Denise Johnson

Black Authors: 10 Must-Read Writers and Literature

In the vast and diverse world of literature, black authors have long made significant contributions. They explore, dissect, and celebrate the complexities of human experience, particularly through the lens of race, identity, and social justice.

Whether you’re passionate about poetry, gripped by gritty novels, or moved by powerful memoirs, the following list of 11 must-read black authors will enrich your understanding, challenge your perceptions, and entertain your soul.

These black writers not only capture the essence of black life across the globe but also offer universal insights that resonate with readers from all walks of life.

From inspiring feminist literature to TikTok’s trending novels, the range of offerings is vast, catering to different interests and preferences.

Let’s get into more details…

Top 10 Black Authors and Their Popular Works

Here is the list of ten black authors and some of their most notable works that have left a mark in the literary world:

1) Ta-Nehisi Coates

Ta-Nehisi Coates, an acclaimed American author and journalist, is known for his compelling and thought-provoking writing style. His works often delve into cultural, social, and political issues, offering deep insight into the African American experience and issues of white supremacy.

Coates’ prose is rich with nuance, combining powerful storytelling with sharp analysis to create a unique voice that resonates with readers.

When looking for essential reads by Ta-Nehisi Coates, consider diving into his impactful works such as “Between the World and Me” and “The Water Dancer.” These books not only showcase Coates’ mastery of storytelling but also contribute significantly to the ongoing conversations on race, identity, and history.

Through his eloquent narratives and profound insights, Coates offers readers a powerful lens through which to explore and understand the complexities of the world we live in.

2) D.S. Johnson-Mills

D.S. Johnson-Mills is one of the new female authors who has captured the hearts of many readers with her engaging narratives and relatable characters.

One of her most notable works is “Choosing Me,” a book that takes readers on a transformative journey of self-discovery.

“Choosing Me” is a profound exploration of the human condition. It delves into the complexities of relationships, the struggle to find one’s identity, and the courage it takes to make decisions that lead to personal growth.

Johnson-Mills has a unique talent for presenting these themes in a way that resonates with readers, regardless of their background or experiences.

3) Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie’s works are known for their exploration of themes such as identity, culture, feminism, and post-colonialism. Through her narratives, Adichie challenges stereotypes and offers multiple perspectives, emphasizing the importance of diverse voices in storytelling.

Her writing often confronts the dangers of a single story, encouraging readers to see beyond preconceived notions and embrace the complexity of human experiences.

For those looking to delve into Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie’s works, recommended reads include “Half of a Yellow Sun,” “Americanah,” and “We Should All Be Feminists.” These books not only showcase Adichie’s storytelling prowess but also provide profound insights into issues of race, gender, and colonial legacies.

Exploring Adichie’s literature offers a compelling journey into diverse perspectives and challenges the conventions of mainstream narratives.

4) Colson Whitehead

Colson Whitehead’s narratives often dissect the intricacies of systemic injustices and societal issues, particularly focused on racism and its deep-rooted impact in America.

His storytelling techniques intricately weave together historical contexts with contemporary relevance, providing readers with a thought-provoking exploration of race relations and resilience in the face of adversity.

Whitehead’s ability to merge past and present offers a unique lens through which readers can reflect on the enduring legacies of discrimination and inequality.

Top books by Colson Whitehead are “The Underground Railroad”, “The Nickel Boys”, “Zone One”, “Sag Harbor”, “The Intuitionist”.

5) Jacqueline Woodson

Jacqueline Woodson, an American writer renowned for her works across various age groups, delves into themes of family, identity, and social issues.

Her narratives resonate with readers through poignant explorations of race and personal experiences, shedding light on the complexities of growing up.

Woodson’s storytelling captures the nuances of human emotions and relationships, fostering empathy and understanding among audiences of all ages.

Essential reads by Jacqueline Woodson are “Brown Girl Dreaming”, “Another Brooklyn”, “Red at the Bone”, “Before the Ever After”, “Harbor Me”.

6) Jesmyn Ward

Jesmyn Ward, a distinguished American author, delves deep into the lives of Black families in the American South, exploring themes of resilience, heritage, and societal challenges.

