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7 of the Greatest Black Female Authors

This month we honor 7 of the greatest black female authors of all time.


1. Toni Morrison: Chloe Anthony Wofford Morrison, known as Toni Morrison, was an American novelist. Her first novel, The Bluest Eye, was published in 1970. The critically acclaimed Song of Solomon brought her national attention and won the National Book Critics Circle Award.


2. Audre Lorde: Audre Lorde was an American writer, feminist, womanist, librarian, and civil rights activist. She was a self-described "black, lesbian, mother, warrior, poet," who "dedicated both her life and her creative talent to confronting and addressing injustices of racism, sexism, classism, and homophobia."


3. Zora Neale Huston: Zora Neale Hurston was an American author, anthropologist, and filmmaker. She portrayed racial struggles in the early-1900s American South and published research on hoodoo. The most popular of her four novels is Their Eyes Were Watching God, published in 1937.


4. Octavia E. Butler: Octavia Estelle Butler was an American science fiction author and a multiple recipient of the Hugo and Nebula awards. In 1995, Butler became the first science-fiction writer to receive a MacArthur Fellowship. Born in Pasadena, California, Butler was raised by her widowed mother.


5. Maya Angelou: Maya Angelou was an American poet, memoirist, and civil rights activist. She published seven autobiographies, three books of essays, several books of poetry, and is credited with a list of plays, movies, and television shows spanning over 50 years. She received dozens of awards and more than 50 honorary degrees.


6. Alice Walker: Alice Malsenior Tallulah-Kate Walker is an American novelist, short story writer, poet, and social activist. In 1982, she became the first African-American woman to win the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction, which she was awarded for her novel The Color Purple.


7. Bell Hooks: Gloria Jean Watkins, better known by her pen name bell hooks, was an American author, professor, feminist, and social activist. The name "bell hooks" is borrowed from her maternal great-grandmother, Bell Blair Hooks.


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