As writers, we tend to speak the language of one’s heart through our writing. Whether it’s to an audience of a panel for a Ph.D. dissertation or the audience of marketing enthusiasts, the words that writers take from pen to paper can make an impact on someone’s perspective.
However, what happens if there’s a lack of representation in the writings created? As of December 2021, 79% of content writers are white, while approximately 7% are Hispanic or Latino, and 5.9% identify as Black or African American. Although African Americans show up consistently as the top consumers of media consumption, there is a massive disparity of representation regarding the creators of the content.
Although we have a lot of work to do in challenging and shifting this narrative within the writing industry, Black Writers are pushing to move diverse voices forward.
Here are 10 Black writers that you should be on your radar and follow immediately.
1. Elayne Fluker, Host of The Support is Sexy Podcast, Author, and Speaker
Elayne Fluker is pioneering the release of the “doing it all syndrome” that many women, especially Black women, have for doing all the things and being everything to everyone except themselves. Her content reminds us all that it’s okay to ask for help, and HELP is not a bad word (contrary to societal’s distaste for the term.) If you’re interested in hearing her speak, you can find her on LinkedIn Lives with her lovely guests on thought-provoking topics.
2. Ashley Simpo, Freelance writer, editor, and columnist for Dating w/ Kids for Kindred
Ashley Simpo was mentioned on our Black Creators paving the way for change article, but she’s totally worth mentioning again. Her writing and content creates space for her audience to accept the beautiful facets of life. In her recent article with Insider, she shared her experience with single parenting during the pandemic and how the pandemic gifted her with the knowledge of a diagnosis. Ultimately, it helped her shift her approach to relationships and herself.
3. Amanda Gorman, Writer, and Poet
Undoubtedly known for her poetry reading at President Biden’s inauguration, her words can pierce the core of unconscious biases or blatant racial blind spots while soothing the craving we all have for unity and togetherness. She can remind you that every voice matters, and there’s art in everything, even makeup (according to her recent article with Allure).
4. Leonard “Charlamagne Tha God,” Radio Host and Author
Leonard, better known as Charlamagne Tha God, is a co-host of the widely popular Radio Show The Breakfast Club. Although highly influential, he can be controversial. Years ago, Leonard was known for his brut and raw honesty (that often angered many guests and backfired). Now, he’s a mental health advocate with a specific focus to help the Black community and Black men discover the value of therapy. He is a must-follow. To stay current on all things culturally relevant and for a great perspective on matters that matter to the Black community.
Did you notice that we have a few Black men noted in the article so far? Remember the stats shared earlier? That percentage is much lower when considering race and gender.
5. Faith Briggs, Writer, Film Director, Podcast Host, and & Environmental Justice Advocate
Faith Briggs is a name you should keep on your radar. Her writings and films cultivate a space for equity and representation for diverse and marginalized communities, and her integration of our environment unveils the deeply rooted injustice that’s intertwined in all parts of American infrastructure. She is the co-host of The Trail Ahead Podcast, along with Addie Thompson, which leans into the uncomfortable yet needed conversations at the intersection of environment, race, history, and culture. Additionally, Faith has produced highly acclaimed films, including This Land, a story about land access told through a journey of inclusion and empowerment.
6. Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, Writer, Author, and Speaker
Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie is a phenomenal Nigerian writer that you may not realize you know through popular singer Beyonce. Do you remember the monologue about feminism in Beyonce’s song, Flawless? Well, that’s a clip from Chimamanda’s Ted Talk, We Should All Be Feminist. Her writings are honest and raw, challenging societal norms while embracing gender equality.
7. Trey Anthony, Canadian Playwright and Author of Black Girl In Love (With Herself)
Trey Anthony is a British-born Canadian playwright and the author of Black Girl In Love (With Herself). She’s most known for her award-winning play, ‘da Kink in My Hair, grossed millions and broke box office records across Canada, the United States, and England after it premiered in 2001. It was named one of the top ten plays in Canadian theatrical history and received 4 NAACP Theatre awards, including Best Playwright. Trey’s content will bring you laughter and honesty at the same time throughout your day.
8. Mia Brabham, Staff Writer for Shondaland, Author & Podcast Host
Mia Brabham is a must-follow if you’re inspired by someone who finds joy and the good in all things while encouraging others to do the same! She’s a contributor for various top-tier publications, and she’s a staff writer for Shonda Rhimes, Shondaland. Additionally, she’s the podcast co-host for Two in the Morning and the author of Note to Self. Mia will give good vibes to your timeline and sprinkle little reminders of self-love along the way.
9. Luvvie Ajayi Jones, 2x NYTimes Bestselling Author, Speaker & Podcast Host
If you’re not following Luvvie, I will be tremendously surprised. Surely, you’ve heard of her New York Times Bestseller, I’m Judging You: The Do-Better Manual, or her TedTalk, Get Comfortable with Being Uncomfortable. Luvvie will challenge your thinking and push you to be greater simultaneously no matter your answer. She recently had an in-depth podcast conversation with another fellow NYT Bestselling Author, Glennon Doyle, about the relationship between Black and White women—addressing the wounds we’ve ignored for years and opening the door for honest dialogue toward healing. The podcast episode sparked a viral conversation that was heartbreaking and enlightening. To heal something, you must confront it. Luvvie is your confronter. Follower her.
10. GG Renee, Writer & Author
GG Renee is a proud advocate for self-love and internal reflection, and she’s the author of The Year of Self Reflection Journal. She helps writers, regardless of their level of expertise, tap into their gift and power of genuine storytelling. Through her platforms, GG provides writing challenges, workshops, and more. She is also the writer behind the Instagram handle, All the Many Layers.
Hopefully, this list takes you down a lovely rabbit hole of discovering more of the fantastic Black Writers that pioneer change, challenge societal norms, and inspire change. Remember that the act of true change begins within, and to change, we must be willing to confront the truth.
Let’s all become truth seekers, together for the change we say we desire.