At age 26, Daniel Black was awarded the Ph.D. in African American Studies from Temple University. He hails from rural Arkansas, where a great grandmother spent her final days grooming his spirit for the life of a transformer. He graduated from high school with a 3.9 GPA and attended college on a full academic scholarship. At 20, Daniel earned the prestigious Oxford Modern British Studies fellowship which sent him to Oxford University in 1987. Upon graduation from Clark College, magna cum laude, he was awarded a full fellowship to Temple University where he studied with the poet laureate of the Black Arts Movement, professor Sonia Sanchez.
Black is a renowned, award-winning novelist. His works include They Tell Me of a Home, The Sacred Place, Perfect Peace, Twelve Gates to the City, The Coming, and Listen to the Lambs. Black has been nominated for the Townsend Literary Prize three times, the Ernest J. Gaines Award, the Ferro-Grumbley Literary Prize, the Lambda Literary Award, and the Georgia Author of the Year Prize twice. In 2014, he won the Distinguished Writer’s Award from the Mid-Atlantic Writer’s Association. For Perfect Peace, the GOG National Book Club Committee named him its “Author of the Year” in 2011. This novel has been reprinted more than ten times and is being heralded as a major American literary classic. About this work, Pulitzer Prize-winning author Alice Walker says: “Perfect Peace is a spellbinding novel that kept me reading late into several nights. A young boy raised as a girl until “she” was eight years old…. and then? Forced to be a “boy.” It is a gift to have so much passion, so much love, so much beautiful writing so flawlessly faithful to the language of ancestors who grappled as best they could with more than they could ever understand. This novel will one day be a film of much benefit to us, if done well. The visuals of it will help us see what we are so often blind to: the great fluidity inherent in all things, including ‘race’ and sexuality. Thank you, Daniel Black.”
Presently, Black is full-professor of African American Studies at Clark Atlanta University. The Coming, one of his most recent releases, is a first-hand account of the trauma and triumph of Africans on a slave ship in the 16th century. Early reviewers have deemed this work “brilliant”, “poetic”, and “a literary homage to the lives of those Africans tossed into the sea.” It is now in circulation and has been nominated for the 2016 Townsend Award in Fiction. In February of 2016, Black released yet another long-awaited work, titled Listen to the Lambs. This novel explores the lives and agency of homeless people who find each other on the street and create lives of meaning without material substance.
Black lives in Atlanta and is the founder of the Ndugu-Nzinga rites of passage nation.