by Anton Polouektov
Spanning a variety of genres and sub-genres, African-American and/or Black literature is best seen as an umbrella term that defines not only the ethnic background of the authors but also a commitment to putting out a message that is relevant both within and outside the Black community. Readers may not agree with everyone whose name is on this list as the best representation of the genre, but these 13 authors are some of the best selling black authors of the past few years and they certainly have offered works that appeal to mainstream audiences. So, as you can tell, this list hinges on book sales, rather than critical reviews. Without further ado, here are the 13 Black fiction and non-fiction writers who have enjoyed widespread popularity and “bestseller” status over the course of the last five years.
Before she hit big as part of the “street lit” trend, Teri Woods was hustling. Her spirits were not dampened when her first book was rejected by a publisher. Instead, her entrepreneurial talents kicked into overdrive as she resolved to affirm herself as an author first by selling self-made copies of her book from her car’s trunk and later by establishing her own publishing house. Her instincts, it turned out, were on point, as her gritty urban novels quickly found a ready audience, establishing a wide reader base that propelled her to bestseller status. Woods’ writing skills and business acumen make her a force to be reckoned with on the literary arena.