Honorary Degree awarded to Margaret Busby
In September 2023 Margaret Busby was awarded an honorary degree by Oxford Brookes University. A much respected cultural figure internationally, she is a pioneer in the world of book publishing. Born in Ghana, she graduated from Bedford College, London University, before becoming Britain’s then youngest and first black woman publisher when she co-founded Allison & Busby in the late 1960s. She published many notable authors including Rosa Guy, C. L. R. James, Michael Moorcock and Jill Murphy.
A long-time campaigner for diversity in publishing, Margaret is the current president of English Pen and an Honorary Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature. Her honours include the Royal Society of Literature’s Benson Medal, the Royal African Society’s inaugural Africa Writes Lifetime Achievement Award, and the London Book Fair Lifetime Achievement Award. She has been awarded the CBE for services to publishing.
The novelist and Booker Prize winner Bernardine Evaristo says of her: ‘Powerful, self-contained, pragmatic and visionary, she refused to let barriers stop her from pursuing a career in literature.’ An editor, writer, broadcaster and literary critic, she has written drama for BBC radio and the stage, with radio abridgements and dramatisations encompassing work by Timothy Mo, Jean Rhys, and Wole Soyinka. She has judged the Booker amongst many prizes, and served on the boards of the Africa Centre, Royal Literary Fund, Wasafiri magazine, Nubian Jak Community Trust, and Tomorrow’s Warriors.
She is a member of the Advisory Board for the Oxford International Centre for Publishing.