The Root 100, now in its 13th year, is our annual listing of the most influential Black Americans, ages 24 to 74. It’s our way of honoring the innovators, leaders, public figures and game changers whose work from the past year has inspired, entertained, and simply moved us. We invite you as you peruse this year’s list of honorees to observe how each one, in their own unique way, is helping us to continue to reimagine—and redefine—Black excellence, with grace and grit.
The list is by no means a popularity contest, although you will notice that quite a few of our faves bubble to the top. It all depends on what kind of year they’ve had—and how many lives they’ve touched. By using a unique algorithm, we calculate each honorees’ REACH — the people they touch through media along with Twitter, Instagram and TikTok followers — and their SUBSTANCE — the impact of their work, graded on a scale of 0 to 10 — to discern their INFLUENCE, which determines their ranking. Ultimately, we consider hundreds of candidates to compile the final The Root 100 list. Congratulations to all of this year’s deserving honorees!