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This year’s list of #TheRoot100 honorees is a reminder of the beauty and brilliance of blackness, at a time when the political and cultural landscape has grown even more hostile to the idea of black achievement!
No. 100: Elizabeth Lindsey (@elindse1)

Lindsey is the executive director of Byte Back, an organization that trains underrepresented communities in tech-sector careers:
No. 99: Brooke Obie (@BrookeObie)

The managing editor of black film and TV site @shadowandact sparked a national conversation about Green Book, another in a long line of films that centered whiteness at the expense of compelling black stories:
No. 98: William Tarpeh (@TarpehDiem)

Tarpeh is working to find more effective and useful ways to reclaim and recycle liquid waste so that it has a more positive impact on the environment:
No. 97: Dorian Burton (@Dorian_Burton)

An author, speaker and consultant, Burton is reshaping the role that philanthropic organizations can play in bringing about racial equity: #TheRoot100
No. 96: Delano Dunn (@delano_dunn)

The New York Times named Dunn an "artist to watch now" for how he conjures his memories from the 1992 Los Angeles riots to create a stunning, mixed-media art collection: #TheRoot100
No. 95: Raniyah Copeland (@raniyah143)

Copeland is the new president and CEO of the Black AIDS Institute: #TheRoot100
No. 94: Kiki Ayers (@KikiAyers)

A champion overcomer, Ayers bested homelessness twice to become one of the top black publicists in the country: #TheRoot100
No. 93: Marcus Bullock (@_marcus_bullock)

Bullock invented Flikshop, a type of social media platform for the incarcerated, to keep them connected to their families and communities during their sentences: #TheRoot100
No. 92: Naomi Washington-Leapheart (@oholyshift)

Washington-Leapheart is creating the shift in church culture that welcomes the LGBTQ+ community & creates spaces where gay, queer & trans people can fully see themselves as part of God's image: #TheRoot100
No. 91: Jarrid Tingle

Tingle is one-fourth of the dynamic @HarlemCapital, a venture capital firm that provides startup funding for black, brown and woman-owned businesses: #TheRoot100
No. 90: Denise Woodard (@PartakeFoods)

The former Coca-Cola executive is founder of Partake Foods, which sells vegan, gluten-free and allergy-friendly foods in more than 300 stores around the country: #TheRoot100
No. 89: Alexandra Bell (@yesitsalex___)

Bell revises newspaper articles about black people to read more equitably. This year, her work was featured in New York City's Whitney Biennial: #TheRoot100
No. 88: Diamond Stingily (@lilboosieplaycz)

The world definitely needs more artists like Diamond Stingily. A poet and artist, Stingily interrogates issues of racism, sexism, surveillance, and relationships in her work: #TheRoot100
No. 86 No. 86: Kamilah Forbes (@Kamilahf)

As executive producer of the world-famous Apollo Theater in New York City, Forbes is ensuring the iconic theater remains the epicenter of black culture for a new generation: #TheRoot100
No. 85 Meghan Markle

Markle, who has faced a racist backlash, is the epitome of royal dignity and class as she continues to settle into her role as the Duchess of Sussex and new mom with the birth of her first child, Archie: #TheRoot100
No. 84 Dantley Davis (@dantley)

The seasoned tech professional was recently tapped to head up research and design for Twitter: #TheRoot100
No. 83 Brandi Collins-Dexter (@brandingbrandi)

Collins-Dexter has worked tirelessly to hold big tech firms like Facebook accountable for policies that disportionately affect communities of color: #TheRoot100
No. 82: Maya Rupert (@MayaRupert)

As the campaign manager for Julian Castro's presidential run, Rupert is only the third black woman to ever lead a candidate's electoral journey to the White House: #TheRoot100
No. 81 Lauren Wesley Wilson (@lwesleywilson)

A communications professional and master networker, Wilson is the founder and CEO of ColorComm, a networking organization for women of color in communications: #TheRoot100
No. 80 Brittany K. Barnett (@MsBKB)

A fierce advocate for her clients, Barnett was part of the legal team that successfully lobbied for clemency for Alice Marie Johnson: #TheRoot100
No. 79: MiAngel Cody (@DecarcerateNow)

