba Department
Died: January 25, 2017

 9 John Agard

John Agard
3
Famous As: Playwright, Poet, Children's writer
Birthdate: June 21, 1949
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Georgetown, Guyana

 10 Suzan-Lori Parks

Suzan-Lori Parks
3
Famous As: American playwright
Birthdate: May 10, 1963
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Fort Knox, Kentucky, United States

 11 Archie Shepp

Archie Shepp
3
Famous As: Jazz Saxophonist
Birthdate: May 24, 1937
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Fort Lauderdale, Florida, United States

 12 Regina Taylor

Regina Taylor
0
Famous As: Actress, Playwright.
Birthdate: August 22, 1960
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Dallas, Texas, United States

 13 Lisa Codrington

Lisa Codrington
1
Famous As: Actress
Birthdate: 0000 AD
Birthplace: Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada

 14 Mbongeni Ngema

Mbongeni Ngema
3
Famous As: Novelist
Birthdate: May 10, 1955
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Verulam, KwaZulu-Natal, Durban, South Africa

A South African Zulu, Mbongeni Ngema worked as a manual laborer and a guitarist before venturing into theater and then becoming a playwright and a director. While he created controversy with his play Asinamali!, he gained international repute with Sarafina! He was also a choir director for The Lion King.

 15 Maryse Condé

Maryse Condé
3
Famous As: Novelist
Birthdate: February 11, 1937
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Pointe-à-Pitre, Guadeloupe

 16 Oscar Cicero Brown, Jr.

Oscar Cicero Brown, Jr.
3
Famous As: Singer-songwriter
Birthdate: October 10, 1926
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Chicago, Illinois, United States
Died: May 29, 2005

 17 Vantile Whitfield

Vantile Whitfield
0
Famous As: Actor
Birthdate: September 8, 1930
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Washington, D.C., United States
Died: January 9, 2005

 18 Colville Young

Colville Young
0
Famous As: 2nd Governor-General of Belize
Birthdate: November 20, 1932
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Belize City, Belize

 19 Ola Rotimi

Ola Rotimi
3
Famous As: Playwright
Birthdate: April 13, 1938
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Ilesa, Nigeria
Died: August 18, 2000

 20 Dambudzo Marechera

Dambudzo Marechera
2
Famous As: Novelist
Birthdate: June 4, 1952
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Rusape, Zimbabwe
Died: August 18, 1987

 21 Wallace Thurman

Wallace Thurman
2
Famous As: Novelist
Birthdate: August 16, 1902
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Salt Lake City, Utah, United States
Died: December 22, 1934

 22 Caryl Phillips

Caryl Phillips
2
Famous As: Novelist, Playwright and Essayist
Birthdate: March 13, 1958
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Saint Kitts, Saint Kitts and Nevis

 23 Efua Sutherland

Efua Sutherland
2
Famous As: Playwright
Birthdate: June 27, 1924
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Cape Coast, Ghana
Died: January 2, 1996

 24 Errol John

Errol John
2
Famous As: Actor
Birthdate: December 20, 1924
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Port of Spain, Trinidad and Tobago
Died: July 10, 1988

 25 Bernard Binlin Dadié

Bernard Binlin Dadié
2
Famous As: Novelist
Birthdate: January 10, 1916
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Assini, Côte d’Ivoire
Died: March 9, 2019

Better known as a novelist, playwright and poet, Bernard Binlin Dadié was also an able administrator, serving as Ivory Coast's Minister of Culture. Inspired by Africa's rich traditions, he tried to highlight them not only through his writings, but also by publishing several volumes of legends, fables, folktales, and proverbs, concurrently giving expression to Africa's desire for equality and dignity.

