The Root 100 honorees at the Tribeca Rooftop in New York City
Seher Sikandar

On Thursday, at New York City's Tribeca Rooftop, The Root held its third annual The Root 100 awards gala in honor of our list of America's most influential African Americans between the ages of 25 and 45.

The yearly event is The Root's salute to the politicians, scholars, civil rights advocates, entrepreneurs and others who make up our list of black leaders and achievers. It's designed to allow honorees to learn about each other's important work in an intimate environment and, of course, have a little fun.

Members of The Root 100 class of 2013, including MSNBC host and Tulane University professor Melissa Harris-Perry, Trayvon Martin family attorney Benjamin Crump and Ohio State Sen. Nina Turner walked the trademark green carpet before a cocktail hour, dinner and dancing.

Host TJ Holmes joined speakers NAACP President Ben Jealous and White House Director of the Initiative on Educational Excellence for African Americans, David Johns.

Jealous, whose remarks focused on how The Root 100 honorees can be part of a modern-day civil rights movement, quoted his grandmother, who once said, "We got what we fought for but we lost what we had."


He said that for this generation, being connected is a choice. "I want to thank everyone in this room for showing up here tonight to invest in each other … because if we don't invest in each other, we will never win what we're fighting for."

David Johns told the crowd of 250 that "in the time that we've been here tonight there have been brothers and sisters who have lost their lives … we need to honor them."

The evening included a performance by brilliant hip-hop and jazz pianist ELEW and music by DJ Runna.


Stay tuned for video and more photos from the celebration. In the meantime, check the #TheRoot100 hashtag on Twitter and Instagram for images from the evening.