Black History Month: Six names changing the game
In celebration of Black History Month, we round-up some of the names making history right here and now in Britain and across the globe
To say Stormzy is having a moment is a major understatement. In just 26 years on the planet, he has achieved countless feats. For starters, he’s the first grime artist to land a number one album in the UK album charts, and the first black British male artist to headline Glastonbury. His Merky books project seeks to publish work from a new generation of writers. And we can’t forget his scholarship fund for black students that covers tuition fees. What a guy!
The actress, playwright, singer and poet truly embodies what it is to be a true renaissance woman. Since the ground-breaking TV series Chewing Gum - penned by and starring the woman herself - Coel has gone on to become a voice for young, black Brits. Her next project is set to be a gripping BBC drama about the issue of sexual consent, proving that this multi-hyphenate talent has her finger on the pulse of the current sociopolitical zeitgeist.
Renowned as one of the most sought-after backstage make-up artists in the world, Pat McGrath dipped her toes into the lucrative sea of beauty brand ownership when she launched her eponymous line in 2015. The range, characterised by bold colours and luxe packaging, made headlines recently after its worth was estimated at a whopping $1 billion, cementing the Brit as one of the world’s most powerful women in beauty. #makeupicon
Sheku Kanneh-Mason is the cellist who won the nation’s hearts when he performed a rousing solo at the wedding of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle last spring. Since his commanding royal engagement, the gifted 20-year-old has helped to modernise the face of classical music. Passionate about education and helping to make the classical industry more diverse, we can’t wait to see what’s in store for this young talent.
NICOLE CRENTSIL AND PAULA AKPAN
When the founders of Black Girl Fest sold out their very first festival weeks before it was due to take place, they knew they were onto something. Two years later it is one of the hottest tickets on the events calendar, affording black girls the opportunity to network, attend inspiring talks, purchase hair care products and watch films by black female film makers. Now that’s what we call doing it for the culture.
Lashana Lynch hit the headlines recently when it was announced that she will be playing agent 007 in the next James Bond film, No Time To Die. Lashana’s character will take up the 007 title after Mr Bond officially retires. We’ll have to wait until April 2020 to see how this will all manifest on the screen, but we’re super amped to see a black woman in such a prominent position in one of the world’s biggest film franchises.