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Black Nobel Prize Winners  was originally published on

1. Martin Luther King Jr.

Martin Luther King Jr.

Civil rights activist and leader Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. received the Nobel Prize in 1964 for his peaceful and strong leadership in reaching equality. (AP Photo/File) (Source: Newsone)

2. Ralph Bunche

Political scientist, academic, and diplomat Ralph Bunche received the Nobel Prize in 1950 for his mediation in Palestine in the late 1940’s. Bunche was the first African-American to ever receive the award. (Source: Newsone)

3. Albert John Luthuli

South African politician and teacher Albert Luthuli became the president of the African National Congress. He was awarded the Nobel Prize in 1960 for his peaceful and non-violence struggle against apartheid. (Source: Newsone)

4. Sir William Arthur Lewis

Sir William Arthur Lewis was an economist known for his contributions to the world of economics. Receiving the award in 1979, Lewis was the first African American to get the award in economics. (Source: Newsone)

5. Anwar El Sadat

As the third president of Egypt, Anwar El Sadat made significant and monumental changes to the country. In his 11 years he served the country, he changed the political and economic principals from the Nasserism to a multi-party system. He also made the Infitah economic policy. He received the award in 1978. (Source: Newsone)

6. Desmond Tutu

Anglican Bishop and South African activist Desmond Tutu was a huge challenger of apartheid in the 80’s. He became the first African American Archbishop of South Africa and the primate of the Church of the Province of Southern Africa. He won the Nobel Prize in 1984. (Source: Newsone)

7. Derek Walcott

Saint Lucian poet, playwright, writer and visual artist Derek Walcott was given the Nobel Prize under the literature category in 1992. He was also awarded the “T.S. Elliot Prize in 2011 for his piece “White Egrets.” (Source: Newsone)

8. Wole Soyinka

Wole Soyinka is a Nigerian poet, writer, and playwright. Awarded the Nobel Prize in 1986 for his literature he was known as a man, “who in a wide cultural perspective and with poetic overtones fashions the drama of existence.” He became the first African in Africa and in the Diaspora to be honored. He was also a UNESCO Goodwill Ambassador for Africa. (Source: Newsone)

9. Nelson Mandela

Nelson Mandela

South Africa’s first president from 1994 to 1999 Nelson Mandela received the Nobel Prize for being an influential anti-apartheid activist. Arrested and accused of sabotage in 1962, Mandela sat in Prison for 27 years until he was released in 1990.

(AP) (Source: Newsone)

10. Kofi Annan

Ghanaian diplomat Kofi Annan was a co-recipient of the award in 2001 for his work being the founder of, “Global AIDS and Health Fund to support developing countries in their struggle to care for their people.” (Source: Newsone)

11. Barack Obama

Barack Obama

Former President of the United States of America Barack Obama received the prize in 2009 for his work, “to strengthen international diplomacy and cooperation between peoples.” He was the first African American president. (AP) (Source: Nobel Prize Website)

12. Wangari Maathai

Wangari Maathai was a Kenyan political and environmental activist. She became the first African woman to receive the Nobel Prize in 2004 for, “her contribution to sustainable development, democracy, and peace.” (Source: Newsone)

13. Ellen Johnson Sirleaf

Ellen Johnson Sirleaf

The 24th and current president of Liberia, Ellen Johnson Sirleaf was given the prize in 2011 for her nonviolent work in assuring the safety of women and their rights.

(AP) (Source: Nobel Prize Website)

14. Leymah Gbowee

African peace activist Leymah Gbowee is known for assembling a peace movement that ended the Second Liberian war in 2003. In 2011, Gbowee, Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, and Tawakkul Karman received the award for their work in helping women gain rights and protection.