Meet The Root’s 100 Most Influential African-Americans Under 45

The Root unveiled its highly-anticipated round up of movers and shakers. See who made the list.

By Jorge Rivas Oct 06, 2011

The Root unveiled their annual "The Root 100," list that honors one hundred African-American influencers under 45 who shape daily conversations about race through their work.

At the top of the list is Newark, New Jersey mayor Cory Booker. He’s honored for being a public servant who has increased affordable housing in his city, cut crime rates in half and "wooed more than $1 billion in economic development." Tyler Perry, John Legend and Jay-Z follow Booker.

The rapper Drake, 24, is the youngest person on the list. He joins other notable names including Harlem Studio Museum’s Thelma Golden, The Onion’s Web Editor  Baratunde Thurston, Melissa Harris-Perry and Janelle Monae. Tristan Walker, 27, is number 39 on the list–he’s the Director of business development at Foursquare. Executive Director Rashad Robinson (who’s also on the board of our publisher, the Applied Research Center) also made the list, along with Adam Serwer over at Mother Jones and Ta-Nehisi Coates at The Atlantic.

"The Root 100 reflects the richness and variety of leadership in the African-American community, a breadth and range of talent who are having an impact on our lives and our communities – boldly or quietly," said Managing Editor Joel Dreyfuss.

The full list of The Root 100, including biographies, photos, and details on why each honoree was selected can be found at