At Africa Writes 2019 on July 6th the inaugural Lifetime Achievement in African Literature award was presented to the renowned Ghanaian born editor, publisher, writer and literary icon Margaret Busby OBE, Hon. FRSL. The award was presented to Busby by writer Ade Solanke and Rt Hon Diane Abbott MP as part of the festival headline event celebrating the anthology New Daughters of Africa.
Twenty-five years after Margaret Busby’s landmark anthology Daughters of Africa, this new companion volume brings together the work of over 200 writers from across the globe – Antigua to Zimbabwe, Angola to the USA – to celebrate a unifying heritage, illustrate an uplifting sense of sisterhood and showcase the remarkable range of creativity from the African diaspora, particularly in the past 25 years. Comprising a wealth of genres and styles, this anthology speaks to the strong links that endure from generation to generation as well as the common obstacles that women writers of colour continue to face as they negotiate issues of race, gender and class.
She was the co-founder of the publishing press Allison & Busby, co-founded with Clive Allison, in 1967, this made her Britain’s youngest and first Black woman book publisher. In the 20 years as Allison & Busby’s editorial director, she was instrumental in careers of great writers and the publication of books from Buchi Emecheta’s Second-Class Citizen, to Sam Greenlee’s The Spook Who Sat by the Door, and C.L.R. James’ The Black Jacobins and George Lamming’s The Pleasures of Exile, . Not to forget that she also brought to our attention writers like Rosa Guy, Miyamoto Musashi, Val Wilmer, Michele Roberts, and Andrew Salkey.