Cody, who has been fighting to end mass incarceration, co-launched the "90 Days of Freedom" campaign, which successfully won clemency for 17 federal prisoners: #TheRoot100
No. 78: Akbar Cook (@principalakbar)

As the principal of Newark's West Side High School, Cook has done everything in his power to keep his students safe: #TheRoot100
No. 77: Lorin Crawford (@lorin_crawford)

Crawford is the winner of the 2019 Alfred P. Sloan Jr. foundation's research fellowship for his work developing statistical models to help scientists better understand genetic disorders: #TheRoot100
No. 76: Wayman Bannerman

Along with his partner, Micah McDonald, Bannerman was named one of the most powerful stylists in Hollywood: #TheRoot100
No. 75: Ta-Nehisi Coates (@tanehisicoats)

Coates is adding to his legacy of thought leadership by continuing to drive the conversation on reparations & putting more great writing out into the atmosphere w/ his first novel, The Water Dancer: #TheRoot100
No. 74: Jemele Hill (@jemelehill)

After leaving ESPN, the outspoken journalist took her talents to The Atlantic and Spotify, where she sits down with our favorite celebs and politicians to dish on her new podcast, Jemele Hill is Unbothered: #TheRoot100
No. 73: Candice Payne

Payne saved lives by housing dozens of homeless people during a record-breaking cold spell in Chicago: #TheRoot100
No. 72: Henri Pierre-Jacques (@hpierrejacques)

Pierre-Jacques is one-fourth of the dynamic Harlem Capital, a venture capital firm that provides startup funding for black, brown and women-owned businesses: #TheRoot100
No. 71: Elie Mystal (@ElieNYC)

The in-demand legal expert is executive editor of Above the Law and an outspoken political analyst seen regularly on MSNBC: #TheRoot100
No. 70: Candice Elder (@portiaelder)

As founder and director of East Oakland Collective, Elder is battling the encroaching gentrification of her community while also launching programs to help the most vulnerable: #TheRoot100
No. 69: Bassey Ikpi (@Basseyworld)

Ikpi has made a career of telling the truth, most often her own.

This year she released her essay collection, I'm Telling the Truth, But I'm Lying.

Within a week, it became a New York Times bestseller: #TheRoot100
No. 68: Joy Buolamwini (@jovialjoy)

In the world of artificial intelligence, Buolamwini is working to reduce the built-in implicit bias in facial recognition software, which is critical as its use increases, particularly among law enforcement: #TheRoot100
No. 67: Micah McDonald

Along with his partner, Wayman Bannerman, McDonald was named one of the most powerful stylists in Hollywood: #TheRoot100
No. 66: John Edmonds

Edmonds is articulating messages about black men through his photography that have earned him a showcase at the Whitney Biennial in New York City: #TheRoot100
No. 65: Manu Platt (@DrPlattLab)

Platt was inducted into the prestigious American Institute for Medical & Biological Engineering College of Fellows for his 10 years of giving black & brown people opportunities in his Georgia Tech research lab: #TheRoot100
No. 64: Latham Thomas (@mamaglow_mgff)

The Mama Glow founder is working to ensure that women—particularly black women—have safe and positive childbirth experiences: #TheRoot100
No. 63: Kezia Williams (@KeziaMW)

Williams is the millennial money and business whisperer, and has built a thriving business out of helping other young black people build their own thriving businesses, too: #TheRoot100
No. 62: Tiffany Cross (@TiffanyDCross)

The co-founder and managing editor of The Beat DC is regularly called on to offer thoughtful commentary on MSNBC and other platforms: #TheRoot100
No. 61: Amanda Williams

The visual artist was chosen to be a co-designer of a monument to Congresswoman Shirley Chisholm: #TheRoot100
No. 60: Jeffreen Hayes

Hayes introduced the work of AfriCOBRA, a black arts collective, to an international audience as curator of a history-making exhibit: #TheRoot100
No. 59: Kiese Laymon (@KieseLaymon)

