(Image Credit: harvard.edu)

Black female poets may get increased recognition during Black History Month or National Poetry Month, but we are here to tell you – if you haven’t checked out these poets on YouTube, you are missing out! There are incredible Black female poets who offer their art online and in print. The messages they share span topics and run deep.
Poetry is an art form that is meant to inspire, inform, heal, and empower. One of the great things about poetry is that it can be read, sung, written, or performed. It is a genre that encompasses so many possibilities.

5 Black Female Poets to Check Out on YouTube

If you are looking to be inspired, or are already a fan of poetry, check out these 5 Black female poets:

1. Maya Angelou

Maya Angelou is regarded as one of the most powerful and influential authors and speakers of all time. Her book I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings was the catalyst for her career, though she published dozens of books and texts throughout her career. In 1992, Angelou made history when speaking at the Inauguration of President Bill Clinton. She was the first Black woman to write and present at an Inauguration. In 2010, Angelou was presented with the Presidential Medal of Freedom by President Barack Obama.

While you may be wondering about whether Angelou appears on YouTube. Yes! While she may not be a current streamer, you can find numerous videos of live performances, interviews, and more.

2. Stacyann Chin

Stacyann Chin is an artist, political activist, and profound LGBTQ rights supporter. Chin began her rise to fame in 1998. She has since appeared in an off-Broadway production, co-wrote the Def Poetry Jam on Broadway, and has held poetry workshops across the world. Her spoken-word poetry has been published in numerous newspapers, magazines, and websites. Chin is active in the media and has also published several books. You can find her on YouTube where you can follow her adventures and listen to her read poetry and other texts.

3. Amanda Gorman

One of the most talked-about Black female poets of our time is Amanda Gorman. In 2021, Gorman became the youngest poet to ever present at a presidential Inauguration ceremony. At just 22 years old, Gorman’s ‘The Hill We Climb’ took audiences by storm. Since then, Gorman has spoken at numerous events and has been interviewed by innumerable sources. On YouTube, you can find her live recordings and readings on her YouTube channel, as well as various news sources.

4. Aja Monet

Aja Monet is a Cuban-Jamaican poet and activist. Her poetry is profound and has garnered great support for the young artist. In 2007, at just 19 years old, Monet won Nuyorican Poets Café Grand Slam Championship. She is the youngest person to ever win the title and is the last female to do so since. Monet’s poetry collection My Mother Was a Freedom Fighter has received much attention. It led to Monet being nominated for an NAACP Image Award. You can find Monet on YouTube where she provides insight into her life and the power of poetry.

5. Dr. Cheryl Clarke

Dr. Cheryl Clarke may not have the notoriety of Maya Angelou, but her story and message are no less profound. Clarke’s perspective on life comes through in her poetry in a unique way. Her works are very relatable and down to Earth. Clarke has degrees from Howard University and Rutgers University. Her poetry is very educated and insightful. She is best known for her poetry books Experimental Love, Humid Pitch, and Narratives: Poems in the Tradition of Black Women. You can find Clarke’s works on YouTube on various channels. She also regularly participates in podcasts.

Poetry is an art form that touches millions of lives. Now, with technology like YouTube, we have access to great poets anywhere, at any time. If you are looking for inspiring poetry or reading, check out the five Black female poets we discuss above. You won’t be disappointed.

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