Custom Search 1

5 inspiring quotes from black female authors

WRITER'S WISDOM: Author and former Children's Laureate Malorie Blackman

AFTER READING a book that has had a big effect on us, we can end up carrying certain phrases from the pages with us like trinkets. Characters can become friends and we can even end up adopting elements of their outlook in our own lives. So, it’s no wonder that when it comes to words of wisdom, the authors behind our favourite books can be full of them.

Here are some gems of advice, motivation and insight from black and mixed race female writers.

Malorie Blackman’s Noughts & Crosses novel series cemented her place in British literary history. The success and connection that so many have with those books have resulted in a Noughts & Crosses play – it’s set to be staged at Theatre Royal Stratford next year. The former Children’s Laureate continues to inspire readers and writers both young and old.

“To succeed, you need discipline If, for example, you want to be a writer, you need to apply your bum to the chair, and get on with it. Everyone has ideas, but it's all about perseverance. I wrote about eight or nine books and had 82 rejections before I first got published, but there was no way I was ever going to give up,” – Malorie Blackman, interview with The Independent.

Pulitzer and Nobel prize-winning author Toni Morrison is one of the greatest and most important writers of modern times. She makes no apologies for writing books specifically for black people, something that’s evident from her work and the relationship she’s established with black readers over the years.

“Being a black woman writer is not a shallow place but a rich place to write from. It doesn’t limit my imagination; it expands it. It’s richer than being a white male writer because I know more and I’ve experienced more,” – Toni Morrison, interview with The New Yorker.

NoViolent Bulwayo’s debut novel We Need New Names, released in 2013, has been heavily lauded by critics and fans alike. Bulwayo’s coming of age novel helped her make history – the book made her the first Zimbabwean to make the longlist and shortlist for the Man Booker prize.

“Once I allowed the voice to exist, the writing became effortless. This in turn made the process of writing one of pleasure, which was new,” – Bulwayo, interview with Los Angeles Review of Books.

Zadie Smith, this award-winning author is never afraid to speak her mind. Her books including White Teeth and Swing Time and have been loved by many, not just black women.

“Stop worrying about your identity and concern yourself with the people you care about, ideas that matter to you, beliefs you can stand by, tickets you can run on. Intelligent humans make those choices with their brain and hearts and they make them alone,” – Zadie Smith, Zadie Smith On Beauty.

Authors Yomi Adegoke and Elizabeth Uviebinené have only released their debut book this month but heralded as a self-help guide for black women and girls, it’s bursting with helpful pointers and precious nuggets of inspiration.

"The question shouldn’t be why did this [Slay in Your Lane] exclude white women, it should be what does inclusivity look like and that for me is the ability to cater to someone’s lived experience. I think it would be more exclusive if we felt a book like this couldn’t exist. I remember a guy asked ‘What’s your book about?’ And as soon as he heard The Black Girl’s Bible he was like, I can’t read it. My response is always that one of my favourite books is the franchise of Harry Potter. That’s about a white, male, wizard - all three things I’m not and yet I loved it,” Yomi Adegoke, interview with Vogue.

Read every story in our hardcopy newspaper for free by downloading the app.

Facebook Comments