Judges praised the Zanzibar-born artist for the "seriousness of themes she addressed", paying tribute to the "current vitality of Lubaina's work as well as the current relevance" of it in three decades past.
Himid beat British painter Hurvin Anderson, whose images often draw on his Caribbean heritage; German-born multidisciplinary artist Andrea Buttner; and Palestinian-English artist Rosalind Nashashibi.
Artist Lubaina Himid, 63, was awarded the Turner Prize, becoming the oldest victor and first black woman to win the coveted art award. (In its first few editions, the Turner Prize also recognized museum directors and curators.) But this year, for the first time since 1991, artists over the age of 50 were eligible to be nominated for the prize.
Speaking about the age limit being increased before the victor was announced Alex Farquharson, director of Tate Britain and chairman of the jury, said: "The Turner Prize has always championed emerging artists - it has never been a prize for long service but for a memorable presentation of work in that year". It runs until 7 January 2018.
Himid, 63, is the oldest artist to win the award so far.
The jury was led by the Tate Britain director Alex Farquharson and included the Frieze editor Dan Fox, the critic Martin Herbert, the Walker Art Center scholar Mason Leaver-Yap and the The Showroom director Emily Pethick.
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As part of the joint public programme, the Ferens Art Gallery will, with Hull 2017, host a special Lates event, Turner // Return, on Thursday 16 November, with a variety of music, entertainment, talks and other attractions.
"I still think that Lubaina winning is still very clearly not about the Turner Prize becoming a lifetime achievement award".
"Now that its reputation is so firmly established, we want to acknowledge the fact that artists can experience a breakthrough in their work at any age".
Himid repeatedly questions the historical role of portraiture, as in works such as A Fashionable Marriage 1987, recently exhibited in The Place is Here at Nottingham Contemporary (2017). Working across painting, installation, drawing and printmaking, and bringing both old and new work together, her work is both visually arresting and critical. Maybe 15 years worth of painting if I work it at it?
For her solo exhibition On This Island at The University Art Galleries at UC Irvine's Claire Trevor School of the Arts in California, and her participation in Documenta 14.