Black Narrators You Should Be Listening To

Here are some of the most prolific Black audiobook narrators you should be listening to, from award-winners to up-and-comers. 

Bahni Turpin

Bahni Turpin has a long history of winning awards for her narration; we here at often wonder how she has the time to narrate so many audiobooks! Her narration of Children of Blood and Bone won an Audie Award for 2019 Audiobook of the Year, and she was inducted as a Golden Voice in 2019—AudioFile’s lifetime achievement honor for audiobook narrators.

Children of Blood and Bone

By Tomi Adeyemi

So You Want to Talk about Race

By Ijeoma Oluo

Transcendent Kingdom

By Yaa Gyasi

Robin Miles

Robin Miles has a past in Broadway and television, so it’s no surprise that narration has served her well. She won the coveted Best Female Narrator Audie Award in 2021 for her narration of N. K. Jemisin’s The City We Became, and her narration of Caste by Isabel Wilkinson in 2020 won AudioFile’s Best of 2020 for Nonfiction & Culture.

The City We Became

By N. K. Jemisin


By Isabel Wilkerson

The Yellow Wife

By Sadeqa Johnson

Prentice Onayemi

Prentice Onayemi started his career narrating for educational texts, and eventually transitioned to full-length fiction, autobiographies, and more. A self-described “theater kid,” he also has a past on Broadway.

Behold the Dreamers

By Imbolo Mbue

The Rage of Dragons

By Evan Winter

Frederick Douglass

By David W. Blight

Dion Graham

Dion Graham has a string of awards to his name, especially when it comes to children’s and young adult literature—including When Stars are Scattered and Dear Martin. He also has AudioFile’s Golden Voice honor to his name, and his “range and talent as a narrator have netted him consistently superlative praise, including four Audie Awards, scores of AudioFile Earphones awards, and numerous other “Best of” accolades.

Black Leopard, Red Wolf

By Marlon James

Little Family

By Ishmael Beah

Concrete Rose

By Angie Thomas

JD Jackson

In June 2020, JD Jackson was inducted as one of AudioFile’s Golden Voice, and he won the 2021 Audie Award for his narration of His Truth is Marching On, and recently helped breathe new life into the ancient Beowulf.

His Truth Is Marching On

By Jon Meacham & John Lewis

The Nickel Boys

By Colson Whitehead

A Little Devil in America

By Hanif Abdurraqib

Things That Make White People Uncomfortable

By Michael Bennett & Dave Zirin

A Fool’s Errand

By Lonnie G. Bunch III

The Life and Times of Persimmon Wilson

By Nancy Peacock

Dominic Hoffman

Dominic Hoffman’s background in acting and degree in English literature make him a perfect candidate for audiobook narration, and his reading record is no exception. One of his narrator preparation tips: “Get rest. When you’re tired, the first thing to go is your voice.” 

Deacon King Kong

By James McBride

The Starless Sea

By Erin Morgenstern


By Yaa Gyasi

Adjoa Andoh

You might recognize Adjoa Andoh from her role on Bridgerton as Lady Danbury, but did you know she narrates audiobooks, too? Her audiobook record includes bestsellers and favorites like Americanah, Get a Life, Chloe Brown, and Remote Control.


By Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

Get a Life, Chloe Brown

By Talia Hibbert

Remote Control

By Nnedi Okorafor

Janina Edwards

Janina Edwards recorded her first audiobook in 1987, and hasn’t stopped since—she’s received two AudioFile Earphones awards for her skills.

The Secret Lives of Church Ladies

By Deesha Philyaw

Three Girls from Bronzeville

By Dawn Turner

The Will to Change

By bell hooks

The Invincible Summer of Juniper Jones

By Daven McQueen

Hair Story

By Ayana D. Byrd & Lori L. Tharps

The Proposal

By Jasmine Guillory

Shayna Small

Shayna Small is an actress, singer, and educator—and of course, an award-winning narrator. She’s earned three AudioFile Earphone awards and Audies for her narration in The Vanishing Half and Red at the Bone.

The Vanishing Half

By Brit Bennett

The Gilded Ones

By Namina Forna

America on Fire

By Elizabeth Hinton

Adenrele Ojo

Adenrele Ojo first trained as a dancer as a little girl, but then made the transition into theater, and eventually into audiobooks. AudioFile Magazine says it best: “Ojo shines brightest in dialogue creating a zest and personality.”

While Justice Sleeps

By Stacey Abrams

The Magic of Marie Laveau

By Denise Alvarado

Traveling Black

By Mia Bay


By Beverly Jenkins

Heads of the Colored People

By Nafissa Thompson-Spires

The House of Erzulie

By Kirsten Imani Kasai

Ariel Blake

Ariel Blake is new to the audiobook narration scene, but you’d never know based off her stellar performance of Luster—it won an AudioFile Earphones award.


By Raven Leilani

Nicole Lewis

When she’s not narrating audiobooks, Nicole Lewis might be on Broadway, film, or television, as well as teaching and voice coaching. She especially has a knack for accents.

Such a Fun Age

By Kiley Reid

The Beauty in Breaking

By Michele Harper

The Space Between Worlds

By Micaiah Johnson

Nile Bullock

Nile Bullock is a young, up-and-coming narrator, as well as an actor, musician, dancer, and TikTok star. Definitely one to watch!

Opposite of Always

By Justin A. Reynolds


By Marie Lu

The Stars Beneath Our Feet

By David Barclay Moore

Imani Parks

If Imani Parks looks familiar, it could be from when she played Young Nala on Broadway in The Lion King. She also has recorded more than 20 audiobooks, receiving multiple AudioFile Earphones awards.

Amari and the Night Brothers

By B. B. Alston

Monday’s Not Coming

By Tiffany D. Jackson

My Jasper June

By Laurel Snyder

Is there another Black audiobook narrator you’ve listened to and loved?
Let us know in the comments below!

23 thoughts on “Black Narrators You Should Be Listening To

  1. Lovely article and wonderful audiobook recommendations! Can I please add a few names to the list? January LaVoy, Chante McCormick, Ron Butler Jr., & Cary Hite

  2. I don’t know if she has narrated any books, but Abbe Opher is wonderful at reading sleep stories on Slumber.

  3. No list is complete without Kevin R. Free! He does it all, and I love his voice in “Real Life” by Brandon Taylor as well as Martha Wells’ “Murderbot Diaries”. He’s so compelling, whether in fiction or non fiction.

  4. I’d like to add Aunjanue L. Ellis reading “Hitting a Straight Lick With a Crooked Stick,” by Zoe’s Neale Hurston. She does a beautiful job bringing Hurston’s colorful words to life. Her interpretations of the humorous pieces are laugh out loud funny.

  5. I’ll shout out Wesleigh Siobhan, Jakobi Diem, and Sean Crisden who are basically the voices of Black Romance!

  6. Guy Lockard mostly narrates Jason Reynolds books but has done a couple other YA books and such. I love listening to him read!

  7. Kevin Kennerly narrates several James Baldwin books including Just Above My Head and No Name In the Street. He is excellent!

  8. They’ve already been named by other commentors, but I also enjoy Kevin R. Free and Sean Crisden’s narration work. Glad to get your list, thanks!

  9. I feel in Love with the voice of Karen Chilton while listening to “Once Ghosted, Twice Shy” by Alyssa Cole. She is a definite for this list.

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