African American (AA) women are more likely than white women to be obese and to be diagnosed with ER- and triple-negative (TN) breast cancer, but few studies have evaluated the impact of obesity and body fat distribution on breast cancer subtypes in AA women. We evaluated these associations in the AMBER Consortium by pooling data from four large studies. Cases were categorized according to hormone receptor status as ER+, ER-, and TN (ER-, PR-, and HER2-) based on pathology data. A total of 2104 ER+ cases, 1070 ER- cases (including 491 TN cases), and 12,060 controls were included. Odds ratios (OR) and 95 % confidence intervals (CI) were computed using logistic regression, taking into account breast cancer risk factors. In postmenopausal women, higher recent (most proximal value to diagnosis/index date) BMI was associated with increased risk of ER+ cancer (OR 1.31; 95 % CI 1.02-1.67 for BMI ≥ 35 vs. <25 kg/m(2)) and with decreased risk of TN tumors (OR 0.60; 95 % CI 0.39-0.93 for BMI ≥ 35 vs. <25). High young adult BMI was associated with decreased premenopausal ER+ cancer and all subtypes of postmenopausal cancer, and high recent waist-to-hip ratio with increased risk of premenopausal ER+ tumors (OR 1.35; 95 % CI 1.01-1.80) and all tumor subtypes combined in postmenopausal women (OR 1.26; 95 % CI 1.02-1.56). The impact of general and central obesity varies by menopausal status and hormone receptor subtype in AA women. Our findings imply different mechanisms for associations of adiposity with TN and ER+ breast cancers.