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UPDATED: 4:44 p.m. ET, April 11, 2020 —

Over the last few weeks, people’s daily routines have been turned upside down due to the spread of the new coronavirus. It’s hard not to be stressed by the constant COVID-19 news coverage that fills our days. And just when we could really benefit from visiting family or friends, we are instead being asked to stay inside and limit in-person interactions. So what can you do to feed your soul during this period of social distancing?

We invite you to take time to pause and seek comfort in a good book. Consider a daily routine in which you allocate 15 minutes per day to read a few pages of a new novel or reread a literary favorite. Consider scheduling your reading sessions around a daily routine such as after lunch or at bedtime. If you can, consider taking a break from your technologically-filled day by reading an actual printed book. If you prefer to read from your portable device, please make sure to turn off all notifications so that you can read in peace.

MORE: 50 Books Every Black Teen Should Read

For those who want to learn more about a particular subject or issues affecting Black communities, books are a rich resource. Some of today’s most notable writers draw inspiration from real life, tackling issues such as racism, violence, sexism in ways that spark revelatory moments.

With that said, here are 15 of some of the most creative, knowledgeable and powerful Black writers whose stories have made a strong impression on readers all over the world.

1. Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

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Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, an award-winning author who grew up in Nigeria, has written multiple novels and was influenced by writers like Chinua Achebe. Much of her work centers on and tells stories about life in Nigeria. Some of her works include “Half of a Yellow Sun,” which won the PEN American Center Award, “Purple Hibiscus“, and “Dear Ijeawele, or A Feminist Manifesto in Fifteen Suggestions.”

2. Ta-Nehisi Coates

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Ta-Nehisi Coates is an American author and journalist. As a national correspondent of The Atlantic, Coates became known for his writings about social, political, and cultural issues, especially as they relate to African Americans and white supremacy. 

As a non-fiction writer, Ta-Nehisi Coates’ 2015 book “Between the World and Me” is written as a letter to his teenage son about what is means to be black in the United States. The publication would go on to win the 2015 National Book Award for Nonfiction. Other books written by Coates include “The Beautiful Struggle” (2009) and
We Were Eight Years in Power: An American Tragedy” (2017). 

In 2019, Ta-Nehisi Coates published his first fiction novel, “The Water Dancer.” 

3. Angie Thomas

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Making her literary debut in 2017  at the age of 29, Angie Thomas is proving to be a growing force in Young Adult Fiction. Born and raised in Jackson, Mississippi, Angie Thomas grew up in a surrounded by racism, drug dealing and gun violence. It would be these childhood memories that would shape her first fiction novel “The Hate U Give.” Two years later, Thomas published her second young adult novel “On the Come Up,” about a sixteen-year old female rapper aspiring to become an underground hip-hop phenomenon. 

4. Michael Eric Dyson

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5. Tayari Jones

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6. Cornel West

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7. Michelle Alexander

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8. Janet Mock

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9. Kiese Laymon

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10. Jesmyn Ward

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11. Jericho Brown

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12. Jacqueline Woodson

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13. Colson Whitehead

Colson Whitehead had to wait to write 'Underground Railroad' Source:Getty

14. Terry McMillan

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15. James Baldwin

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