1. Morgan Jerkins
Jerkins is a Harlem based Author who is best known for her novel ‘This Will Be My Undoing’, which debuted on the New York Times Bestsellers List. It went on to become a NYT Editors’ Choice pick, a Barnes & Noble Discover Pick, and was longlisted for the PEN/Diamonstein-Spielvogel Award for the Art of the Essay.
2. April Bey
Bey is a practicing contemporary artist and art educator. She taught a controversial course at Art Center College of Design called Pretty Hurts analyzing process-based art and Beyoncé hashtag faux feminism.
3. Maya Angelou
Angelou was an American poet, singer, memoirist, and civil rights activist. She published seven autobiographies, three books of essays, several books of poetry, and is credited with a list of plays, movies, and television shows over 50 years.
4. Dana King
King is an award winning journalist who left journalism in 2012 to pursue her passion of art. She is also sculptor who also paints and draws. She is known for her sculptures and community projects that revolve around the goal of portraying a political message.
5. Angie Thomas
Thomas is a former teen rapper and has a BFA in creative writing from Belhaven University. Her award-winning debut novel, The Hate U Give, is a #1 New York Times bestseller and major motion picture from Fox 2000, starring Amandla Stenberg
6. Evita Tezeno
Tezeno’s art consists of collages with cubism influences. Inspired by images from her childhood. Evita translates these memories through mixed media, combining handmade papers, acrylic paints and found objects. Her work is collected by many celebs like Denzel Washington and Star Jones.
7. Sister Souljah
Souljah has been a political activist, community activist and head of Diddy’s charity. She is also the author of 5 national best sellers. In 2007 she became a New York Times Best Selling author and has been named in the top ten of the NYT list three times.
8. Lorna Simpson
Simpson is a photographer and multimedia artist who made a name for herself in the 1980s and 1990s with artworks such as Guarded Conditions and Square Deal. Simpson’s work has been displayed at the Museum of Modern Art, the Museum of Contemporary Art, the Miami Art Museum, the Walker Art Center, the Minneapolis Institute of Art, and the Irish Museum of Modern Art. In 2016 she created the album artwork for ‘Black America Again’ by Common.
9. Iyanla Vanzant
In 2000 Vanzant was named one of the “100 most influential Black Americans” by Ebony magazine, which said that “Her books, lectures and television appearances have made her a multimedia high priestess of healthy relationships.”
10. Lorraine O’Grady
O’Grady is a conceptual artist and cultural critic whose career has spanned four decades. She has also writted pieces that contribute to art history and intersectional feminism and is now considered canonical. O’Grady’s art works have been acquired by, among other institutions, the Art Institute of Chicago. IL; Museum of Modern Art, NY; Tate Modern, London, UK; Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, MA; and the Whitney Museum of American Art, NY.