List of black Nobel laureates

The Nobel Prize is an annual, international prize first awarded in 1901 for achievements in Physics, Chemistry, Physiology or Medicine, Literature, and Peace, with an associated prize in Economics awarded since 1969.[1] As of November 2022, Nobel Prizes had been awarded to 954 individuals,[2] of whom 17 were Black recipients (1.7% of the 954 individual recipients).

Black people have received awards in three of the six award categories: twelve in Peace (70.6% of the black recipients), four in Literature (23.5%), and one in Economics (5.9%). The first Black recipient, Ralph Bunche, was awarded the Peace Prize in 1950. W. Arthur Lewis became the first Black recipient of a Nobel Prize in one of the sciences when he was awarded the Economic Prize in 1979. The most recent laureate, Abdulrazak Gurnah, was awarded the Prize in Literature in 2021.

Among the Black laureates, three served as heads of state or government of their respective countries upon receiving the Nobel Prize, while one was awarded before taking office. Those include Barack Obama of the United States and Ellen Johnson Sirleaf of Liberia, who were presidents, along with Abiy Ahmed of Ethiopia, who was prime minister; all of them were awarded the Peace Prize. In addition, Nelson Mandela of South Africa became a Nobel Peace laureate before being elected president.

Literature edit

Four Black people have been given the Nobel Prize in Literature.

Year Image Laureate Country Comment
Wole Soyinka   Nigeria First Black man to win the Nobel Prize for Literature[3]
Derek Walcott   Saint Lucia
Toni Morrison   United States First Black woman to win a Nobel Prize[4]
Abdulrazak Gurnah   United Kingdom Gurnah moved to the United Kingdom in the 1960s as a refugee following the Zanzibar Revolution[5]

Peace edit

12 Black people have been given the Nobel Peace Prize.

Year Image Laureate Country Comment
Ralph Bunche   United States First Black person to win a Nobel Prize[6]
Albert John Luthuli   South Africa First Black African to win a Nobel Prize
Martin Luther King Jr.   United States Youngest African American to win a Nobel Prize, at age 35
Desmond Tutu   South Africa
Nelson Mandela   South Africa
Kofi Annan   Ghana
Wangari Maathai   Kenya First environmentalist to win the Nobel Peace Prize
Barack Obama   United States
Ellen Johnson Sirleaf   Liberia
Leymah Gbowee   Liberia
Denis Mukwege   Democratic Republic of the Congo
Abiy Ahmed   Ethiopia

Economics edit

One Black person has been awarded the Nobel Memorial Prize in Economics.

Year Image Laureate Country Comment
1979 W. Arthur Lewis   Saint Lucia First and (so far) only Black person to win a Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Sciences; first West Indian to win a Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Sciences[7]

See also edit

References edit

  1. ^ "Nobel Prize" (2007), in Encyclopædia Britannica, accessed 14 November 2007, from Encyclopædia Britannica Online:

    An additional award, the Sveriges Riksbank Prize in Economic Sciences in Memory of Alfred Nobel, was established in 1968 by the Bank of Sweden and was first awarded in 1969

  2. ^ "All Nobel Laureates". Nobel Foundation. Retrieved 2019-10-11.
  3. ^ "Wole Soyinka Biography".
  4. ^ Grimes, William (1983-10-08). "Toni Morrison Is '93 Winner of Nobel Prize in Literature". New York Times. Retrieved 2010-05-08.
  5. ^ "Nobel Literature Prize 2021: Abdulrazak Gurnah named winner". BBC News. 7 October 2021. Archived from the original on 7 October 2021. Retrieved 9 October 2021.
  6. ^ Ralph Bunche, PBS.
  7. ^ "Unsung Heroes". Time. 2007-12-01. Archived from the original on February 10, 2007. Retrieved 2010-05-08.

External links edit