Bernardine Evaristo, Stormzy and Malorie Blackman named among 100 Great Black Britons

The Penguin authors are among a list of politicians, sportspeople and artists.

Bernardine Evaristo, Malorie Blackman and Stormzy. Image: Ryan McEachern/Penguin

The achievements of 100 Black Britons have been celebrated in a new campaign and book, among them authors and publishers Bernardine Evaristo, Malorie Blackman and Stormzy. 

100 Great Black Britons, released last week, is a collection of high-achieving people compiled by Windrush campaigner Patrick Vernon and historian Angelina Osborne.

The book emerged from a 2003 poll that Vernon set up out of frustration to the continued exclusion of the Black British community from the popular understanding of "Britishness". The response was remarkable, with statues, memorials and blue plaques being raised in recognition of Black historical figures. 

In 2020, the list was updated to include those people, such as Lewis Hamilton and Stormzy, who were yet to emerge in the public eye in the early Noughties. The final list - which Vernon said could have been 1,000 entries long - was compiled by a panel from a number of public submissions.

Several writers are on the list, among them Akala, who released Natives: Race and Class in the Ruins of Empire in 2018 and Jackie Kay, along with Blackman, author of dozens of books including Noughts & Crosses, Booker Prize-winner Evaristo and Stormzy, author of Rise Up and founder of #Merky Books.  

The list can be seen in full on the 100 Great Black Britons website.

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