Audre Lorde – African American poet, civil rights activist, overall majesty, also wrote prose and worked in film.
You can find some of her poetry here: https://www.poetryfoundation.org/poets/audre-lorde
Claudia Rankine – Jamaican poet, essayist, playwright, and editor. She is the winner of numerous awards and honours, including the National Books Critic Circle Award, and the Jackson Poetry Prize.
You can find some of her poetry here: https://www.poetryfoundation.org/poets/claudia-rankine
Saeed Jones – American poet who created the collection Prelude to Bruise, which was named a 2014 finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award. His recent 2019 memoir How We Fight for Our Lives: A Memoir, won the 2020 Stonewall Book Award-Israel Fishman Nonfiction Award.
You can find some of his work here: https://saeedjones.substack.com/
And his twitter here: https://twitter.com/theferocity
Michelle Alexander – American writer, civil rights advocate and lawyer, and New York Times opinion columnist. She is well-known for her 2010 book The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness.
You can find more about Michelle Alexander here: https://newjimcrow.com/about-the-author
And her NYT columns here: https://www.nytimes.com/by/michelle-alexander
Patricia Hill Collins – American academic who specialises in race, class and gender. She is a Distinguished University Professor of Sociology at the University of Maryland, College Park and the 100th President of the American Sociological Association and the first African-American woman to hold this position.
Kimberlé Williams Crenshaw – American civil rights advocate, lawyer, philosopher, and a scholar of critical race theory known for developing the theory of intersectionality. Her works include Demarginalizing the Intersection of Race and Sex: A Black Feminist Critique of Antidiscrimination Doctrine, Feminist Theory and Antiracist Politics.
Her twitter is: https://twitter.com/sandylocks
Richard Wright – American author of whose literature primarily relates to racial themes, and the suffering of African Americans during the late 19th to mid-20th centuries. Many literary critics believe that his work aided in the shift of race relations in the United States. One of his most famous pieces is Black Boy, a book detailing Wright’s youth in the South of the United States, his move to Chicago, and his immensely impressive writing career. The book has been praised for its honest and deeply important depiction of racism in America.
Michael Arceneaux – American writer who is the author of the 2018 essay collection I Can’t Date Jesus, a New York Times bestselling book, and a second book from 2020 entitled I Don’t Want to Die Poor. Arceneaux has written for The Guardian, New York Magazine, The Washington Post, The New York Times, and more.
Here is his website: https://www.michael-arceneaux.com/michael-bio
And his Twitter: https://twitter.com/youngsinick
Reni Eddo-Lodge – British journalist and author, creating work primarily related to feminism and structural racism. She has written for a myriad of publications, and her 2017 debut book ‘Why I’m No Longer Talking to White People About Race’ has received glowing reviews for its incredible continuation of critical tradition in analysing race inequality in the UK.
Here is her website: http://renieddolodge.co.uk/
Her podcast: https://www.aboutracepodcast.com/
And her twitter: https://twitter.com/renireni
Lázaro Ramos – Brazilian actor, director, and writer. Ramos is renowed for his work in television and film, and in 2018 published the very important book Na Minha Pele (translates to English ‘In My Skin’) about his personal experiences and overall reflection on racism in Brazil. Ramos and his wife Taís Araújo are important figures of the black movement in Brazil.
Here is Ramos’ Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/olazaroramos/
And his Twitter: https://twitter.com/olazaroramos
bell hooks -American author, professor, feminist, and activist. hooks’ work centres around the interaction between capitalism, gender, and race. Her theory is that their interaction and combination produces and perpetuates oppression and class domination. She has done an immense amount of work, having published more than 30 books and articles and consistently working on lectures and documentaries.
You can find the bell hooks institute here: http://www.bellhooksinstitute.com/
And her twitter here: https://twitter.com/bellhooks?lang=en
Toni Morrison – American novelist, editor, essayist, and college professor. Morrison won the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1993, and her novel Beloved won the Pulitzer Prize. Morrison’s critically acclaimed and many novels centre around the black American experience, and the struggle her characters endure amidst an unequal and unjust society. In 2010 Morrison was made an officer of the French Legion of Honour and two years following she was awarded the U.S. Presidential Medal of Freedom.
Here is the link to the Toni Morrison Society: https://www.tonimorrisonsociety.org/
Zora Neale Hurston – American author, anthropologist, filmmaker, and central figure of the Harlem Renaissance. Earlier in her career, Hurston conducted ethnographic research while studying at Barnard College and Columbia University, focused on African-American and Caribbean folklore, and the role said folklore took within communal identity. Her 1937 novel Their Eyes Were Watching God has been critically acclaimed and widely read.