 26 Charles Fuller

Charles Fuller
2
Famous As: Playwright
Birthdate: March 5, 1939
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States

 27 Dawit Isaak

Dawit Isaak
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Famous As: Playwright, Journalist and Writer
Birthdate: October 28, 1964
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Asmara, Eritrea

 28 Jonas Hassen Khemiri

Jonas Hassen Khemiri
2
Famous As: First Swedish writer to have a short story published in the New Yorker
Birthdate: December 27, 1978
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Stockholm, Sweden

 29 Pauline Hopkins

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

 30 Earl Lovelace

Earl Lovelace
2
Famous As: Novelist
Birthdate: July 13, 1935
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Toco, Trinidad and Tobago

 31 Lonne Elder III

Lonne Elder III
2
Famous As: Actor
Birthdate: December 26, 1927
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Americus, Georgia, United States
Died: June 11, 1996

 32 Rudolph Fisher

Rudolph Fisher
2
Famous As: Physician
Birthdate: May 9, 1897
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Washington, D.C., United States
Died: December 26, 1934

 33 Birago Diop

Birago Diop
2
Famous As: Poet
Birthdate: December 11, 1906
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Dakar, Senegal
Died: November 25, 1989

 34 Mari Evans

Mari Evans
2
Famous As: Poet
Birthdate: July 16, 1923
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Toledo, Ohio, United States
Died: March 10, 2017

 35 Ed Bullins

Ed Bullins
1
Famous As: Playwright
Birthdate: July 2, 1935
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States

 36 Abdias do Nascimento

Abdias do Nascimento
1
Famous As: Scholar
Birthdate: March 14, 1914
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Franca, Brazil
Died: May 23, 2011

 37 Djibril Tamsir Niane

Djibril Tamsir Niane
1
Famous As: Historian
Birthdate: January 9, 1932
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Conakry, Guinea

 38 Duro Ladipo

Duro Ladipo
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Famous As: Dramatist
Birthdate: December 18, 1931
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Oshogbo, Nigeria
Died: March 11, 1978

 39 Kola Ogunmola

Kola Ogunmola
1
Famous As: Dramatist
Birthdate: November 11, 1925
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Okemesi, Nigeria
Died: 1973 AD

 40 Owen Dodson

Owen Dodson
1
Famous As: Poet
Birthdate: November 28, 1914
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Brooklyn, New York, United States
Died: June 21, 1983

 41 Regina M. Anderson

Regina M. Anderson
1
Famous As: Playwright
Birthdate: May 21, 1901
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Chicago, Illinois, United States
Died: February 5, 1993

 42 Michael Usi

Michael Usi
1
Famous As: Actor known for his role as Dr. Manga" in the film Dr. Manga.
Birthdate: 1968 AD
Birthplace: Malawi

 43 Sony Labou Tansi

Sony Labou Tansi
1
Famous As: Novelist
Birthdate: June 5, 1947
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Kimwenza, Democratic Republic of the Congo
Died: June 14, 1995

 44 Augusta Jawara

Augusta Jawara
1
Famous As: Nurse, Playwright and Activist
Birthdate: April 30, 1924
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Unknown
Died: January 21, 1981

 45 Eulalie Spence

Eulalie Spence
1
Famous As: Playwright, screenwriters
Birthdate: June 11, 1894
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Nevis, Saint Kitts and Nevis
Died: March 7, 1981

 46 Penina Muhando

Penina Muhando
1
Famous As: Playwright
Birthdate: 1948 AD
Birthplace: Berega ,Morogoro Region , Tanzania

 47 Ngugi wa Mirii

Ngugi wa Mirii
1
Famous As: Playwright
Birthdate: 1951 AD
Birthplace: Limuru, Kenya
Died: May 3, 2008

 48 Évelyne Trouillot

Évelyne Trouillot
1
Famous As: Author
Birthdate: January 2, 1954
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Port-au-Prince, Haiti

 49 Werewere Liking

Werewere Liking
1
Famous As: Actress, Writer
Birthdate: May 1, 1950
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Cameroon

 50 Cont Mhlanga

Cont Mhlanga
0
Famous As: Playwright
Birthdate: 0000 AD
Birthplace: Zimbabwea