I know y’all didn’t think I was going to forget about Black History Month! As a writer I had to blog about a few black women that have inspired my writing career. In honor of Black History here are 5 Black inspirational women writers, every blogger should know.
These women created an extraordinary literary excellence, express all things we feel, see and fight for; these beautiful women are much more than writers they are intellectual culture creators.
Frances Ellen Watkins Harper
September 24, 1825 – February 22, 1911
Frances Ellen Watkins Harper, was a lecturer, poet, author and activist in the 19th century, widely known as the first African American woman to have her short story published.
Harper At 20 years of age; published her first book of poetry. She established a long, fruitful career in her writing. As a young woman, she taught At Union Seminary in Columbus, Ohio. The Union Seminary was a school for African Americans that was founded by Wilberforce University the first black university in the United States. After the Civil War, she moved to the south to teach the newly frees slaves. This would not be the only, thing she done for black people during this time. Harper supported several organizations, Women’s Christian Temperance Union, and National Association of Colored Women.
Harper published written pieces about antislavery and politics;
Her first body work Forest Leaves
her second book was Poems on Miscellaneous Subjects.
"THE SLAVE AUCTION. The sale began — young girls were there, Defenseless in their wretchedness, whose stifled sobs of deep despair Revealed their anguish and distress"
- Frances Ellen Watkins Harper.
Frances's body of work was so good she became a house hold name and given her kudos for her brilliant work. She managed to use her gift to teach others who didn't have the education. She used her platform lecturing and fighting for rights of black people and Black women rights.
Born January 26, 1944
Angela Davis is an African American philosopher, political activist, and author. She was born in Birmingham, Alabama. Best known for her Activism for prison reform, black and women's rights and alleged involvement in a murder case that was politically charged in the '70s. Davis had association with the Communist Party and the Black Panthers.
Her Body of works are:
The Idea of Freedom is inspiring. But what does it mean? If you are free in a political sense but have no food, What's That? The freedom to Starve - Angela Davis
Davis inspires black women to stand tall and take their place in society. Fighting for the right and freedoms for black people in unjust justice system, she is the real revolutionary.
Born February 9, 1944 -
Alice Walker is an African American writer, poet, social activist. Alice is a Black feminist. Born in Eatonton, Georgia, Walker wrote her first book of poetry called Once during Sarah Lawrence College in East Africa. She won the Human Rights Award in 2007.
Best known for the novels
Walker's works focus on the struggles of black women and how they live their lives in an unforgivable society.
"Don't wait around for other people to be happy for you. Any happiness you get, you've got to make yourself" Alice Walker.
Alice Walker's Black cult favorite, Color Purple, has shaped many of our lives with the character development and the struggle black women face. Her writing invokes emotion and thought.
April 4, 1928 – May 28, 2014
Maya Angelou, birth name Marguerite Annie Johnson born in St.Louis, Missouri, African American Poet, a civil rights activist. Maya Has published several books of poetry, essays, autobiographies. She is accredited in many movies, plays, and tv shows you have seen, like Poetic Justice, Madea's Family Reunion, and Down in the Delta.
She also was awarded over 50 honorary degrees.
Maya's body of work comes from a series of poems and writings about her childhood until her adult life; her first and my favorite:
“We delight in the beauty of the butterfly, but rarely admit the changes it has gone through to achieve that beauty.”
"My mission in life is not merely to survive, but to thrive; and to do so with some passion, some compassion, some humor, and some style.
Nothing will work unless you do.”
“You may write me down in history with your bitter, twisted lies. You may trod me in the very dirt, but still, like dust, I'll rise.”
Maya's word pulls the blackness from the soul; her voice was like a song the word she rings from the depths of her being. Maya was the first writer/ poet that inspired me to write poetry when I was younger. Her work still inspires me to be a better writer.
Zora Neale Hurston
January 7, 1891 – January 28, 1960
Zora is an African American author, anthropologist, and filmmaker, born in Notasulga, Alabama, and later moved to Eatonville, Florida, when she was three years old. Zora was a highly educated woman that loved to express herself through writing; At the same time, in college, she viewed life by ways of an anthropological lens, and her goal was to show the similarities between the ethnicities.
She is best known for her novel:
and a host of Essays, Short stories, plays and poetry. Hurston's works expressed the African American experience and her struggles as an African- American woman.
"I have the nerve to walk my own way, however hard, in my search for reality, rather than climb upon the rattling wagon of wishful illusions."
- Letter from Zora Neale Hurston to Countee Cullen
Zora's body of work sets emotion through her word. Born in 1891, she saw many struggles. Even with that, she was able to get educated and write some of the most significant historical literature.
These are a few of our sisters that have shaped the literary world throughout history. These women not only push the lines with their words but they put in much work as activist for black people and black women rights. These women are a light on the road for young writers.
1. Control, A. (2017, May 3). Zora Neale Hurston - Wikipedia. Retrieved from https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Zora_Neale_Hurston.
2. (N.d.). Retrieved from https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Maya_Angelou.
3. (N.d.). Retrieved from https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Angela_Davis.
4. (N.d.). https://doi.org/3]https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alice_Walker.
5. Control, A. (2020, October 5). Frances Harper - Wikipedia. Retrieved from https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Frances_Harper.