Learn more about Hurston here: https://www.zoranealehurston.com/
Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie – Nigerian author who’s mainly known for her brilliant TedTalk We Should All Be Feminists. She’s written a couple of novels involving events in recent Nigerian history. Her book Americanah deals with what it means to be not only a black woman in America, but a black woman in America who also happens to be an immigrant. In 2008 she was awarded a MacArthur Genius Grant.
You can find Adichie’s website is here: https://www.chimamanda.com/
Jamaica Kincaid – Antiguan-American novelist, essayist and gardener. Her book, A Small Place, deals with, among other topics, the legacy of British colonialism in Antigua. Kincaid is a Professor of African and African American Studies in Residence at Harvard University during the academic year.
You can learn more about Kincaid here: https://www.britannica.com/biography/Jamaica-Kincaid
Roxane Gay – American writer, professor, editor, and social commentator. Gay is the author of the essay collection Bad Feminist, the memoir Hunger: A Memoir of (My) Body, and a myriad of other incredible pieces. Gay works on many different projects and for many different media outlets. She is a contributing opinion writer at The New York Times, the founder of Tiny Hardcore Press, and the co-editor of PANK (among many other things).
You can find her website here: http://www.roxanegay.com/
And her twitter here: https://twitter.com/rgay
Alice Walker – American novelist, writer, poet, and social activist. She wrote the novel The Color Purple which awarded her with the National Book Award for hardcover fiction as well as the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction. Walker also coined the term ‘Womanist’ meaning “a black feminist or feminist of color.” She was written many other important and acclaimed pieces, such as Meridian, The Third Life of Grange Copeland, The Temple of My Familiar, and Possessing the Secret of Joy.
Her website can be found here: https://alicewalkersgarden.com/
Tayari Jones – American author of four novels including her award-winning book An American Marriage, which was a 2018 Oprah’s Book Club Selection. The novel is about the marriage of a middle-class African-American couple in Atlanta whose lives are shaken when the husband, Roy, is arrested for a crime he did not commit. Tayari also has three other novels, Leaving Atlanta, The Untelling, and Silver Sparrow, all of which are critically acclaimed for their brilliance.
Her twitter can be found here: https://twitter.com/tayari
Her website can be found here: http://www.tayarijones.com/
Lorraine Hansberry – American author and playwright, known widely as the first African-American female author to have a play performed on Broadway. Her most popular work is her play A Raisin in the Sun, focused on the lives of Black Americans living under racial segregation in Chicago. At 29, she was awarded the New York Drama Critics’ Circle Award as the first African-American, fifth woman and youngest playwright to win.
You can learn more about her life and work here: https://www.britannica.com/biography/Lorraine-Hansberry
Zadie Smith – English author, essayist, and short-story writer whose debut book White Teeth was immediately critically acclaimed. She is now a professor in the Creative Writing faculty at NYU since 2010. She has written four other incredible novels, most recently Swing Time in 2016.
Her personal website is here: http://www.zadiesmith.com/
And some of her work here: https://www.newyorker.com/contributors/zadie-smith
Marlon James – Jamaican writer who has written four impressive novels (John Crow’s Devil, The Book of Night Women, A Brief History of Seven Killings, and Black Leopard, Red Wolf). A Brief History of Seven Killings won the 2015 Man Booker Prize. James is currently a teacher of literature at Macalester College in St. Paul, Minnesota and is a faculty lecturer at St. Francis College’s Low Residency MFA in Creative Writing.
You can find his website here: https://www.marlonjameswriter.com/
And his twitter here: https://twitter.com/MarlonJames5
Maya Angelou – American poet, memoirist, and civil rights activist. She is most well-known for her work in literature, her seven autobiographies, her three essay books, her poetry books, and her work in movies, plays, and television. She is heralded as an icon and has received more than 50 honorary degrees.
Her website is here: https://www.mayaangelou.com/
And a twitter run on her behalf/in her honor is here: https://twitter.com/DrMayaAngelou
Aimé Césaire – Afro-Caribbean French poet, author, and politician. A founder of the “négritude movement in Francophone literature”, Césaire’s work includes Une Tempête, and Une saison au Congo.
You can learn more about Césaire here: https://www.britannica.com/biography/Aime-Cesaire
And read some of his poetry here: https://www.poetryfoundation.org/poets/aimae-fernand-caesaire
August Wilson – American playwright known for his series of ten plays, The Pittsburgh Cycle, for which he was awarded two Pulitzer Prizes for Drama. Each part of the series is set in a different decade and sheds light on the various African-American experiences in the 20th century.
