For those who absolutely appreciate a good book, you’d understand the struggle that writers go through to put to you the reader something worthy of your time. Black people in history were not exactly known for reading and once upon a time were not taught how to read. We were the underprivileged majority at the time when our ancestors fought against slavery. Over time and with evolution we have gradually carved out names and purpose for ourselves and our children.
Now, we have a lot of black people writing books for others to read and this is indeed a phenomenon. We can say there’s mahogany in print boldly and unapologetically. In celebration of this freedom, we list and recognize five Black Indie Authors (Mahogany-in-Print) that we absolutely love! There are no known criteria for choosing and even if there are quite a lot of such authors, here are some of them who we chose to highlight so that the next generation can really understand the times and the history and most importantly contemporary culture.
• Richard Wright.
This genius and a real piece of work was born in 1908 and died in the year 1960. Wright was an American author and wrote a lot of short stories, fictions, and non-fiction. Something spectacular is the fact that he wrote a lot about the racial prejudice that befell America in the 19th and 20th centuries where the average black American faced violence and discrimination in both the northern and southern parts of America. Peculiar among his works is the book called “Black Boy” which was one of his famous. It was published in 1945 and still has a global impact.
It was more of an autobiography because Wright in that book detailed his experiences and sufferings in South America while growing up. The book showed a high level of racism and cruelty to people of color though this has since been changed. The book is more of a memoir if you please and will help you understand black history more. We can say that Wright put melanin to print and is a star in that regard.
• Maya Angelou
This is another phenomenal poet and writer. She was born in 1928 and died in 2014. She was a rights activist and a writer in America. She was a poet and singer in addition to her writing. She is said to have written 7 autobiographies, which were all about the life she had when growing up. Her first book “I know why the caged bird sings” was what plummeted her into the spotlight as it was one of her autobiographies from birth up until she was 17. This book brought her recognition internationally and she was often seen as a role model and someone who could speak for the black folks. The books she wrote were centered on racism as the predominant theme and really just stated among other things life as a person of color.
• Danez Smith
This is another sensational writer. His work is centered on poetry and he is considered an American poet. His book Boy which is a collection of poems won the Lambda Literary Award for gay poetry in 2014. His book “Don’t call us dead” is a remarkable one too. It is a collection of nervy, sensational poems and quite a track breaker too. He won the $10,000 prize for best poetry collection as the book “Don’t call us dead” which featured poems about our black impassioned bodies and life with HIV beat previous collections and set Danez on edge. He is an author to look out for.
• Zadie Smith
This is another short story writer and novelist who was born in 1975. Her first novel “White Teeth” became a best seller and definitely won her a lot of awards. Her books among others include the following “The Autograph Man, On Beauty, Martha and Hanwell and Swing Time”. She contributes regularly to the New York Review of books. One of her rules of writing of which she was quoted is as follows. “Tell the truth through whichever veil comes to hand but tell it…”
• Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
This is another seasoned short story and fiction writer. She was born in 1977 and is a Nigerian author. She was described as one who is interestingly gleaning a lot of new Africa literature readers. Her inspiration was said to have been gotten from Chinua Achebe who wrote: “Things Fall Apart”. Apparently, she saw a part of herself through the pages of his book. Her first book “The Purple Hibiscus” was awarded the Commonwealth Writers Prize for the best first book. She subsequently went ahead to write others like “Half of a yellow sun which became a motion picture, The thing around your neck which was a collection of short stories and Americana among others. She is indeed a phenomenal writer.
All of these are writers after our heart and they make reading interesting and fulfilling. We hope you enjoy our eclectic curation of African-American and African descent authors that showcase our vast culture and intellect. Also check out our collage of curated sections like Hip-Hop and Urban, Pinstripes and Pearls, Wingtips and Cufflinks, Little Minds, Kitchen Cyphers and of course Entertainment. Grab a cup of coffee or tea and browse our selections of notable and indie authors from around the world. It is our goal to intellectually empower you through "Mahogany-in-Print!"