I would say Alex Haley, Maya Angelou, and Sister Souljah are the list of African American writers that played an influential role in my writings.
I would write short stories as a kid and never heard of black writers until I reached my teens. It was wonderful to see and hear the writings of Alex Haley and Maya Angelou. Their words spoke from a period that I knew nothing about, but I felt I was present with each writing.
I remember reading Alex Haley's "Queen," and each page guided me on a magical ride back into time. Maya Angelou was a graceful writer, but I enjoyed hearing her voice paint a clear picture of each word. She is, in my opinion, one of the greatest poets of our time.