Here is a website devoted to Wilson: http://www.august-wilson-theatre.com/plays.php
And you can learn more about him here: https://www.britannica.com/biography/August-Wilson
Derek Walcott – Saint Lucian poet and playwright who received the 1992 Nobel Prize in Literature for his incredible work. He is known for many things, including his Homeric epic poem Omeros, and his 1971 play Dream on Monkey Mountain which won an Obie Award.
Walcott’s website is here: https://www.derekwalcott.com/
And you can read some of his poetry here: https://www.poetryfoundation.org/poets/derek-walcott
13th – a documentary film by Ava DuVernay. Discusses race, justice and mass incarceration in the US.
Selma – Based on the 1965 Selma Civil Rights marches by Ava DuVernay. it led to DuVernay becoming the first African-American female director to have her film nominated to the Academy Award for Best Picture.
Bamboozled – written and directed by Spike Lee. Has now achieved cult-film-status, despite initial negative reviews. Presents a satirical look on the stereotypical depictions of black people in historical and contemporary American film and TV.
Moonlight – this Oscar-winning film explores race, sexuality, and the black community in South Florida.
Boyz n the Hood – 1991 film starring Ice Cube, about gang culture in South Central LA.
Get Out – directed by Jordan Peele & starring Daniel Kaluuya, satirical horror, comments on the role of white liberals in perpetuating racism.
Sorry to Bother You – absurdist dark comedy, critique on capitalism, main character Cassius Green finds the only way for him to be promoted/rise up job ladder as a telemarketer is by putting on a “white voice”.
When They See Us – a dramatisation of the story of the Central Park Five by Ava DuVernay.
Dear White People – a witty comedy-drama exploring issues surrounding cultural bias, political activism, covert racism and social injustice.
Atlanta – award-winning comedy written, directed by and starring Donald Glover (Childish Gambino)
Chewing Gum – a British comedy written by and starring Michaela Coel.
Amoako Boafo – “Amoako Boafo is a painter and artist, born in Accra/Ghana, based in Vienna/Austria. Interested in investigating the relation of the personal and the structural by centering Black subjectivity and care. Works with oils, acrylics, and pastels on canvas and paper. Awarded with the Strabag Price 2019.” – excerpt from Amoako Boafo’s website.
Jordan Casteel – “Jordan Casteel (b. 1989, Denver, CO) has rooted her practice in community engagement, painting from her own photographs of people she encounters. Posing her subjects within their natural environments, her nearly life-size portraits and cropped “subway” compositions chronicle personal observations of the human experience.” – excerpt from Jordan Casteel’s website.
Somaya Critchlow – “Somaya Critchlow is a British artist whose figurative paintings of women explore facets of race, sex and culture through an instinctive, stream-of-consciousness process of image making. Working mostly on a small scale, her works depict bold, curvaceous and self-possessed female characters, of her own creation, that simultaneously combine and subvert the culture expectations of race, gender and power in the history of portraiture.” – excerpt from the Maximillian William website.
Nick Cave – American fabric sculptor, performance artist, and dancer known primarily for his bright and beautiful wearable fabric sculptures Soundsuits. His works have a distinct focus on color theory and large scale installations, and he never shys away from mixed-media creations.
His website: https://nickcaveart.com/Main/Intro.html
Lubaina Himid – “the 2017 Turner Prize winner and Professor of Contemporary Art at the University of Central Lancashire. During the past 30 years she has exhibited widely, both in Britain and Internationally, with solo shows that include Tate St Ives, Transmission Glasgow, Chisenhale London, Peg Alston New York and St Jorgens Museum in Bergen” – excerpt from Lubaina Himid’s website.
Charlotte Edey – “Artist & illustrator working across print, textile and embroidery. Symbolism and myth inform her interdisciplinary exploration of the intersections of identity and the spiritual. The experience of womxn of colour is centered in her commentary on the politics of space.” – excerpt from Charlotte Edey’s website.
Zanele Muholi – South African artist and visual activist with a focus on photography, video, and art installations. Having been awarded the Infinity Award from the International Center of Photography, an Honorary Fellowship of the Royal Photographic Society, and much more, Muholi’s incredible work focuses on race, gender, and sexuality.
Deun Ivory – Photography and artist known for beautiful portraits centred around women of colour with gorgeous soft energy and colours, and the founder of ‘the body: a home for love’, which is a “a 501c3 non-profit organization shifting culture around how black women heal from sexual trauma” – as taken from ‘the body: a home for love‘ twitter.
Adrienne Raquel – “New York City based imagemaker and art director. Inspired by femininity, soulfulness and color, Adrienne’s work is rooted in nostalgia and fantasy while remaining fresh and contemporary.” – taken from Adrienne Raquel’s website