Notable as a novelist, poet, and spoken-word artist, Sapphire is most well known for her 1996 novel Push and for her 1994 poetry collection American Dreams. The former work became the basis for the critically-acclaimed film Precious (released in 2009).
After attending the City Colleges of San Francisco and New York, she received her Master of Fine Arts degree from Brooklyn College.
She published her third full-length poetry collection, Black Wings & Blind Angels: Poems, in 1999.
Born Ramona Lofton, she grew up in a military family and spent her childhood in numerous locations. At the age of eight, she tragically suffered abuse at the hands of her father.
Actress Monique won an Oscar for her portrayal of the title character's mother in the film (Precious) based on Sapphire's autobiographical novel Push.