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Female Professionals The Greatest Black Female Authors in the History of Literature  

Celebrity Lists
548 votes 166 voters 9.1k views

List Rules Vote up the top black women authors throughout history and around the world, including novelists, essayists, journalists, and other writers.

Looking for your next engrossing read? Look no further. This list features the most famous black female authors of all time, known for books spanning multiple genres. The best black female writers come in many forms. Some of these talented women are novelists, while other notable black female writers also pen poetry. A number of these works have even been adapted into feature films.

What literary luminaries will you find on this list of black women authors? You might vote Maya Angelou to the top spot. I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings put her on the literary map in 1969 and she continued her success with such books as Gather Together in My Name and All God's Children Need Traveling Shoes. Toni Morrison is another great African American female author. Alice Walker's The Color Purple won the Pulitzer Prize in 1983 and its film adaptation was nominated for several Academy Awards. Angela Davis, TerryMcMillan, and Audre Lorde are also featured on this roundup.

Which woman should be ranked at number one on the list? That's up to you to decide. Give your favorites a thumbs up to move them towards the top, and please add any talented writers that are missing.

list ordered by

1
51 13
Maya Angelou is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Greatest Black Female Authors in the History of Literature
Dec. at 86 (1928-2014)

2
39 11
Toni Morrison is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Greatest Black Female Authors in the History of Literature
age 88

3
28 8
Alice Walker is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Greatest Black Female Authors in the History of Literature
age 75

4
19 5
Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Greatest Black Female Authors in the History of Literature

5
17 5
Sojourner Truth is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Greatest Black Female Authors in the History of Literature

6
16 5
Octavia E. Butler is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Greatest Black Female Authors in the History of Literature
Dec. at 59 (1947-2006)

7
21 10
Zora Neale Hurston is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Greatest Black Female Authors in the History of Literature
Dec. at 69 (1891-1960)

8
9 1
Lorraine Hansberry is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Greatest Black Female Authors in the History of Literature
Dec. at 35 (1930-1965)

9
12 4
Nikki Giovanni is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Greatest Black Female Authors in the History of Literature

10
13 5
Audre Lorde is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Greatest Black Female Authors in the History of Literature
Dec. at 58 (1934-1992)

11
7 2
Patricia Hill Collins is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Greatest Black Female Authors in the History of Literature

12
5 0
Paule Marshall is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Greatest Black Female Authors in the History of Literature

13
7 2
Asha Bandele is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Greatest Black Female Authors in the History of Literature

14
10 5
Terry McMillan is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Greatest Black Female Authors in the History of Literature

15
6 1
Staceyann Chin is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Greatest Black Female Authors in the History of Literature

16
7 2
Chika Unigwe is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Greatest Black Female Authors in the History of Literature
age 45

17
12 7
Angela Davis is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Greatest Black Female Authors in the History of Literature
age 75

18
8 4
Rebecca Walker is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Greatest Black Female Authors in the History of Literature

19
8 4
Nina Simone is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Greatest Black Female Authors in the History of Literature
Dec. at 70 (1933-2003)

20
8 4
Ntozake Shange is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Greatest Black Female Authors in the History of Literature

21
5 1
Dorothy West is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Greatest Black Female Authors in the History of Literature
Dec. at 91 (1907-1998)

22
5 1
Toni Cade Bambara is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Greatest Black Female Authors in the History of Literature
Dec. at 56 (1939-1995)

23
5 1
Toi Derricote is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Greatest Black Female Authors in the History of Literature

24
5 2
Harriet E. Wilson is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Greatest Black Female Authors in the History of Literature
Dec. at 75 (1825-1900)

25
4 1
Gwendolyn Brooks is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Greatest Black Female Authors in the History of Literature
Dec. at 83 (1917-2000)