The professor and best-selling author offers a searing depiction of blackness and masculinity in his powerful memoir, Heavy: #TheRoot100
No. 58: Kwame Onwuachi (@ChefKwame)

Onwuachi had a big year in and out of the kitchen—his just-released memoir was optioned for a film and he was named the Rising Star Chef of the Year by the James Beard Foundation: #TheRoot
No. 57: Rhiana Gunn-Wright (@rgunns)

As one of the architects of the Green New Deal, Gunn-Wright is a leading thinker, doer and change-maker in policies that affect our climate and communities: #TheRoot100
No. 56: Adam Serwer

Serwer's insightful political coverage of Trump and his rabid supporters is a gift to the field of journalism: #TheRoot100
No. 55: Jordan Peele (@JordanPeele)

Peele solidified his mastery of the mind-bending horror flick with the record-breaking release of Us, his second feature film, and his reboot of The Twilight Zone: #TheRoot100
No. 54: Arlan Hamilton (@ArlanWasHere)

The Backstage Capital founder has a gift for spotting the potential of startups led by women, people color and members of the LGBTQ community, and has helped over 125 startups get funding: #TheRoot100
No. 53: Tanisha C. Ford (@SoulistaPhD)

The writer, cultural critic and historian captures the personal and the political of black womanhood and fashion in her latest work, Dressed in Dreams: A Black Girl's Love Letter to the Power of Fashion: #TheRoot100
No. 52: Kawhi Leonard (@kawhileonard)

The NBA superstar, who recently joined the Los Angeles Clippers, was named MVP of the 2019 NBA Finals, helping the Toronto Raptors win their first championship: #TheRoot100
No. 51: Matthew Cherry (@MatthewACherry)

The former NFL player released Hair Love, an animated short film that centers around a black father, his daughter and her natural hair: #TheRoot100
No. 50: Mashama Bailey

Bailey interprets her cultural heritage through her exquisite culinary skills and this year, she earned the prestigious James Beard Award for best chef in the Southeast: #TheRoot100
No. 49: Melina Matsoukas (@melinamatsoukas)

Matsoukas is Beyoncé's favorite director and her upcoming feature film, Queen & Slim, may make her yours, too: #TheRoot100
No. 48: Mahershala Ali

Ali won an Academy Award for best supporting actor for a second time in 2019 for his work in Green Book and earned an Emmy nomination for his role in HBO's True Detective: #TheRoot100
No. 47: Latoya Shauntay Snell (@latoyashauntay)

As a plus-sized black woman in a predominantly white sport, Snell makes athleticism and marathon-running look and feel accessible to people inspired by her curves and courage: #TheRoot100
No. 46: Lauren Underwood (@RepUnderwood)

Rep. Underwood co-founded the Black Maternal Health Caucus to elevate lifesaving healthcare for black women and infants: #TheRoot100
No. 45: Cardi B (@iamcardib)

Having solidified her star power as a rap artist, the superstar is expanding her range, juggling motherhood, political commentary and even a movie role: #TheRoot100
No. 44: Angelica Ross (@angelicaross)

In September, Ross made history again as the first trans person to host a presidential forum, a platform to address the pertinent issues in an undervalued voting bloc: #TheRoot100
No. 43: Law Roach (@LUXURYLAW)

As one of the top stylists in Hollywood, Law reached a new career milestone after serving as creative director for Zendaya's Tommy X Zendaya line: #TheRoot100
No. 42: John Henry (@JohnHenryStyle)

Henry is one-fourth of the dynamic Harlem Capital, a venture capital firm that provides start-up funding for black, brown and woman-owned businesses: #TheRoot100
No. 41: Kerby Jean-Raymond (@pyermoss)

The award-winning designer was recently named the artistic director of Reebok Studies___, a new division of the sportswear giant that will focus on developing young, diverse talent with new ideas: #TheRoot100
No. 40: Zach Stafford (@ZachStafford)

Stafford, an award-winning journalist, is the first African American to be named editor-in-chief of The Advocate, the oldest LGBTQ magazine in circulation: #TheRoot100
No. 39: Brandon Bryant (@wallstreetpaper)

