Stormzy and Jourdan Dunn appear on Elle cover celebrating young black British stars

‘If you are young, black and British you can 100 per cent excel in whatever lane you want’

Sabrina Barr
Wednesday 09 January 2019 11:32
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The February issue of Elle UK has been praised for highlighting the talents of young black British stars including rapper Stormzy, model Jourdan Dunn, Olympic medal-winning boxer Joshua Batsi and world-class sprinter Dina Asher-Smith.

Stormzy, who was recently announced as the first grime artist to headline Glastonbury Festival, brought together a collective of young black Britons who inspire him for the magazine.

In the issue, which is being lauded on social media, Stormzy speaks about the importance of inspiring younger generations of black Britons to strive for their aspirations.

“[I want] people to see this and realise if you are young, black and British you can 100 per cent excel in whatever lane you want,” he says.

“[This group are] powerful and incredible young Brits coming together like superheroes, like Avengers.”

Courtesy of Elle UK / Paola Kudacki

Also featured in the issue are Premiere League footballer Wilfried Zaha, model and campaigner Leomie Anderson, activist Temi Mwale, actor Damson Idris, singer songwriter Tiana Major9 and writer, model and actor Yrsa Daley-Ward.

Zaha expressed his excitement over appearing on the cover, tweeting: “Inspiring a generation Stormzy. Proud to be on the cover of @ELLEUK with these guys. Young black and British.”

Stormzy has shown his support for younger generations before, having recently launched scholarship to enable young black British students to attend Cambridge University.

In July 2018 the rapper also announced a partnership with Penguin Random House to launch new publishing imprint #Merky Books, with the aim of “using this as a platform for young writers to become published authors.”

Courtesy of Elle UK / Paola Kudacki

Stormzy believes that much more progress needs to be made to raise awareness of British talent.

“There have been incredible achievements, but black Britishness is not always well documented. Now it’s time to say, ‘it’s here, it’s vibrant and it’s alive’,” he says.

“This country [has a history of] reducing young black British men and women, but we’re a whole spectrum of incredible things, and we’re on a mission to show that to the world.”

Several people have been expressing their admiration over the issue on Twitter.

“The shot of Stormzy is more than I can handle. So beautiful and powerful,” one person wrote.

“Can I please just state how immensely proud and happy this cover makes me. This is gloriously fantastic,” another person commented.

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