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Five Black Authors You Should Know About

If you’re like me, reading is one of your favorite pastimes. There are so many different perspectives and topics to read about that we’re bound to miss out on some. To help shine some light on Black authors, here are some of my favorites whose works you should read! 

  1. Nicola Yoon

If you’re a sucker for a good romance novel, then Nicola Yoon has got you covered. This Jamaican-American novelist has solidified herself among my top favorite authors. From compelling and relatable characters to interesting storylines, Yoon weaves narratives that are fun to read and keep you coming back. Her novels “Everything, Everything” and “The Sun Is Also a Star” are my personal favorites because they show that love can come from anywhere or anyone. Not to mention, her Black female leads have depth that anyone can find a part of themselves in. 

  1. Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie has solidified herself as an influential author in the modern-day. Her thought-provoking novels and essays like “Purple Hibiscus” and “We Should All Be Feminists” introduce perspectives surrounding politics, religion, gender and race. The storylines in her books are typically centered around Nigerian characters, which provides a perspective that many in the United States don’t get to hear as often. She manages to combine these topics with interesting plots and characters that make learning about these perspectives entertaining. 

  1. Toni Morrison

With her iconic works like “Beloved,” “Sula,” and “The Bluest Eye,” it would be a crime if I didn’t put Toni Morrison on this list. She was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom by President Barack Obama in 2012. Along with this, she was the first African American woman to win the Nobel Prize in Literature and reading her works, it’s easy to see why. Her books showcase the experience of Black Americans and the struggles that come with belonging to a marginalized group in the United States. Although the topics discussed in her books may seem a bit heavy, they are necessary to talk about if we want to gain a better understanding of the world today. 

  1. Amanda Gorman

You probably know her from her incredible poem “The Hill We Climb” that she recited at the 2021 presidential inauguration. This poem in particular sparked a feeling of hope in many Americans and showcased what it means to repair a nation and come together. She is also the first person to be named National Youth Poet Laureate. Her works have themes surrounding oppression, race and feminism. She confronts these issues with grace and beauty that some can only hope to muster. 

  1. Joan Morgan

This inspiring author of  “When Chickenheads Come Home to Roost” has become an unwavering voice in Black feminist literature. She is known for coining the term “hip hop feminism,” which is a lens within Black feminism that emphasizes the intersections of race and gender. Morgan is refreshingly honest and sheds light on the struggles that come with belonging to multiple marginalized groups. 

Each author on this list has shown me something new about society and literature as a whole. Their works inspire me to be better and write with intent. I admire each of these authors so much and I hope you check them out soon. Happy Black History Month!

Samantha is a sophomore at CU pursuing a double major in philosophy and sociology. In the future, she hopes to go to law school and become a human rights attorney. She enjoys creative writing, crocheting sweaters, listening to music, and watching Marvel movies in her spare time.
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