CultureInfluential African American Authors that you should know

Influential African American Authors that you should know


African American authors have played a crucial role in igniting the fire of writing talent within their race. Authors have been able to depict African Americans as more than just victims of discrimination and oppression, but also as people who can fight back against those forces that seek to keep them down. African American authors have played a crucial role in igniting the fire of writing talent within their race. Authors have been able to depict African Americans as more than just victims of discrimination and oppression, but also as people who can fight back against those forces that seek to keep them down.

Zora Neale Hurston

Over a 30-year career, she published four novels, two books of folklore, an autobiography, numerous short stories, and several essays, articles, and plays, among other things. Because of her literary contributions, Hurston was one of the most successful and most significant black woman writers of the first half of the 20th century.

All through her life, Eatonville was always home to Zora. The rural community near Orlando was the nation’s first black town. The evidence of black accomplishment was visible to Zora in every nook and cranny of Eatonville. Although she was never indoctrinated into the inferiority of race, she could see that her father, John Hurston, was a member of the town council and that his colleagues were enforcing the laws. She could also observe the black Sunday school teachers and her mother, Lucy Potts Hurston, who taught the Christian curriculum. Black children could be seen sitting on the porch of the village store, where they learned to speak in colorful, engaging ways by listening to their parents’ stories.

Most African American Authors

Zora was blessed with “the gift” of walking into people’s hearts and possessing a strong intellect, infectious wit, and fiery nature, as one of her friends explained. In the Harlem Renaissance of the 1920s, Zora, a poet and singer/actress like Langston Hughes and Ethel Waters, became acquainted with such luminaries as Hughes and Waters through her sharp intellect, vibrant personality, and myriad talents. Zora, Sterling Brown, a fellow author, recalled, was “the party” when she was at someone’s house. Hurston enjoyed socializing with her friends, but she didn’t neglect her work. She wrote while hosting lively get-togethers in her home.

In the late 1930s and early 1940s, Hurston’s reputation as a writer, novelist, and folklorist was at its peak. She authored three exceptional works: Their Eyes Were Watching God, Mules and Men, and Moses, Man of the Mountain. Her masterful novels, among them Seraph on the Suwanee, were released in 1948. It was also in this period that she received the acclaim she deserved. Their Eyes Were Watching God was published in 1937, Tell My Horse in 1938, and Moses, Man of the Mountain in 1939. Dust Tracks on a Road, her autobiography was published in 1942, and Who’s Who in America, Current Biography, and Twentieth Century Authors covered her career in the same year.

Hurston did not receive the compensation she deserved for her work. On Jan. 28, 1960, Hurston died at the age of 69 after experiencing a stroke. Since she did not receive the financial rewards she deserved for her work, her neighbors in Fort Pierce, Florida, had to collect for her funeral on February 7 of the same year. Even after the collection was made, it was not enough to cover the cost of a headstone. She was buried in an unmarked grave until 1973.

Ralph Ellison

The son of two enslaved people Ralph Waldo Ellison was born in Oklahoma City in 1914. To raise him and his brother, Ellison’s mother worked as a janitor, a nurse, and a domestic help. Despite being born to a poor family, Ellison was very fond of music. At the ripe at age 8, he started playing the cornet. Ellison entered Tuskegee Institute, a school for black music, at the age of 19, intending to pursue a career as a composer and trumpet player. While fascinated by jazz music, he also studied symphonic and classical music. Ellison travelled to New York City in 1936 to raise money for his final year at Tuskegee Institute. He never completed his studies.

Ellison met the author Richard Wright in New York. The Great Depression made it impossible for him to make the money he would have needed to go back to Tuskegee.. In spite of this, he initially intended to do so. But the economy prevented him from doing so. Additionally, he started composing short tales and essays for magazines such as Negro Quarterly, New Masses, Saturday Review, The New Republic, and many others. He also began working for the New York Federal Writers Program as a researcher and writer. Because of WWII, he accepted a position as a chef on a merchant ship and served in the North Atlantic. Afterward, he began writing what became Invisible Man.

In 1952, the Invisible Man novel became a major blockbuster and a critical sensation from its initial publication. It received the National Book Award in 1953 and spent 16 weeks on the best-seller list. Forty years later, Saul Bellow praised it as one of the finest novels ever written. Bellow’s statement about “Invisible Man” being one of the best novels of the century is well-known. In addition to his wide range of interests from music to sports, theatre, and photography, Ellison was also engaged in an array of other interests throughout his life, including jazz and classical music, as well as sports, theatre, and photography. In 1964, he released Shadow and Act, a compilation of articles on various topics.

In 1946, Ellison wed Fanny McConnell and resided in an apartment in Riverside Drive until his passing in 1994. The couple did not have any kids. At the age of 93, Fanny McConnell Ellison passed away in 2005. Ellison was a loyal spouse.

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Kim is an 80s wild child. She loves to write on all things culture related. Kim enjoys watching TV shows such as The A Team. Kim started her writing career with a Bachelor of Journalism and Communication from Rowan University in New Jersey. Over the years, Kim has written for a variety of publications on world-topics. She’s married and shares 2 kids with her husband. They make their home in Irvine, California, where they enjoy camping trips along the coast.


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