Lewis Hamilton named most influential black person in UK

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Lewis Hamilton's been named the most influential black person in the UK.

Days after winning Formula One's World Championship for a record-equalling seventh time, he's topped the Powerlist 2021.

The list honours the most powerful people of African, African Caribbean and African American heritage in the UK.

This year, there's been a special focus on two of the biggest themes of 2020 - coronavirus and racial injustice.

The independent judging panel looked at people who have the "ability to change lives and alter events, as demonstrated over a protracted period of time and in a positive manner".

Here's the top 10 in full.

1. Lewis Hamilton

The award is not just for his awesome driving ability. He's Formula 1's only black driver and has been very vocal in support of the Black Lives Matter movement, especially since the death of George Floyd.

Back in June, he encouraged his fellow F1 drivers to take a knee before races - and has launched The Hamilton Commission, aiming to increase the number of black people in motor racing.

After grabbing the top spot on the list, he said: "I am so proud to be acknowledged, especially within the black community".

"I like to think that I'm just a part of a chain of many people trying to push for change."

2. Professor Kevin Fenton

In the year that Covid-19 has changed our lives - Professor Kevin Fenton has been at the forefront of the fight.

He is the Regional Director of Public Health England (PHE) and has been recognised for his work helping London to fight against the virus.

He also helped with the government review in to the impact of coronavirus on BAME communities.

The review confirmed coronavirus kills people from ethnic minorities at disproportionately high rates.

3. Stormzy

Big Mike, Wicked Skengman, grime superstar.

This year, Stormzy pledged to donate £10m to UK organisations to fight racial inequality.

The first donation of £500,000 went to The Black Heart Foundation - funding higher education for people from underprivileged backgrounds.

image copyrightGetty Images
image captionIn 2018, Stormzy announced a scholarship to fund two black students at Cambridge University

4. Michaela Coel

Michaela caused shockwaves with the BBC series I May Destroy - a totally fresh, original and unapologetic look at young black lives - which she wrote, directed and starred in.

It charts the fallout from a sexual assault which occurs after Arabella - played by Coel - has her drink spiked.

image captionMichaela has previously revealed she was a victim of sexual assault herself

Michaela has previously revealed she was a victim of sexual assault herself.

The Guardian described it as "an extraordinary, breathtaking achievement without a false note in it, shot through with humour and with ideas, talent and character to burn at every perfectly plotted turn."

5. Edward Enninful OBE

The Editor-In-Chief of British Vogue and an advocate for better representation in the fashion industry.

He is the only black editor in history to lead any Vogue magazine.

This year, he focused Vogue's September issue on activism- it featured powerful black-and-white images of activists including Marcus Rashford and Adwoa Aboah.

6. Dame Donna Kinnair

Dame Donna Kinnair is the head of the Royal College of Nursing.

During the pandemic, she pushed for better protection for NHS workers, including more testing and more consideration in to the risks that ethnic minority nurses may face.

7. Jacqueline McKenzie

The Windrush scandal saw hundreds of Caribbean immigrants wrongly threatened with deportation by the UK Home Office.

It uncovered systemic racism and ignorance behind the treatment of people who had spent most of lives working in the UK.

One of the most vocal people behind the fight for justice is Jacqueline McKenzie.

She's known as the 'Windrush Lawyer' and represents over 200 of the victims.

image copyrightGetty Images
image captionAt least nine people died before receiving their Windrush compensation, according to Home Office figures

8. David Olusoga OBE

David Olusoga is a British-Nigerian historian and writer.

He presents BAFTA award-winning Britain's Forgotten Slave Owners and is author of Black and British.

His work mostly explores the complex relationship between the British empire and Africa.

9. Afua Hirsch

As a journalist and broadcaster, Afua has always used her platform to write and speak on important issues in the black community.

You might remember her asking: "Why should we trust Boris?" on Question Time last year.

She's also author of Brit(ish) - a book on race, identity and belonging.

10. Richard Iferenta

And finally, Richard Iferenta closes the top 10.

He is Vice-Chair of KPMG - a massive accounting organisation and has been on the list for three years in a row now.

A few honourable mentions

The Powerlist 2021 featured loads of other influential black Brits, including:

Marcus Rashford

Just as likely to be appear on the front pages as back pages of newspapers these days.

During the pandemic, the Manchester United star campaigned for disadvantaged children to get free school meals over the summer and Christmas holidays.

His campaign led to the government reversing their decision on providing meals, twice.

image copyrightGetty Images
image captionRashford has now launched a book club to promote childrens' reading

Jason Black or J2K

UK grime artist and successful black businessman.

J2K co-created Crep Protect - the UK's leading sneaker care product.

Fun fact - he is also co-owner of Crepes and Cones - Krept and Konan's restaurant.

Dina Asher Smith

The fastest woman in British history and the first British woman to win a major global sprint title.

She was hoping to win gold at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.

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