African-American literature is some of the most powerful and emotionally moving writing in the English language. The best African-American poets are able to distill the complex experience of being black in America into beautiful and moving verse. This article will highlight some of the best African-American poetry.

These poems could relate to love, events, everyday life. They are motivating, hearth breaking, and inspiring at the same time.

We ordered the poetry books from African-American poets in reverse chronological order.

If you feel to add any book to this list, feel free to vote on Goodreads.

What Are The Best Modern African-American Poetry Collections?

Call Us What We Carry, Amanda Gorman (2021)

Amanda Gorman's words teaches us about what it means to be an American.

Amanda's lovely collection was astonishingly diverse. A wide variety of poetry with historical references was arranged in various ways in Call Us What We Carry.

A literary collection that encompassed the collective grief of the pandemic and reflects to the recent years America. The poems are well organized and all the words has a real, thoughtful meaning in this book.

Still a Lady: Clarity, Love, and Light during a Global Pandemic, by Monica El (2020)

Still a Lady takes the reader on an introspective journey of self-love, romance, overcoming hardship, and self-empowerment.

Through Monica El’s poetic advocacy, she offers support, encouragement, and inspiration with the power of the written word. Moreover, these poems serve as an affirmation of one’s true self and a reminder than authenticity and vulnerability are not to be avoided, but embraced. By book’s end, each reader will be instilled with an unwavering sense of courage to turn their dreams into reality, even in the face of a global pandemic.

The Heart and Soul of Black Women, by Janet Autherine (2020)

The book is a celebration of the beauty, vulnerability and humanity of black women. It is the healing, uplifting, heartbreaking stories of all aspects of our human journey, through the art of poetry.

Inside you will find poems addressing powerful issues, such as: Mothers of Black Boys, Black Love, Self-Worth, Strong Sisters Unite, Raising Special Needs Children, Addiction and Abuse, Single Motherhood, Healthy Dating and standing for Justice and Equality in the face of Racism.

I'm Rising: Determined. Confident. Powerful., by Michelle G. Stradford (2019)

Take back your Power, your Glorious and Rise!“I'm Rising: Determined. Confident. Powerful.” takes the reader on an emotive journey of empowerment through life’s countless triumphs and tribulations. Above all else, it inspires one to tap into their infinite potential so they can overcome any obstacle that appears on their unique path.

Through heartfelt storytelling, alliterative diction, and soul-awakening themes, this empathic poetess instills each reader with an unwavering sense of perseverance, courage, and compassion.

Her, by Pierre Alex Jeanty (2017)

For those on a journey to find self-love and acceptance, the words on these pages are dedicated to helping you see the beauty staring back in the mirror, finding the strength to conquer your heartbreak, gaining the confidence to bury your insecurities, and to remind why you are such a powerful creature. In the pages of HER, best-selling poet Pierre Alex Jeanty shares through poetry, prose, and quotes, his unique perspective on women encompassing their strength and realizing their beauty. Every woman should experience the reality of being loved, and the joy of radiating those feelings toward the one they love.

The Complete Poetry, by Maya Angelou (2015)

The beauty and spirit of Maya Angelou’s words live on in this complete collection of poetry.

Throughout her illustrious career in letters, Maya Angelou gifted, healed, and inspired the world with her words. Now the beauty and spirit of those words live on in this new and complete collection of poetry that reflects and honors the writer’s remarkable life.

Angelou's eloquence and lyrical ability is just breathtaking and influences all her poems in this book.

Final Thoughts on the top African-American poets

Some of the above African-American poets have made significant contributions to American literature. Their works have been praised for their beauty and insight, and they have inspired other writers to explore the broader beauty of poetry, and their work will continue to inspire future generations.

If you are looking for more inspiring poetry please check the following collection.