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The Top 50 Black Authors of the 21st Century

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I know we are only 17 years into the 21 century, but since people love lists I figured I’d create a 21st century version of the our list from the last century, “The AALBC’s Favorite 50 African American Authors of the 20th Century.” (I know; it is an ugly page, but it is on the list of pages to migrate to the new format)

Renaming the list to the “Top” or the “Best” 50 Black Authors of the 21st Century, is more in line with the “click-baity,” attention grabbing headlines that are required now to attract attention.  

I wonder if people could come up with 50 favorite authors,  When I created the original list 15 years ago, almost 1,900 people to cast votes.  I'm actually confident that many would do it today—despite there being many more people with internet access today compared to 15 years ago.  I’d probably have to create a list and give people the option to choose—make it real easy to participate.

It has also been suggested by some that I create a 25 most powerful Black people in publishing (or the Black book business) list.  Unless someone does it before me I’ll create that list as well.  Black Issues Book Review did a very important articles naming the 50 most powerful people in publishing, I’d like to follow up on that article adding a “where are they now” component.  But this will take resources and time that I don’t have now, so this article is many months off.  But I think it is important for the public to know who the important Black people behind the books we read and in fact how few of them there are.

As always I'm open to suggestions.  And if you want you can start writing names in now for both the best authors and important people in publishing.  Though I plan to compile the important Black people in publishing myself, I'm open to suggestions too.

 

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Here's some black writers who would be on my list. They are not all Americans, though most have lived in the U.S., and they are not only novelists but historians and journalists and playwrights and screenwriters (both film & tv) and even a president.

Barack Obama, Toni Morrison, Ngugi wa Thiongo, Zadie Smith, Ta-Nehisi Coates, Angela Davis, Achille Mbembe, John Lewis, bell hooks, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, Suzan Lori-Parks, Claudia Rankine, Henry Louis Gates Jr., Spike Lee, Marie NDiaye, Colson Whitehead, Cornel West, Shonda Rhimes, Marlon James, Teju Cole, Ryan Coogler, Roxanne Gay, Alain Mabanckou, Binyavanga Wainaina, Edward P. Jones, Tyler Perry, Taiye Selasi, Janet Mock, Michelle Alexander, Paul Beatty, Tarell Alvin McCraney, Barry Jenkins, Jesmyn Ward, Manning Marable, Yvonne Owuor, NoViolet Bulawayo, Jesmyn Ward, Helon Habila, John Ridley, Aminatta Forna, Wesley Morris, Ava Duvernay

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The list of growing.  I have enough votes now to begin sorting the Favorite Black Authors of the 21st Century by popularity

 

Check out the preliminary results and cast your vote

 

Favorite authors of the 21st Century

 

I'm a bit disappointed by the lack of authors from other countries on this list.  I have reached out to folks across the planet and while those individuals may have cats votes their respective audiences do not appears have done so.  Authors who have only obtained one votes are not included in the preliminary results.

 

I've also removed votes for author who voted for themselves.  I'm surprised so many people actually do this.  Everything is a marketing opportunity for some folk.

 

I will be interesting to see which authors span both the 20th and 21st century lists.  There won't be any surprises I'm sure, but it will highlight the authors you have sustained a high level of popularity over a long period of time.

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