Second Annual "Black Voices" Series
In celebration of Black History Month, this collection of journals highlights Black authors who use their voices to inspire, engage, and empower. These authors, amongst countless others, have used their words to raise up the voices of the African American community. Their words remind us that we also hold the power to enact change through our writing and our stories. It is our responsibility as individuals to enact the change we wish to see in the world.
For our second annual Black Voices series we asked our team to select 4 authors that not only embody the power of the written word but have also used their own voices to further equality for people of color. Learn more about the authors we selected and why below.
Angie Thomas is the award winning author of several bestselling books for young adult readers, notably 2017’s The Hate U Give. Her works inspire youth to find their own voices and tell their unique stories. In an interview with NPR, Thomas states, “I… want [young readers] to realize and understand that activism has different forms.” Her work exemplifies the way that fiction writing can be an activist practice.
Nikki Giovanni is an acclaimed African-American poet. She started her decades-long career as a trailblazer in the Black Arts Movement in the 1960s, going on to produce a prolific body of work that continues to remain influential today. Her work has been awarded countless accolades, including seven NAACP Image Awards, the Langston Hughes Medal, and the Maya Angelou Lifetime Achievement Award. Her work prominently features themes of Black power and gender equality.
Audre Lorde was a groundbreaking feminist, civil rights activist, and writer. She earned an MLS degree from Columbia University and was influential in academia from early in her career. She described herself as a “Black, lesbian, mother, warrior, poet.” Her work addresses the intersections in her experiences of race, gender, class, sexuality, and disability.
Ta-Nehisi Coates is a journalist and writer who has been published in The Atlantic, The Washington Post, The New York Times, and many other publications. His writing addresses a range of social issues, and particularly focuses on white supremacy and issues facing Black Americans. His 2014 piece “The Case for Reparations” was identified by The Atlantic as one of “the most important pieces from our archives on race and racism in America.” He is the recipient of a National Book Award and the MacArthur Genius Grant.