10 Black Authors like Maya Angelou

Maya Angelou was a much-acclaimed author who has written three books of essays, seven autobiographies, and few poetry books. Much of her work has been adapted for TV and movies as well. For her creative work and being the representative and spokesperson of black people, she received a lot of honorary awards. There are also many other black authors that are much like Maya Angelou.

Maya Angelou Bestselling Books and Novels

  • I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings
  • The Heart of a Woman
  • Letter to My Daughter
  • Mon & Me & Mom
  • Gather Together in My Name

1. James Baldwin

Despite the fact that he spent the majority of his life living abroad to get away from the racial partiality in the United States, James Baldwin was one of the best black American authors. Best known for his appearance on his experience as a straightforwardly gay Black man among the white people of America, his books, articles, and stories make him a social commentator who shared the rights and struggles of Black Americans.

James Baldwin Bestselling Books and Novels

  • Go Tell It on the Mountain
  • The Fire Next Time
  • Notes of Native Son
  • Another Country
  • Sonny’s Blues

2. Richard Wright

Born on 4 September 1908, Richard Wright was an American author who through his life was known for his controversial novels and stories that covered the both real incidents and non-fiction work as well. Through his life, he struggled for the rights of black people. His literature work concerns for black people rights, racial themes and those black people who struggled for the prosperity of America.

Richard Wright Bestselling Books and Novels

  • Native Son
  • Black Boy
  • Uncle Tom’s Children
  • The Outsider
  • Eight Men: Short Stories
  • Rite of Passage

3. Amiri Baraka

Though Amiri Baraka was a political activist, he used the writing as a mean to defend the black people particularly in Europe and American. Amiri Baraka was the writer and author of dozens of books and poetry that covered the essays, fiction, drama and music criticism genre. For his legendary work for his people, Amiri Baraka for the PEN Open Book Award.

Amiri Baraka Bestselling Books and Novels

  • Dutchman & The Slave
  • Black Music
  • The Dead Lecturer
  • Preface to a Twenty Volume Suicide Note
  • Tales of the Out and the Gone

4. W.E.B. Du Bois

W.E.B. Du Bois was one of the most influential leaders and authors those was best known for being the prominent spokesperson of black people. He studied a lot of Americans and their attitudes towards blacks. Throughout his life, W.E.B. Du Bois wrote novels and books ion black communities with an aim to end the racism.

W.E.B. Du Bois Bestselling Books and Novels

  • The Souls of Black Folk
  • Black Reconstruction in America 1860-1880
  • Writings
  • Three Negro Classics
  • Darkwater: Voices from Within the Veil
  • The Philadelphia Negro: A Social Study

5. Octavia Butler

Octavia Butler relied heavily on the science fiction work to show the world what is happening to the black people. Her novels are the blenders of sex, race, power and humanity. Her work is acclaimed by the others and attracted the audience beyond their genre. Moreover, her work has been translated into multiple international languages, and millions of copies have been sold so far.


Octavia Butler Bestselling Books and Novels

  • Kindred
  • Parable of the Sower
  • Dawn
  • Fledgling
  • Parable of the Talents
  • Wild Seed

6. Ralph Ellison

This American novelist and scholar is best known for his notable novel Invisible Man. Ralph Ellison also penned down Shadow and Act that is the collection of multiple critical, social and political issues. Rather than openly criticizing over the opponents of the black people, Ralph Ellison through his writing tried to be a mediator between white and black people.

Ralph Ellison Bestselling Books and Novels

  • Invisible Man
  • Juneteenth
  • Shadow and Act
  • Flying Home and Other Stories
  • The Collected Essays
  • Battle Royal

7. Langston Hughes

This American and social activist were the first who used the jazz rhythms in his writing. Moreover, he is listed among the pioneers of the literary art form jazz poetry. Langston Hughes was much influenced by the work of Carl Sandburg, Paul Lawrence Dunbar, and Walt Whitman. He was the critic of communism in America.

Langston Hughes Bestselling Books and Novels

  • The Collected Poems
  • Selected Poems
  • The Ways of White Folks
  • Not Without Laughter
  • The Best of Simple

8. Alex Haley

Alex Haley is also listed among those writers and authors who for their entire lifetime wrote a lot about the rights of black people. His work outlines the Black Nationalism, black pride, and pan-Africanism.  His writing depicts the struggle of African Americans and throughout their roles in black history.

Alex Haley Bestselling Books and Novels

  • Roots: The Saga of an American Family
  • Queen
  • Mama Flora’s Family
  • A Different Kind of Christmas
  • Alex Haley: The Playboy Interviews

9. Zora Neale Hurston

Zora Neale Hurston was one of the preeminent black female writers in the US. Zora Neale Hurston wrote over fifty novels and essays. One of her most popular books was Their Eyes Were Watching God. Unlike other authors of her era, Zora Neale Hurston did not write about black people only in the context of white Americans. She mentioned the international culture and traditions of blacks.

Zora Neale Hurston Bestselling Books and Novels

  • Their Eyes Were Watching God
  • Mules and Men
  • Dust Tracks on a Road
  • Jonah’s Gourd Vine
  • Moses, Man of the Mountain

10. Toni Morrison

Toni Morrison is a Nobel Prize-winning author who is considered as the modern day voice of black and African people. Her best notable novels are Sula, The Bluest Eye, Song of Solomon and Beloved. Her novel Beloved was also adapted into a film with the same name as well. In addition to black people, Toni Morrison focuses more on the rights of black women.

Toni Morrison Bestselling Books and Novels

  • Beloved
  • The Bluest Eye
  • Song of Solomon
  • Sula
  • Paradise
  • Jazz

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