Black History Month is a time to recognize and celebrate the achievements and contributions of African Americans throughout history. One of the most powerful ways to celebrate Black History Month is by reading the works of African American authors. The authors listed below made great strides during turbulent times, writing brilliant prose and lyrical poetry that speaks to the heart and explores a plethora of different themes. Here are five great African American authors to consider adding to your reading list this Black History Month. We hope you enjoy!

1. Toni Morrison

Toni Morrison was a Nobel Prize-winning novelist, essayist, and teacher. Her works, including “Beloved,” “Song of Solomon,” and “The Bluest Eye,” explore themes of race, identity, and history. Morrison’s writing is characterized by her lyrical language and her ability to delve deep into the complexities of the human experience.

2. James Baldwin

James Baldwin was a novelist, playwright, and social critic. His works include “Go Tell It on the Mountain,” “Another Country,” and “The Fire Next Time.” Baldwin explores themes of race, sexuality, and identity in his writing. He is especially known for his powerful prose, his honesty, and his ability to challenge the reader to see the world in a new way.

3. Maya Angelou

Maya Angelou was a brilliant poet, memoirist, and civil rights activist. Her works, including “I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings,” “Gather Together in My Name,” and “All God’s Children Need Traveling Shoes,” dive deep into themes of identity, survival, and resilience in a broken world. Angelou was particularly great at using lyrical language to capture the beauty and struggles of the human experience, especially as an African American woman.

4. Zora Neale Hurston

Zora Neale Hurston was a novelist, anthropologist, and filmmaker. Her works include “Their Eyes Were Watching God” and “Mules and Men.” In her writing, Hurston explores themes of identity and culture. She is known for her vivid descriptions, her humor, and her ability to bring to life the rich cultural heritage of African Americans. Hurston is definitely a must-read!

5. Ta-Nehisi Coates

Te-Nehisi Coates is a journalist, essayist, and novelist. His works, such as “Between the World and Me” and “The Water Dancer,” explore themes of race and identity. Coates’s writing is characterized by its honesty, its powerful prose, and the way in which it challenges the reader to confront uncomfortable truths about the world.

Final Thoughts

These five authors are just a few of the many great African American authors whose works are worth exploring during Black History Month and beyond. Their works offer a powerful glimpse into the lives and experiences of African American people, and they are sure to leave a lasting impact on readers of all ages and backgrounds.