Want to know why Jamal Simmons calls writer-director Issa Rae “hilarious”?
You’ll find out when you tune in Wednesday, Nov. 27, at 8 p.m. ET to the season 2 premiere of Aspire TV’s The Root 100. The series, co-hosted by Suzanne Malveaux, features Simmons’ up-close interviews with some of the most influential African-American leaders and innovators ages 25 to 45, as selected by our team at The Root.
In 2013’s first installment, spotlighting “the Vanguards,” Simmons sits down with Rae, creator of the acclaimed Misadventures of Awkward Black Girl Web series and co-host of Exhale, Aspire’s new talk show. She talks about submitting a spec script to The Cosby Show—as a sixth-grader—and the career-launching realization she had while trying to make it in New York: “I’m awkward … and I’m black.”
Simmons says of Raye’s interview: “Her humor is so witty, sometimes it takes a moment to settle in, and I found myself laughing about something she said minutes before.”
Uniworld Group’s rising star, Monique Nelson, tells Simmons that as CEO of the longest-standing multicultural advertising agency in the country, she focuses on marketing and advertising to African Americans, Latinos, Asians, “LGBT, women and millennials.” She explains how her firm connects “the culture of the consumer with the culture of the brand.”
Grammy-winning singer-songwriter John Legend also discusses Tea Partiers in his Twitter timeline, “collaborating with Kanye” and his work on education reform, which is motivated by his belief that even if teachers in financially challenged schools have a job that’s “a little harder than it is” in districts with more resources, “demography doesn’t have to be destiny” for their students.
Watch a preview: