Some people might argue that words are just words, but if words don't matter, then writers don't matter – and if writers don't matter, neither do we.
Writers take us to different places and introduce us to all kinds of people throughout vast periods in time. In one story, we might travel from 1920s Harlem to Nigeria in the midst of terror during the Biafran War, and then on to the mystical Oguta Lake, all without ever having to set foot outside our door.
Words and writers should never be underestimated, and there are hundreds of brilliant authors who deserve our appreciation and respect.
To wrap up Women's History Month, BlackVoices.com put together a gallery of 40 influential black women authors. Some names you may know and others you may not. Their varied backgrounds give way to multi-faceted perspectives.