1981 – bell hooks's Ain’t I a Woman?: Black Women and Feminism is published.
1984 – Houston A. Baker's Blues, Ideology, and Afro-American Literature: A Vernacular Theory is published.
1984 – Cedric J. Robinson's Black Marxism: The Making of the Black Radical Tradition is published.
1986 – Arnold Rampersad's The Life of Langston Hughes: Volume I: 1902-1941: I, Too, Sing America is published.
1987 – Toni Morrison's Beloved is published.
1987 – William Julius Wilson's The Truly Disadvantaged: The Inner City, the Underclass, and Public Policy is published.
1988 – Henry Louis Gates, Jr.'s The Signifying Monkey: A Theory of Afro-American Literary Criticism is published.
1988 – Arnold Rampersad's The Life of Langston Hughes: Volume II: 1941-1967: I Dream a World is published.
1991 – Patricia Hill Collins's Black Feminist Thought: Knowledge, Consciousness, and the Politics of Empowerment is published.
1992 – Derrick Bell's Faces at the Bottom of the Well: The Permanence of Racism is published.
1993 – Cornel West's Race Matters is published.
1993 – Paul Gilroy's The Black Atlantic: Modernity and Double Consciousness is published.
1994 – Tricia Rose's Black Noise: Rap Music and Black Culture in Contemporary America is published.
1994 – Robin D. G. Kelley's Race Rebels : Culture, Politics, and the Black Working Class is published.
1994 – David Levering Lewis's W. E. B. Du Bois, 1868-1919: Biography of a Race is published.
1995 – Words of Fire: An Anthology of African-American Feminist Thought edited by Beverly Guy-Sheftall is published.
1996 – The Norton Anthology of African American Literature edited by Henry Louis Gates, Jr. and Nellie McKay is published.
1996 – William Julius Wilson's When Work Disappears: The World of the New Urban Poor is published.
1998 – Mark Anthony Neal's What the Music Said: Black Popular Music and Black Public Culture is published.
1999 – Africana: The Encyclopedia of the African and African American Experience edited by Kwame Anthony Appiah and Henry Louis Gates Jr. is published.
• Were the 1990s a Golden Age for (some) Black Public Intellectuals?
• Black Intellectual Histories
• A Timeline on Black Public Intellectuals, 1981 - 1994