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7 Black Horror Authors To Read

While there are the Stephen King, Edgar Allan Poe, and H.P. Lovecraft of horror there have been Black authors who have left their mark on the genre. Tackling both literal horrors such as slavery and racism to supernatural horrors these authors on our list have shown the world how to tackle the horrors that await and survive.

Victor Lavelle

Taking inspiration from Stephen King, award-winning horror author Victor Lavelle notably spun horror tales from classical authors resetting them in Black communities such as in his novella The Ballad of Black Tom, which is a retelling of H.P. Lovecraft’s short story The Horror at Red Hook, and his graphic novel Destroyer which is a retelling of Frankenstein, which centers on race relations, while exploring the legacy of Dr. Frankenstein and Frankenstein’s monster. The Devil in Silver is another noted hoor work by Lavelle. One major award Lavelle has received for his horror writing is the Locus Award.

Phenderson Djèlí Clark

Queens-born author Dexter Gabriel better known by his pen name Phenderson Djèlí Clark has produced works of horror that delve into the speculative fiction genre. Some of his notable works include The Haunting of Tram Car 015 and his novella Ring Shout which is a dark fantasy novella in which the Black protagonist confronts the demonic forces of the Ku Klux Klan.

Craig Laurance Gidney

Craig Laurance Gidney tackles what could be horrific circumstances as a result of gentrification with a zombie twist in his short story Grayed Out which is included in the anthology book Blackened Roots.

Robert Fleming

Robert Fleming, a journalist who has written for Essence, The Source, The New York Times and Black Enterprise, has also written a few horror novels and anthologies. Two notable works of horror by Fleming are Havoc After Dark Tales of Terror and Evil Never Sleeps: Tales of Light and Darkness.

Brandon Massey

Brandon Massey has been delivering thrillers for nearly three decades now. Some of his horror works include In the Dark, a novel that explores supernatural forces in the home life of an ordinary family, and Vicious a predatory stalker who hunts travelers in the night.

Steven Barnes

Steven Barnes has written about the potential of alien life to bring an apocalyptic end to mankind in the paranormal novel Devil’s Wake.

Justin C. Key

Justin C. Key wrote the Jordan Peele horrors Us, Get Out, and Nope and has become a master of speculative fiction. Most recently a horror short story of his titled The Aesthete was published in Jordan Peele’s new horror anthology book Out There Screaming.


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