THE ROOT Releases Top African American Influencers List

THE ROOT Releases Top African American Influencers List

Ben Jealous tops the 2013 list with Cory Booker ranking 2nd, and Serena Williams placing 3rd

WASHINGTON, Sept. 27, 2013 /PRNewswire/ — This week, THE ROOT, the premier source of news and opinion for African Americans, unveiled the highly-anticipated 2013 class of The Root 100. The list features a collection of the top African American influencers between the ages of 25 and 45 who are boldly breaking new ground in their respective fields, and impacting American society with their accomplishments.

“For the last four years, we’ve taken pride in identifying the most influential young African-American leaders and celebrating their achievements,” said Donna Byrd, Publisher of THE ROOT. “The Root 100 allows us to focus on progress which has been made over the past year and shine a spotlight on the people who have made a difference.”

THE ROOT’s editorial team calculated the rankings of the nominees using data from Lexis Nexis, Google, and Twitter to determine their level of influence or influence score. With over 800 names submitted, the team ranked leading names by combining their influence score with a substance score for their contributions to their communities and professions.

The list features repeat appearances from departing NAACP President, Benjamin Jealous (No.1) and renowned screenwriter, Shonda Rhimes (No .9). Ryan Coogler (No.6), the award-winning director of Fruitvale Station joined the list for the first time in 2013 along with Phillip Agnew (No.45) executive director of the Dream Defenders.  

“These rising stars have set the bar for achievement exceptionally high, and used their success to affect positive change,” said Interim Managing Editor, Lyne Pitts. “This group truly reflects the breadth of exceptional leadership in the black community.”

THE ROOT will commemorate the honorees with an exclusive invite-only awards dinner at the Tribeca Rooftop in New York City on Thursday, November 14, 2013.

To view rankings, biographies and scores for the individuals on The Root 100 list, click here: .  


THE ROOT is the premier news, opinion and culture site for African-American influencers. Founded in 2008, under the leadership of Dr. Henry Louis Gates Jr., THE ROOT provides smart, timely coverage of breaking news, thought-provoking commentary and gives voice to a changing, more diverse America. THE ROOT is a subsidiary of The Slate Group. Visit us at


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About Kerline K. Jules (686 Articles)
A native of Miami, Florida, Kerline Jules is one of South Florida’s leading young professionals and community leaders invested in public service and passionate about elevating the message of social and economic empowerment. Kerline believes a legacy of good intentions is no legacy at all; her very focus is on making sure that her life’s work makes an impact.

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