Bryant is one-fourth of the dynamic Harlem Capital, a venture capital firm that provides startup funding for black, brown and woman-owned businesses: #TheRoot100
No. 38: Elaine Welteroth (@ElaineWelteroth)

As the youngest editor-in-chief in Conde Nast history, Welteroth transformed Teen Vogue into a "woke" publication that covered everything from sex and reproductive rights to politics: #TheRoot100
No. 37: Jason Reynolds (@JasonReynolds83)

Reynolds is an extraordinary author who examines real-life issues in a way that makes young black people—and not-so-young black people—want to read: #TheRoot100
No. 36: Karine Jean-Pierre

The veteran political operative and MSNBC analyst isn't afraid to speak truth to power about the current administration's harmful policies: #TheRoot100
No. 35: Rich Paul (@RichPaul4)

When the NCAA issued a discriminatory policy that affected black and less-privileged sports agents, Paul sparked the opposition that forced the organization to revoke the rule change: #TheRoot100
No. 34: Kid Fury (@KidFury)

In 2010, the Miami native teamed up with @crissles to launch @ThisIsTheRead!

Now in 2019, the podcast will be turned into a television show on @fusetv: #TheRoot100
No. 33: Jaime Harrison (@harrisonjaime)

Harrison is challenging Trump ally Republican Lindsay Graham for South Carolina's U.S. Senate seat: #TheRoot100
No. 32: Ritchie Torres (@RitchieTorres)

Torres is doing more than talking about being the best candidate for an open congressional seat in NYC. He's showing it by fighting for LGBTQ+ & low-income people, seniors and the homeless population: #TheRoot100
No. 31: Glory Edim (@guidetoglo)

Edim is a book lover, editor and the founder of Well-Read Black Girl, an online book club that's dedicated to "uplifting the narratives of black women." #TheRoot100
No. 30: Crissle West (@crissles)

An advocate for mental health, West launched "Crissle's Couch" on @ThisIsTheRead to answer questions, discuss her struggles with things like depression and anxiety, and remove the stigma around therapy: #TheRoot100
No. 29: Virgil Abloh (@virgilabloh)

The prolific designer and artistic director of Louis Vuitton's menswear collection got a chance to display his full range of talents with his first museum exhibit at Chicago's Museum of Contemporary Art: #TheRoot100
No. 28: Ayanna Pressley (@RepPressley)

Following her historic campaign, becoming the 1st black woman to represent M.A. in Congress, Pressley has been an outspoken opponent of the Trump administration's policies as a member of "the Squad.” #TheRoot100
No. 27: Lena Waithe (@LenaWaithe)

The actor-director-writer-producer is booked and busy, with projects spanning the cultural landscape of TV and movies: #TheRoot100
No. 26: Allyson Felix (@allysonfelix)

The six-time Olympic gold medalist penned an op-ed calling out Nike for how the apparel firm dealt with athletes who became moms. Now she's the first-ever sponsored athlete for sports brand Athleta: #TheRoot100
No. 25: Kristen Clarke (@KristenClarkeJD)

As president and executive director of the National Lawyers' Committee for Civil Rights Under Law, Clarke led the fight to keep the Trump administration's citizenship question off the 2020 Census: #TheRoot100
No. 24: Donald Glover (@donaldglover)

Glover made music history when his alter ego Childish Gambino's "This Is America" became the first rap song to win Grammys for both Song and Record of the Year: #TheRoot100
No. 23: Blair Imani (@BlairImani)

A writer, activist and historian, Imani is a fierce advocate for the black, LGBTQ+ and Muslim communities: #TheRoot100
No. 22: Stephen Curry (@StephenCurry30)

Curry bankrolled Howard University's new golf program and executive produced Emanuel, a documentary about the Charleston, S.C., church shooting: #TheRoot100
No. 21: Nikole Hannah-Jones (@nhannahjones)

This year, she pitched the idea for the New York Times Magazine's landmark 1619 Project, which commemorates the 400th anniversary of the first enslaved Africans' arrival to America: #TheRoot100
No. 20: Janelle Monáe (@JanelleMonae)

