The Root has unveiled its list of the 100 most influential African American’s under 45 years of age, and from performers to professors, the 3rd annual list represents a fairly complex gamut. Ranked for the first time, contributing editor Omar Wasow speaks on the clout measuring technique employed to determine the hierarchy: “To identify and rank The Root 100, we developed a formula that defines influence as the marriage of reach and substance.”

The top 5 influential were – from the top:

Newark Mayor Corey Booker; Tyler Perry; John Legend; Jay-Z & Soledad O’Brien. Other highly profiled individuals listed are: Beyonce, (#13); activist & author Van Jones (#17); actress Kerry Washington (#19); TV Writer and producer Mara Brock Akil (#40); actor, Anthony Mackie (#45); “and supermodel-turned-entrepreneur and a political pundit who wants to redefine blackness,” Touré (#57, and, ouch!).


The Root says it best, when describing the culturally nourishing fruit of their meticulous labor:

“The result is a cornucopia of black talent that reaches deep into our community. We have celebrated artists for their art, politicians for their vision and activists for their unwillingness to accept the status quo. Unabashedly, we favor those who want to change America for the better. While we celebrate the pure artistic talent of jazz bassist Esperanza Spalding and classical clarinetist Anthony McGill, we also boosted the ranking of artists like the Black Eyed Peas’ Will.i.am for his effort to convince black kids that science and technology are ‘cool.’ We downgraded or eliminated artists who acted like fools and fueled the scandal mills.”

Head on over here to peruse the entire inspiring Root 100 inventory.

Like Us On Facebook Follow Us On Twitter