8. Terry McMillan: Novelist
Best known for: “Mama,” “Disappearing Acts,” “Waiting To Exhale”
Why we love her: McMillan has penned some of the most popular, controversial and celebrated novels of the past 20 years. Before the blogosphere gave sisters the opportunity to vent their romantic frustrations, “Waiting To Exhale” gave the world a look at some of our challenges in our struggle to find both romantic and self love. While men have long since blasted the novel and film for it’s “man-bashing”, it wasn’t exactly the hardest story to believe. McMillan’s ability to write lovable, realistic characters hasn’t gone anywhere, as made evident by her 2010 sequel “Getting To Happy.” Plus, she drops priceless jewels of wisdom on Twitter and on her website on a regular basis. McMillan is well-known to be a cheerleader for emerging young talent.
Notable quotable: “I don’t trust white critics’ judgment about most things that deal with black life, particularly when a black person is the creator.”