The Grammy-nominated star has broken the mold in almost every way possible. Up next: She is set to appear in the biopic Harriet, and the new season of the acclaimed Amazon Prime series, Homecoming: #TheRoot100
No. 19: Jackie Aina @jackieaina

Equipped w/ a dope personality & skin that’ll increase your life’s quality, Aina is a beauty expert & activist who has made it her business to see black women represented in the color spectrum of makeup brands: #TheRoot100
No. 18: Beyoncé (@Beyonce)

The King of Music blessed us by forging a deal with @netflix/@strongblacklead to bring #Beychella into our homes. She also traveled to Pride Rock to star in Disney’s The Lion King: #TheRoot100
No. 17: Tomi Adeyemi (@tomi_adeyemi)

The Nigerian-American writer is the author of Children of Blood and Bone, a West African-inspired fantasy young-adult novel that is being developed into a movie by Lucasfilm: #TheRoot100
No. 16: Serena Williams (@serenawilliams)

Williams is not only the greatest tennis player of all time, she's also a successful entrepreneur, fashion icon and mother: #TheRoot100
No. 15: Ibram X. Kendi (@DrIbram)

The professor and founding director of the Antiracist Research and Policy Center at American University is the bestselling author of How to Be an Antiracist: #TheRoot100
No. 14: LeBron James (@KingJames)

90% of the 3rd & 4th graders at James’ I Promise School started the school year at least one grade level behind but ended this summer either meeting or exceeding their goals in math and reading: #TheRoot100
No. 13: Jeremy O. Harris (@jeremyoharris)

Playwright Jeremy O. Harris' ambitious work, Slave Play, has become the talk of Broadway: #TheRoot100
No. 12: Crystal Dunn (@crysdunn_19)

Dunn is a soccer superstar who helped the U.S. Women's National Team win this year's World Cup and become the first team to take it home four times: #TheRoot100
No. 11: Alysia Montaño (@AlysiaMontano)

Montaño put her career and future sponsorships on the line to fight for women by exposing Nike's discriminatory contracts against pregnant athletes: #TheRoot100
No. 10: Karen Attiah (@KarenAttiah)

As the Global Opinions editor at the Washington Post, Attiah has been an evangelist for racial equity and justice: #TheRoot100
No. 9: Janet Mock (@janetmock)

Mock, whose talents have helped elevate the hit series, @PoseOnFX, signed a historic deal with Netflix/@strongblacklead, becoming the first transgender woman to shape content at a major Hollywood company: #TheRoot100
No. 8: Rodney Robinson

Robinson, a 19-year veteran of Virginia's Richmond Public Schools, won the 2019 National Teacher of the Year Award: #TheRoot100
No. 7: Ilhan Omar (@Ilhan)

A member of the group known as "the Squad," Omar is one of the most outspoken progressives in the House of Representatives: #TheRoot100
No. 6: Colin Kaepernick (@kaepernick7)

Colin Kaepernick has continued to advocate for others, donating more than $1 million to community groups while founding his own nonprofit, the Know Your Rights Camp: #TheRoot100
No. 5: Oronike Odeleye (@SuiteLadyOro)

Odeleye co-led the #MuteRKelly movement all the way to the courthouse, where the Pied Piper of R&B was finally indicted: #TheRoot100
No. 4: Steven Canals (@StevenCanals)

Canals was told “no” over 100 times, but that didn’t stop him from bringing @PoseOnFX into our lives.

#POSEFX is not only inspiring viewers, but also saving the lives of many: #TheRoot100
No. 3: Lizzo (@lizzo)

Lizzo is a one-woman movement of contagious self-love and a champion for body positivity and people who feel different or unseen: #TheRoot100
No. 2: Nipsey Hussle (@NipseyHussle)

Nipsey was beloved in his community because he worked to revitalize the neighborhood by opening businesses, creating jobs and opportunities: #TheRoot100
No. 1: Stacey Abrams (@staceyabrams)

Still fighting for the people—she's always fighting for the people—Abrams launched the Fair Fight 2020 initiative to make sure voters aren't illegally silenced or disenfranchised in the upcoming election: #TheRoot100
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