Speaker & Host
Afua Hirsch is a former barrister, journalist and documentary maker. Her current projects include a 6-part series with Samuel L Jackson, a major BBC series about African art, and another about whiteness, both forthcoming, and an Audible original series We Need to Talk About The British Empire.
She regularly writes, reports and speaks on international current affairs, and has published two bestselling books, Brit(ish): On Race, Identity and Belonging, winner of the Royal Society of Literature Jerwood Prize, and Equal To Everything, about the UK Supreme Court.
Afua was a judge on last year’s Booker Prize and is currently the Wallis Annenberg Chair of Journalism at the University of Southern California in Los Angeles.
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Read more about Afua Hirsch
Afua Hirsch has been a journalist for more than twenty years, having begun reporting for The Voice - Britain’s oldest black national newspaper - from the age of just 14. She went on to work in international development in 15 countries in West and Central Africa and then qualified as a barrister, where she worked in media law, international justice and human rights.
Afua has held senior positions at The Guardian Newspaper - where she continues to write a regular column - and Sky News, where she is still a presenter on flagship debate show The Pledge. She is currently presenting documentary series for UK and US TV, and a podcast series for Audible.
In 2016 Afua's debut book, Brit(ish): On Race, Identity and Belonging, was awarded the Royal Society of Literature Jerwood Prize. She is the Wallis Annenberg Chair of Journalism at the University of Southern California in Los Angeles, and one of the “rebel” judges on this year’s prestigious Booker Prize.
"Afua was the standout star of our major feminism event which took place in front of nearly 1,000 people. The audience were clearly swept away by her, cheering and applauding at her witty, eloquent interventions. What most blew everyone away was the passion, insight and intelligence that she conveyed in everything she said.”
Robert Collins, Intelligence Squared
“Lit Fest organisers: can't think I've seen more skillful chairing of a panel than Afua Hirsch at @TheFolioPrize talk yesterday. My hat is off. You were an absolute don in directing the chat with grace and intelligence.”
Catherine O’Flynn, Costa Prize winning author