Here’s A List of Ten Black Urban Authors You Cannot Help But Love
As a lover of literature and an avid reader, myself, I live for a good piece of urban fiction, and these urban authors never cease to amaze me. They each offer an unorthodox way of storytelling and a superb level of penmanship that essentially makes their work all the more rich and unique. Chapter after chapter, they captivate you with their authentic delivery, unapologetically penning cultural stories, within the Black community, that some wouldn’t even have the courage to vocally tell.
In my opinion, each of these authors have contributed greatly to the African-American, urban literature genre, as a whole. And, for that, you cannot help but appreciate their penmanship. Here are TEN urban authors you should definitely check out.
- Jessica N. Watkins
Somewhere along the realm of urban authors, you’ve definitely heard of her. Born in Chicago, Illinois, Jessica N. Watkins is an author and publisher, most known for her acclaimed Secrets of A Side Bitch series, among a plethora of others. Though writing had been a love of Watkins’ since an adolescent, it wasn’t until her teen years, after she gave birth to her son, that she began to take writing seriously. Since then, Watkins’ book credits only seem to be going up. Now in her thirties, to date, Watkins is one of the most notable authors of the African-American romance and urban fiction genre, as she has garnered a worldwide following of dedicated readers.
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2. Wahida Clark
This woman’s real-life story is as intriguing as the fictitious stories that she writes. While serving a ten-year sentence in prison, to cope with her incarceration, Wahida Clark began writing stories that would later turn into full-blown New York Times bestseller novels. She’s most popular for penning her infamous cold-blooded thug love, gangsta fiction. The self-proclaimed ‘Queen of Street Lit’ is among the most well-respected urban authors. Now a free woman, Clark is the CEO of her own publishing company, Wahida Clark Presents Publishing, which she successfully runs out of East Orange, New Jersey.
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3. Jade Jones
This authoress, Jade Jones, finally found her light at the end of the tunnel, and that light was the art of storytelling. Though her passion for creative writing and poetry stemmed from her early years in elementary school, it was Jones’s troubled lifestyle and need for an outlet to vent, as a teen, that eventually led her to fall back in love with the pen. From homelessness to stripping, Jones realized that she wanted more, she wanted better. Her knack for storytelling soon came back, full force, as she used her broad imagination and real-life experiences to write books, crafting relatable storylines and captivating characters. Now residing in Atlanta, Georgia, Jones is the best-selling author of the renowned Cameron and When A Rich Thug Wants You series—holding 20+ other titles under her belt. Jones is also a screenwriter and the CEO of Jaded Publications.
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4. Ashley & JaQuavis
Meet urban authors Ashley and JaQuavis Coleman. A dynamic duo and a power couple. This couple is, for sure, a force to be reckoned with, especially when it comes to the world of urban literature. Both embodying a mutual love for storytelling, they’ve collectively written books, deeming them as one of the most successful writing pairs in the game. At the tender age of seventeen, the, now, wedded couple was discovered by world-renowned author and screenwriter Carl Weber. They received publishing deals, and, immediately, their careers took off, as they were latterly named the youngest African-American co-authors to hit New York Times bestsellers list. Since then, they’ve also each made a name for themselves, separately, as well as world recognition for their joint titles, such as their lengthy, notorious The Cartel book series.
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Website: Ashley & JaQuavis
5. David Weaver
He didn’t wait for directions; instead, David Weaver paved his own road to success, right from behind the bars of his jail cell. While in prison, serving a five-year sentence, Weaver made the decision to start his very own publishing company, Smart Black and Rich Publications (David Weaver Presents). Today, after completing his sentence, Weaver is now an esteemed author and CEO of one of the most thriving black digital publishing companies in the United States, and he has written a number of fiction novels, including his highly-celebrated Bankroll Squad books.
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6. Mercy B
Mercy B. Carruthers, a native of Memphis, Tennessee, is a national best-selling, award-winning author and entrepreneur with nearly forty book titles attached to her name. Widely known for her distinctive way of crafting classic characters through her work of urban fiction and romance, the 26-year-old is certainly a force to be reckoned with, as she is killing the industry, one book at a time. Through her literary work, Carruthers has been able to use her God-given talents as a platform to inspire and educate other aspiring writers and entrepreneurs.
With her publishing company, Mercy B Publications, she has since acquired a wide range of clients—through coaching, publishing, strategizing, and even consulting. Deeming herself as ‘The Literary Heroine’, Carruthers is, without a doubt, the go-to girl for all things literary. Along with being an author and publisher, she is now the Editor-In-Chief of her own magazine, Written In Color, which serves as a print publication for authors.
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7. Eric Jerome Dickey
You couldn’t deny it if you wanted to; Eric Jerome Dickey is definitely considered a veteran in the literary field. His outstanding contributions to the genre of contemporary urban fiction, alone, speaks for itself. Holding nearly twenty-three years in the industry, Dickey has honed himself into an illustrious novelist, breaking social barriers within the African-American community, through his writings, time and time again. His latest release happens to be The Blackbirds, which hit the bookstands last April.
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- Myss Shan
Her name is Shan, but that’s Myss Shan to you. This Louisiana bred, Texas fed, shelf-clearing authoress is the epitome of a girl boss. An author, herself, co-owner of publishing company Shan Presents, and the founder of the African American Book Expo, Myss Shan is taking the world of urban authors by storm. Already knowing that she was born to write, in 2011, Shan took a leap out on faith and published her debut book, Rozalyn. It instantly became a best-seller, and, one year later, she found herself signing to David Weaver’s publishing company, Smart Black and Rich Publications, becoming the first lady of the African-American-based publishing company. Since then, Shan has published an abundance of urban fiction novels, selling thousands of copies–book by book.
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9. Leo Sullivan
There isn’t anyone quite like Leo Sullivan. He’s a versatile writer, with even more versatile stories to tell. Breaking out with his debut novel, Life (Life Without Hope), the novel became a mega-hit, as it has since sold over one hundred thousand copies, to date. Even today, it still serves as an urban street classic, and, years later, Sullivan just keeps dynamically dropping classic after classic. The seasoned author birthed his own literary and film company, back in 2011, called Sullivan Productions LLC. Unquestionably, Leo Sullivan continues securing his seat at the top of the book industry, umpteen years later.
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10. Jamila T. Davis
If there isn’t anyone else ‘doing it for the culture’, author, prison reform activist, and motivational speaker Jamila T. Davis certainly is. Hailing from Jamaica Queens, New York, the 40-year-old has had a long line of trials and tribulations, but, somehow, someway, she has managed to find her triumphant ending. From a self-made millionaire to an inmate, her life soon went from fame and fortune to tragedy and turmoil. After being convicted of bank fraud, Davis was sentenced to twelve and a half years in a federal prison. She was stripped of her freedom and, most of all, stripped of her sanity. But, through it all, Davis found solace in herself, embarking on a journey of inner healing. While dealing with life behind bars and seeing the everyday struggles of imprisonment, with her own two eyes, she began turning her pain into purpose, using her own personal experiences to inspire others. She wrote the celebrated Voices of Consequences Enrichment Series, a three-part, self-help curriculum book that was designed to empower fellow incarcerated women. Her other releases include She’s All Caught Up and The High Price I Had To Pay–both gaining worldwide notoriety. As of late, Davis recently collaborated with Wahida Clark, debuting a fictional book series, titled The Pink Panther Clique. She also helped produce the reality show Left Behind, a docuseries following the lives of children of incarcerated women.
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Who are some of your favorite urban authors? Leave your comments!
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