Black Women Novels
1970 – 1995

The publication of novels by Black women writers from 1970 – 1995 represents extraordinary artistic output.

—Howard Rambsy II

Here’s a look at 68 novels published during that period of time.

Here’s a chronological look at the novels.

Two of the 68 novels won major literary awards.

Alice Walker’s The Color Purple (1982) won the National Book Award for Fiction and the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction.

Toni Morrison’s Beloved (1987) won the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction.

Seven of the 68 novels were adapted to films or miniseries:

Octavia Butler’s Kindred,
Alice Childress’s A Hero Ain't Nothin' But A Sandwich,
Terry McMillan’s Waiting to Exhale,
Toni Morrison’s Beloved,
Gloria Naylor’s The Women of Brewster Place,
Alice Walker’s The Color Purple,
and Dorothy West’s The Wedding.

Octavia Butler (10), Toni Morrison (6), and Rosa Guy (6) have the most novels in the dataset.

Seven of the novels have more 80,000 ratings on Goodreads.

Walker’s The Color Purple (626,542),
Morrison’s Beloved (398,809) and The Bluest Eye (223,067),
and Octavia Butler’s Kindred (173,372)
are among the highest rank novels in the dataset.

According to the Open Syllabus Project, ten of the novels have appeared on more than 300 course syllabi.

Morrison’s Beloved (3,797) and The Bluest Eye (2,525),
and Walker’s The Color Purple (1,654),
and Morrison’s Song of Solomon (1,133)
are among the most frequently assigned novels in this dataset.