The Root 100 Features Our Favorites Including Roxane Gay, Janet Mock and Laverne Cox

The Root has released its annual list of notable African Americans, and of course it includes some of our favorite movers, shakers and heartbreakers. The publication accepted more than 500 reader nominations that it condensed down into the people it felt “not only had standout years but also showed promise for shaping the future.” That means it includes not only obvious superstars like Beyoncé but also several of the up-and-coming writers and entertainers we love to tell you all about!

The Root 100

The list starts with Ta-Nehisi Coates, whose writing on race over at The Atlantic earned him the top rank. Badass writing also helped Roxane Gay and Kiese Laymon make the list. Blogger Feminista Jones and Feministing executive director Lori Adelman were honored for their contributions to discussions around feminism, race and sexuality. MSNBC host Melissa Harris-Perry was noted for her eponymous show, which you should absolutely be watching if you’re not already. Janet Mock was included as an activist, author and journalist.

The entertainers on the list are headed up by none other than Beyoncé  and Laverne Cox, both of whom made the top five for their performance careers as well as their activism. Lena Waithe, creator of the web series-turned-BET-show “Twenties” and producer of “Dear White People,” is also on the list.

The full list is available here, and honorees will be awarded at The Root 100 Awards Gala in November. A 101st spot remains open for a People’s Choice winner who will be voted on until early October. Voting hasn’t opened quite yet (as far as I can tell) but once it does, you’d better get your say in for that last spot!

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Kaitlyn lives in New York, which is the simplest answer you're going to get if you ask her where she's from. She went to journalism school and is arguably making the most of her degree as a writer and copy editor. She utilizes her monthly cable bill by watching more competitive cooking shows than should be allowed.

Kaitlyn has written 69 articles for us.


  1. i want to take this list into my mother’s pre-k and kindergarten classrooms and say here: look at all the things you can aspire to be. look at all the faces like yours. look at what you can do. look at your legacy.

    also feminista jones is the best person on twitter.

  2. Nicole Beharie from Sleepy Hollow has been really doing it for me since the show began. (Jenny Mills is life)

    Ciara has been all kinds of adorable with her cute wittle baby. The only celeb parent I’ve ever cared about.

    • Melissa Harris-Perry goes without saying…but imma say it anyway.

      And also myself for finding a way to work Ciara into this conversation

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