Columns > Published on July 9th, 2020

Black Authors You Should Read


Want to read some black authors? Good. World literature would be a fraction of what it is today without the contributions of black writers. In this short list you will find science fiction, romance, poetry, YA, horror, crime, literary fiction, and nonfiction. Dig it:

Octavia Butler. Roxane Gay. Chester Himes. S.A. Cosby. Tananarive Due. Kellye Garrett. Chesya Burke. Saeed Jones. Rachel Howzell Hall. Wrath James White. Ta-Nehisi Coates. Nnedi Okorafor. Toni Morrison. James Baldwin. Danez Smith. Colson Whitehead. N.K. Jemisin. Crystal Wilkinson. Maurice Ruffin. Natalie Baszile. Rion Amilcar Scott. Jesmyn Ward. Gwendolyn Brooks. Frank X Walker. Dorothy Koomson. T Geronimo Johnson. Zadie Smith. Attica Locke. Nalo Hopkinson. Leesa Cross-Smith. Chigozie Obioma. Ishmael Reed. Walter Mosley. Ntozake Shange. Kevin Young. Nikky Finney. Pepper Pace. Jomo Kenyatta. Barbara Neely. Kianna Alexander. Wanda Coleman. Lauren Wilkinson. Farrah Rochon. Carmen Gillespie. Meja Mwangi. Tracy Clark. Pat Parker. Sofia Samatar. Rosamond S. King. Jericho Brown. Persia Walker. Helene Johnson. Terris McMahan GrimesJamey Hatley. Jennifer Brissett. Samuel R. Delaney. Henry Dumas. Juno Rushdan. Rion Amilcar Scott. Victor LaValle. Frank X Walker.  Janice A. Lowe. Teri Ellen Cross Davis. Lucille Clifton. Ross Gay. Rivers Solomon. Jessica Guess. Zora Neale Hurston. Eugen Bacon. Zane. Tade Thompson. Adrianne Byrd. Davon Loeb. A Van Jordan. Etheridge Knight. Jessie Redmon Fauset. Robert Hayden. Audre Lorde. Etheridge Knight. Jamaica Kincaid. Toni Cade Bambara. Frankie Y. Bailey. Jayne Cortez. Gil Scott-Heron. Bob Kaufman. Angie Thomas. Kiru Taye. Nikki Giovanni. Patrick Chamoiseau. Gregory Pardlo. Cheryl A. Head. Penny Mickelbury. Sister Souljah. Maya Angelou. Jewelle Gomez. Gloria Naylor. James Emanuel. Haki R. Madhubuti. Latrivia S. Nelson. bell hooks. Linda D. Addison. Angela Johnson. Opal Palmer Adisa. Kayla Perrin. Susana Morris. Alice Walker. Joanne C. Hillhouse. Keisha Ervin. Velma Pollard. Claude McKay. Countee Cullen. Mervyn Morris. Arna Wendell Bontemps. Tony Grooms. Quincy Troupe. Natasha Trethewey. Richard Wright. Caryl Phillips. Merle Collins. Marlon James. Melvin Dixon. Beverly Jenkins. Dudley Randall. Kamau Brathwaite. Ahmadou Kourouma. Honorée Fanonne Jeffers. James Earl Hardy. N. D. Jones. Suyi Davies Okungbowa. Christopher Paul Curtis. Una Marson. Christiana Harrell. Tomi Adeyemi. Mongo Beti. Lorna Goodison. Anne Petry. Jason Overstreet. Ernest J Gaines. Ralph Ellison. Virginia Hamilton. Maurice Carlos Ruffin. E. Lynn Harris. Nisi Shawl. Bryan Washington. Anne Spencer. Oonya Kempadoo. Austin Clarke. Angela Davis. Ibram X. Kendi. Buchi Emecheta. Michelle Alexander. Mari Evans.  Elearnor Taylor Bland. Iceberg Slim. Jacqueline Woodson. Jewell Parker Rhodes. Ishmael Bea. Uzodinma Iweala. Christopher Darden. Marion Bethel. Hugh Holton. Malorie Blackman. Dambudzo Marechera. Brenda Jackson. Grace F. Edwards. Kyra Davis. Balogun Ojetade. Gar Anthony Haywood. Terry McMillan. Glenville Lovell. Thomas Mofolo. Roy Glenn. Okey Ndibe. Chinua Achebe. Valerie Wilson Wesley. Jack Mapanje. Zin E. Rocklyn. Terris McMahan Grimes. Earl Lovelace. Oyinkan Braithwaite. John Vercher. Rivers Solomon. Alexia Gordon. Stephen Mack Jones. Rachel Edwards. Nuruddin Farah. Nikki Dolson. Francis Ray. Niobia Bryant. Alyssa Cole. Rebel Miller. Michael S. Harper. Piper Huguley. Cheris Hodges. Lena Hart. Nana Malone. John Steptoe. Rochelle Allers. Tiphanie Yanique. June Jordan. Nicky Drayden. Terrence Hayes. George Moses Horton. Melvin B. Tolson. Jason Reynolds. Georgia Douglas Johnson. Sherley Anne Williams. Sheree Thomas. Tsitsi Dangarembga. Walter Dean Myers. Mildred D. Taylor. Nikki Grimes. Karen Lord. Milton Davis. Tochi Onyebuchi. Alex La Guma. Kwame Nkrumah. George Lamming. Erna Brodber. Mayra Santos-Febres. Maryse Condé. Alecia McKenzie. Louise Bennett. Kendel Hippolyte. Simone Schwarz-Bart. Chikodili Emelumadu. Ace Antonio Hall.

Now understand the following:

- This list is a tiny pebble at the base of a mountain. Read the pebble and then start climbing.

- If you feel the need to ask for a list of white authors, go fuck yourself. Oh, and have a nice day.

Go read. Go love.

About the author

Gabino Iglesias is a writer, journalist, and book reviewer living in Austin, TX. He’s the author of ZERO SAINTS, HUNGRY DARKNESS, and GUTMOUTH. His reviews have appeared in Electric Literature, The Rumpus, 3AM Magazine, Marginalia, The Collagist, Heavy Feather Review, Crimespree, Out of the Gutter, Vol. 1 Brooklyn, HorrorTalk, Verbicide, and many other print and online venues. Y

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