The Chicago-based Third World Press says Rodgers died April 2 at Mercy Hospital after battling an undisclosed illness.
The Chicago native wrote nine books, including "How I got Ovah." Her work often delved into the experiences of black women.
Rodgers is credited with being a star of the black arts movement of the 1960s and 1970s. She helped found Third World Press in the 1960s. She also started her own publishing company, Eden Press.
Funeral services have been held. However, a public memorial is planned on May 4 where Rodgers' work will be read.
Rodgers is survived by her mother and two sisters.