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Professor David Olusoga awarded prestigious President's Medal

09 Dec 2021

The British Academy has awarded Professor David Olusoga the President’s Medal, its most prestigious accolade, for telling diverse stories from Britain’s past

Professor David Olusoga

Professor Olusoga is the 39th person to be given the President’s Medal by the British Academy, which is awarded annually in recognition of services to the humanities and the social sciences.

He is the presenter of acclaimed documentaries, such as the Bafta-winning Britain’s Forgotten Slave Owners, Black and British: A Forgotten History, which he also authored, and the BBC Series A House Through Time.

Olusoga received the award for his approaches to British and international history by unearthing and telling stories from Britain’s past to a wide audience. The presentation ceremony will take place at an event on 12 May 2022, featuring Professor David Olusoga and British Academy president Professor Julia Black in conversation. Further details and information on how to book tickets to the event will be added to the British Academy’s events webpage in early 2022.

Professor Olusoga said: “It is an extraordinary and unexpected honour to be awarded the President’s Medal.

“Throughout my career, whether writing history or bringing stories from the past to television, I have believed that history and the humanities must be made available to everyone and include everyone’s stories.

“At a time when calls for inclusivity have never been louder, I’m thrilled to have my work so generously recognised by the British Academy.”

Professor Julia Black said: “Professor David Olusoga merits the British Academy’s highest accolade for his approach to championing inclusive approaches to British and international history by presenting diverse stories from Britain’s past and engaging a wide range of people on the important issue of how we understand our collective histories.

“Across literature and television, his achievements are an inspiration to researchers in the humanities and social sciences looking to bring their research to a wider audience.

“His remarkable impact shows that there is unquestionably a huge public appetite to learn the realities of Britain’s international past.”