Her narratives are masterfully crafted, delving into the intricacies of race, identity, and family dynamics.

Ward’s storytelling evokes powerful emotions and offers a profound insight into the struggles and triumphs of her characters, captivating readers with each turn of the page.

Books by Jesmyn Ward that should be in your reading list are “Sing, Unburied”, “Salvage the Bones”, “Men We Reaped”, “Where the Line Bleeds”.

7) Bolu Babalola

Bolu Babalola, a remarkable London based Black author, graces the literary world with her captivating storytelling and unique voice.

Her works delve into themes of love, culture, and identity, offering readers a fresh perspective on relationships and human emotions.

Babalola’s writing is both poignant and humorous, blending folklore and modern narratives seamlessly.

With her exceptional talent, Bolu Babalola has gained recognition for her ability to transport readers into vibrant worlds filled with rich characters and beautiful prose.

Her stories celebrate the diversity and complexity of love, infusing her work with a sense of magic and authenticity that leaves a lasting impact on readers.

Here are some of the most popular works by Bolu Babalola, “Love in Colour”, “Honey & Spice”, and “Sun Under the Skin”.

8) Ashley C. Ford

Ashley C. Ford, a brilliant writer and podcaster, has made a significant impact in the literary world with her powerful storytelling and resonant voice.

Her New York Times bestseller delves into her coming-of-age journey in Indiana, sharing poignant reflections on identity and belonging.

Ford’s ability to navigate complex themes with authenticity and honesty captivates readers, offering a glimpse into her heart and mind.

Through her writing, Ashley C. Ford illuminates the nuances of human emotions and experiences, inviting readers to connect with her narratives on a deep and personal level.

Her work not only entertains but also challenges and inspires, sparking conversations and reflections on life, love, and personal growth.

With each page, Ford’s unique perspective shines through, leaving an indelible mark on those who engage with her profound storytelling.

Her best works include, “Somebody’s Daughter”.

9) Jessica George

Jessica George is a rising star in the literary world, captivating readers with her compelling narratives and evocative storytelling.

Her works delve into the complexities of human relationships, shedding light on themes of identity, love, and resilience.

With a unique voice and perspective, George weaves together stories that resonate on a profound level with audiences of all backgrounds.

Readers are drawn to George’s ability to infuse her characters with depth and authenticity, making each story a journey of self-discovery and emotional exploration.

From heartwarming tales of friendship to gripping sagas of personal growth, Jessica George’s writing is a testament to the power of storytelling in connecting hearts and minds.

Keep an eye out for this talented author as she continues to leave a lasting impact on readers everywhere.

“Maame” and “My Name Is Maame” are some of the best books written by Jessica George.

10) Tia Williams

Tia Williams is a prominent Black author whose works resonate deeply with readers seeking diverse and compelling narratives.

Known for her powerful storytelling and nuanced character development, Williams has carved a space for herself in the literary world.

Her books explore themes of identity, womanhood, and empowerment, offering perspectives that are both relatable and thought-provoking.

With a unique voice and writing style, Tia Williams captivates audiences with stories that evoke a range of emotions and leave a lasting impact.

Readers are drawn to the authenticity of her characters and the intricate plots that keep them engaged from the first page to the last.

Whether delving into romance, mystery, or drama, Williams’s stories are a testament to the richness and depth of Black literature in shaping the literary landscape of today.

Tia is known for these books “Seven Days in June”, “The Perfect Find”, “A Love Song for Ricki Wilde”, and “The Accidental Diva”.


The authors highlighted above have each made a unique mark on the literary world through their engaging storytelling and exploration of meaningful themes.

Diving into topics such as identity, empowerment, love, and the complexities of human relationships, their works provide readers with rich, compelling narratives that resonate on a personal level.

Their stories not only entertain but also provoke thought, encourage self-discovery, and foster a deeper understanding of diverse life experiences. By offering perspectives that are both nuanced and accessible, these black writers contribute significantly to the broadening of horizons and the celebration of diversity within literature.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Scroll to Top