This month we’re celebrating Black History Month. As avid bookworms, it got us thinking: who was the first black person to have been published in Britain?
After some digging around, we discovered the inspiring story of Ignatius Sancho. Born into slavery, he not only became a writer but was also the first black person to vote in a British election and an influential figure in 18th century Britain.
As part of our Black History Month celebrations, we wanted to share his poignant story with you…
This month, we’re sharing our top 10 contemporary black writers, with a focus on fiction authors. Black authors are under-represented in the world of publishing. In recent years, the literary world has made strides towards celebrating and supporting young black authors, though there is still much further to go to reach equality in literature.
We want to help discover black writers across genres and styles, uplifting unique voices and sharing fresh, new stories. Check out our picks for the top 10 contemporary black writers, and share your own favourites.
Take our quiz to guess the authors from their silhouettes and clues! At World of Books, we’re celebrating under-recognised writers, authors, and historical figures as part of Black History Month. When you’re done, you can explore the works of these fantastic writers, as well as many others in our Black History Month Hub.
Can you guess who each author is? This is a tough one, so good luck, and don’t forget to let us know how you did!
Malorie Blackman is a British children’s author and scriptwriter. She is best known for her YA Noughts & Crosses book series, a popular work of speculative fiction set in the 21st century. Blackman writes for children of all ages and was recognised for her work when she was named Children’s Laureate for 2013 – 2015.
Toni Morrison was an American novelist, professor, and essay writer. She published her first novel The Bluest Eye in 1970, but her most well-known work is Beloved, published in 1987. This novel gave her the recognition to go on to be awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1993. Morrison was the first black female editor of fiction for Random House NYC. She carries a string of honours and rewards for her work across the last half-century.
Benjamin Zephaniah is a British writer from Birmingham, born to Jamaican and Barbadian parents. Zephaniah had a difficult childhood, being diagnosed with dyslexia and leaving school aged 13 unable to read and write. Despite this, he persisted to become one of the most influential living poets in the UK.