Lorraine Hansberry was a writer and playwright best remembered for her play A Raisin in the Sun which emphasizes the plight of African-Americans living under racial segregation. At the age of 29, Lorraine Hansberry received the New York Drama Critics' Circle Award, becoming the youngest playwright and the first African-American dramatist to win the prestigious award.
Amongst the greatest writers of the 20th century and a leading literary voice in the civil rights movement, James Baldwin extensively explored issues like race, sexuality and humanity in his work. His best known work include his debut novel Go Tell It on the Mountain and his books of essays Notes of a Native Son and Nobody Knows My Name.
Nigerian-born novelist Buchi Emecheta OBE, who was based in the UK since 1962, gained critical-acclaim and recognition for her literary works with themes including child-slavery, female independence, motherhood and freedom through education. Notable works of Emecheta include novels like Second Class Citizen, The Bride Price, The Joys of Motherhood and The Slave Girl. The latter won her Jock Campbell Award.
Canadian actor and playwright Lisa Codrington is best known as Gail from the sitcom Letterkenny. She traced her Barbadian ancestors back in the CBC documentary Big Sugar and also appeared in supporting or minor roles in series such as The Handmaid's Tale and plays such as A Midsummer Night's Dream.
A South African Zulu, Mbongeni Ngema worked as a manual laborer and a guitarist before venturing into theater and then becoming a playwright and a director. While he created controversy with his play Asinamali!, he gained international repute with Sarafina! He was also a choir director for The Lion King.
Dawit Isaak is a Swedish-Eritrean writer, journalist, and playwright. Since 2001, he has been jailed by the Eritrean government without trial and is regarded as a traitor by the government of Eritrea. Dawit Isaak is considered a prisoner of conscience by Amnesty International, which has called for his release. Over the years, his works have earned him several prestigious awards.
Better known as a novelist, playwright and poet, Bernard Binlin Dadié was also an able administrator, serving as Ivory Coast's Minister of Culture. Inspired by Africa's rich traditions, he tried to highlight them not only through his writings, but also by publishing several volumes of legends, fables, folktales, and proverbs, concurrently giving expression to Africa's desire for equality and dignity.
Jonas Hassen Khemiri is a Swedish writer who has authored novels, plays, short stories, and essays. Khemiri's work has been translated into over 25 languages and he has received several prestigious awards, such as the August Prize. In 2017, his short story was published in the New Yorker, making him the first Swedish writer to have achieved this feat.
Known as the father of township drama, or Black theater, Gibson Kente was a master playwright, who had also directed How Long (Must We Suffer…)?, the first prominent South African movie made by a Black artist. While dying from HIV, he made a public plea for donations, announcing his bankruptcy.
Trevor Rhone was a Jamaican writer, filmmaker, and playwright. He is best remembered for his contribution as a co-writer of the internationally successful 1972 Jamaican crime film The Harder They Come. In 1999, Trevor Rhone was honored by the Institute of Jamaica with the prestigious Musgrave Gold Medal for his contributions to Jamaican literature, theatre, and film.
Nigerian dramatist, mime, director, actor and playwright Kola Ogunmola, counted among most remarkable actors in Africa during the 1950s and ’60s, is best-remembered for developing Yoruba culture, particularly folk opera, into a significant theatre form. He did so by travelling extensively and staging his works through his Ogunmola Travelling Theatre. His popular plays include Love for Money and Palmwine Drinkard.