Famous Black Authors

You guys had to know that this was coming eventually. 😉 Anyway, here are a list of a couple influential black authors in history. Hopefully I make a list like this some day!

Alex Haley: Alex Haley was born August 11, 1921 and died February 10, 1992. He was a member of the Coast Guard for twenty years and then went on to work for Reader’s Digest, Playboy and several other magazines. In 965, he helped ghostwrite the first

Alex Haley on the cover of Time Magazine.

Autobiography of Malcolm X. After doing some research on his ancestors, Haley wrote Roots and it was published in 1976. It went on to win 271 awards. He was halfway through his last novel, Queen, but died of a heart attack before it was finished. Author David Stevens completed the work.

Langston Hughes: Langston Hughes was born on February 1st, 1902. He’s best known for his poetry and other works during the Harlem Renaissance.  Some of his famous works include “The Negro Speaks Rivers” and “Laughing to Keep from Crying.” He earned a bachelor’s degree in 1929. Hughes also wrote a play in 1935 entitled The Mulatto. He opened up black theaters in Chicago, Harlem, and LA. He died in on May 22, 1967 due to complications cased from medication.

Alice Walker: Alice Walker was born on February 9, 1944. An accident during her childhood left her unable to see in one eye. She worked for the NAACP as well as teaching during her adult years. She is famous for writing the Color Purple, Everyday Use, and several other works. She’s sold over 10 million copies of her work and she has had her work translated into over 24 languages. She currently works at Emory University in Atlanta.

Toni Morrison: Toni Morrison was born on February 18, 1931. She attended Howard University in 1949. She wrote The Bluest Eye, Song of Solomon, Beloved, and Paradise. Currently she is writing children novels and a senior member of The Nation Magazine.

Richard Wright: Richard Wright was born in was born September 4, 1908. He went to school and worked a variety of jobs such as a salesman, cashier, and insurance agent assistant. He finally accepted a writing job.  He is famous for such works as Native Son, Black Boy, Uncle Tom’s Children, and The Long Dream. He died on November 28 in 1960.

Zora Neale Hurston: Much of Zora Neale Hurston’s origins are a mystery. She was born on January 7, but it is unknown if she was born in 1891, 1901, or 1903.  She worked as a domestic until 1917 when she attend Morgan State University (then known as Morgan Academy). When she completed her education she went on to Howard University. She then pursued a writing career during the Harlem Renaissance.  Her most famous work is Their Eyes Were Watching God. She died January 28, 1960.


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