The 100 List

A celebration of the lives, stories and contribution of Black British people

Patrick Vernon OBE and Dr Angelina Osborne, founders of the 100 Great Black Britons campaign, are proud to publish 100 Great Black Britons, a book that honours the remarkable achievements of key Black British individuals over history. With a foreword written by David Olusoga, the book includes a list of Black British names and accompanying portraits that explores these individuals’ contribution and legacy to British History.

In 2019, 16 years after the initial launch of the 100 Great Black Britons, Patrick Vernon OBE and Angelina Osborne launched a new campaign to celebrate Black British History and Black Britons who contributed to shape Great Britain by their work and actions. The public was invited to vote for the Black Briton they most admire.

The campaign was a huge success and we received thousands of nominations. In January, a panel of experts were invited to do the final short cut of 100 Great Black Britons. The book will compile the updated list and act as a companion to this vital and updated campaign.

“I am delighted to see the relaunch of 100 Great Black Britons [campaign]. For too long the contribution of Britons of African and Caribbean heritage have been underestimated, undervalued and overlooked”.
Sadiq Khan, Mayor of London

Find out who is in 100 Great Black Britons 2020. Did your nomination make it to the final 100?

100 Great Black Britons – alphabetical listing by surname:

  • Diane Abbott
  • Victor Adebowale, Baron Adebowale CBE
  • Adedoyin Olayiwola Adepitan MBE
  • Dr Maggie Aderin-Pocock MBE
  • Professor Hakim Adi
  • Sir David Adjaye OBE, RA and Elsie Owusu OBE, RIBA
  • Akala
  • John Akomfrah CBE
  • Ira Aldridge
  • Valerie Amos, Baroness Amos CH
  • Kehinde Andrews
  • Professor Dame Elizabeth Anionwu DBE
  • Dr Elaine Arnold
  • Amma Asante MBE
  • Winifred Atwell

  • Dame Jocelyn Barrow DBE
  • Lance Sergeant Johnson Beharry VC, COG
  • Dame Floella Benjamin of Beckenham DBE, DL
  • Munroe Bergdorf
  • Jak Beula Dodd
  • Karen Blackett OBE
  • Malorie Blackman OBE
  • John Blanke
  • Dennis Bovell
  • Sonia Boyce OBE, RA
  • Dr Aggrey Burke
  • Vanley Burke
  • Margaret Busby OBE, FRSL
  • Dawn Butler

  • Earl Cameron CBE
  • Betty Campbell MBE
  • Naomi Campbell
  • Queen Charlotte
  • Edric Connor
  • Lloyd Coxsone
  • William Cuffay
  • Quobna Ottobah Cugoano
  • Dame Linda Dobbs DBE

  • John Edmonstone
  • Idris Elba OBE
  • Edward Enninful OBE
  • Olaudah Equiano
  • Bernardine Evaristo MBE, FRSL
  • Sir Mohamed Muktar Jama Farah CBE
  • Lenford Kwesi Garrison
  • George the Poet
  • Paul Gilroy
  • Bernie Grant

  • Stuart Hall
  • Lewis Hamilton MBE
  • Sir Lenny Henry CBE
  • Lubaina Himid CBE, RA
  • Dame Kelly Holmes DBE
  • Darcus Howe
  • Rose Hudson-Wilkin MBE
  • Eric Huntley and Jessica Huntley
  • Professor Augustine ‘Gus’ John
  • Linton Kwesi Johnson
  • Claudia Jones

  • Sheku Kanneh-Mason MBE
  • Jackie Kay CBE
  • Sam King MBE
  • Kwame Kwei-Armah OBE
  • John La Rose
  • David Lammy
  • Marai Larasi MBE
  • Doreen Lawrence, Baroness Lawrence of Clarendon OBE
  • Andrea Levy

  • Sir Steven McQueen CBE
  • Dr Harold Moody
  • Olive Morris
  • Grace Nichols and John Agard
  • Chinyere (Chi-chi) Nwanoku OBE
  • David Adetayo Olusoga OBE
  • Phyllis Opoku-Gyimah ‘Lady Phyll’
  • Olivette Otele
  • Horace Ové CBE
  • David Oyelowo OBE
  • George Padmore
  • Professor Sir Geoff Palmer OBE
  • Alex Pascall OBE
  • David Pitt, Baron Pitt of Hampstead
  • Mary Prince

  • Marvin Rees
  • Bill Richmond and Thomas Molyneux
  • Marcia Rigg
  • Ignatius Sancho
  • Stafford Scott
  • Mary Seacole
  • Menelik Shabazz
  • Yinka Shonibare CBE, RA
  • Paul Stephenson OBE
  • Stormzy
  • Robert Wedderburn and William Davidson
  • Dame Sharon White DBE
  • Henry Sylvester Williams
  • Allan Wilmot
  • Simon Woolley, Baron Woolley of Woodford
  • Gary Younge
  • Benjamin Zephaniah

The Campaign

100 Great Black Britons

In 2004, for the initial launch of the 100 Great Black Britons campaign, Mary Seacole was voted the Greatest Black Britons of all time. During the last 16 years, academics and independent scholars have discovered new Black British historical figures and new role models and icons have emerged since 2004.

For the launch of the 2020 campaign, nominations were opened, and we received over a thousand nominations. In January 2020, a panel of experts composed of:

  • Joyce Fraser, Founder of the Black History Foundation
  • Dr Wanda Wyporska, Executive Director of the Equality Trust
  • Kenneth Olumuyiwa, Executive Director Africa Centre
  • Dawn Hill, Chair of BCA
  • Dwain Neil -Chair of Reach Society
  • Arike Oki -Managing Director BCA
  • Yvonne Davis, Primary School Head Teacher
  • Sharmaine Lovegrove -publisher
  • Nadine White- journalist
  • Michelle Moore – Former Athlete and Business Coach
  • Patrick Vernon (chair) co author of panel
  • Dr Angelina Osborne co author of 100 Great Black Britons

Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan said: “I’m delighted to see the relaunch of 100 Great Black Britons. Black Londoners have played an important role in the success of our city for centuries, but for too long the contribution of Britons of African and Caribbean heritage have been underestimated, undervalued and overlooked.

From Mary Prince becoming the first woman to present a petition to Parliament to Sir Trevor McDonald anchoring the News at Ten, generations of black Britons have blazed a trail. It is only right that we once again come together to recognise and celebrate them.”


PATRICK VERNON OBE is a Clore and Winston Churchill Fellow, a fellow at the Imperial War Museum, a fellow of the Royal Historical Society and a former associate fellow for the Department of the History of Medicine at Warwick University. Patrick was awarded an OBE in 2012 for his work in tackling health inequalities for ethnic minority communities in Britain. Since 2010 he has been leading the campaign for Windrush Day and in 2018 kick-started the campaign for an amnesty for the Windrush Generation as part of the Windrush Scandal which led to a government U-turn in immigration policy.

DR ANGELINA OSBORNE is an independent researcher and heritage consultant. She received her PhD in History from the Wilberforce Institute for the Study of Slavery and Emancipation, University of Hull in 2014. Her interests focus on Caribbean enslavement and proslavery discourses, and the history of community and education activism.