Several acclaimed Black authors have created influential works that must be celebrated on national Read A Book Day, which fell on Thursday.

The special day is the perfect opportunity for book lovers to curl up with their favorite reads or discover new pieces of literature. It’s an occasion to drop everything and read for a few hours without interruption. It’s also a time to pretend to be the main character, visualize a scene or just get lost in a story. With everything going on in the world, an escape into the written word is welcomed.

For those who want to learn more about a particular subject or issues affecting Black communities, books are a rich resource for that, too. Some of today’s most notable writers have tackled the toughest of problems in their work in an effort to cope, inspire and create revelatory moments. There’s a lot of information that will forever stick in someone’s mind with reading some of the best-sellers on the bookshelves, in stores and accessible through apps. There’s also a lot of inspiration in browsing these works, especially for people who want to go on to create masterpieces of their own.

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 the world.

1. Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

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2. Ta-Nehisi Coates

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3. Angie Thomas

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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. Marc Lamont Hill

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9. Janet Mock

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10. Kiese Laymon

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11. Jesmyn Ward

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12. Jericho Brown

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13. Jacqueline Woodson

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14. Colson Whitehead

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15. Terry McMillan

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