For more than 70 years, EBONY magazine has highlighted the heroes and influencers of Black culture. On Thursday, its annual EBONY Power 100 list, honoring those who have over past year created, led and defied barriers in their representations of Black Excellence, was revealed.
The 2018 EBONY Power 100 List was crafted by the magazine’s editors and staff. The honorees are sectioned into eight categories: Community Crusaders, Disruptors, Entertainment & Arts, Entrepreneurs, Innovators, MVPs, Power Players and the coveted Women Up.
Power means different things to different people. For Community Crusader honoree Shawn Hardnett, the CEO and founder of Statesmen College Preparatory Academy for Boys, “Power means the ability to influence others. I believe those who are most powerful use their power for good. They help others to become their best self, often without realizing that they have been influenced.”
For Innovator honoree Valeisha Butterfield Jones, global head of Women and Black Community Engagement for Google and the co-founder & CEO of Women in Entertainment Empowerment Network, “Power is having an impact, challenging the status quo and disrupting systemic barriers for people of color and women.”
In this all-important midterm election year, EBONY honors those fighting for governmental change, including those disrupting the uniform look of politics, such as gubernatorial candidates Stacey Abrams of Georgia and Andrew Gillum of Florida; and Mayors Keisha Lance Bottoms and London Breed of Atlanta and San Francisco, respectively.
In addition, the publication understands how Black arts, fashion, sports and music continue to be a pillar of American pop culture. Leading the charge of Entertainment & Art honorees are Barack and Michelle Obama, with a focus on the former first lady’s upcoming memoir, Becoming. Others in the category are the global box office hit Black Panther, Oscar-winning director Barry Jenkins and chart-topping musical acts Drake, Cardi B and Travis Scott.
Golden State Warrior guard Steph Curry and WWE superstar Titus O’Neil, born Thaddeus Bullard, are among the 2018 EBONY Power 100 MVPs–in and out of arenas.
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Christina Santi is a news and culture writer for EBONY.com. Born and raised in the Bronx, New York, she considers herself a well-read, not so traditional feminist with a heavy interest in music, fashion and pop culture. Christina currently lives in New York City, where she refers to her Cuban & Jamaican descent often while writing about her experiences as a first-generation Afro-Latinx in America. She also devotes time writing personalized reading material for her tutees and turning ideas into words for streetwear brand, PUER By Noel Bronson.