BREAKING: African Leadership magazine announces its 2020 Top 100 most influential African American Leaders List

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The African Leadership Magazine, a global leader in the African achievement and excellence niche, published in the United Kingdom, today announced its 2020 list of the top 100 African American most influential Leaders.

Former US President Barack Obama and Congressman John Lewis (D-Ga.) received special recognition for their outstanding leadership with emeritus awards during the maiden edition of the listing in 2015 and are both are still on the current list. The honorees shall all be featured in the November 2020 issue of the African Leadership Magazine (ALM).

ALM Publisher & CEO, Dr Ken Giami said, “We are pleased to recognize these outstanding Global citizens and torchbearers for the global African community for leadership and service to humanity, not only in the U.S. but also around the world. They are bridge-builders and trailblazers in almost every sphere of our human existence. Motherland Africa is proud of their contributions and we see in them what is possible for our collective future as Africans everywhere. Therefore, now is the time for Africans both in the US and on the continent to close ranks, and work together – for there is much more that unites us than divide us’’.

The honorees, this year has a group of seven iconic figures in the African American community, as well as rising stars representing the potential of our collective possibilities. Others were singled out for accomplishments spanning certain sectors such as business, law, sports, media and entertainment, academia, science and technology, government, and civil rights.

Those recognized are listed below:


  1. President Barack Obama –First African American and 44thPresident of the United States
  2. Michelle Obama – 44th First Lady of the United States, Attorney, Author, Founder of When we all vote
  3. Secretary Colin Powell – First African American United States Secretary of State, Retired General and the 12th Former Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff
  4. Benjamin Carson- current U.S. Secretary of Housing & Urban Development, renowned neurosurgeon
  5. Secretary Condoleezza Rice- Former U.S. Secretary of State, United States National Security Advisor 2001-2005, political scientist, professor
  6. Bishop T.D. Jakes – Author, Filmmaker, Playwright, Entrepreneur. Bishop of The Potters House in Dallas, Texas.
  7. Oprah Winfrey – Founder/CEO OWN Network, Entrepreneur, Actress, Philanthropist


  1. Tyler Perry – Writer, Producer, Actor, Director, Playwright, Philanthropist
  2. Beyonce Knowles-Carter – Singer, Record Producer, Dancer, Actress and Filmmaker
  3. Eldrick Tont “Tiger” Woods, an American professional golfer. He is tied for first in PGA Tour wins and ranks second in men’s major championships and also holds numerous golf records. Woods is widely regarded as one of the greatest golfers, and one of the most famous athletes of all time. He will be inducted into the World Golf Hall of Fame in 2021.
  4. Stephen Harvey – American comedian, businessman and entertainer.
  5. Armstrong Williams, Founder, Howard Stirk Holdings, largest African American Media company in the United States
  6. Willard Carroll Smith Jr. an American actor, producer and rapper. In April 2007, Newsweek called him “the most powerful actor in Hollywood”. Smith has been nominated for five Golden Globe Awards and two Academy Awards and has won four Grammy Awards
  7. Shawn Corey Carter (Jay-Z) – Businessman, Record Producer, Songwriter, Rapper
  8. Kayne West – Rapper, Producer, Fashion Designer, Presidential Candidate
  9. Michael Bender (Killer Mike) – Rapper, Songwriter, Actor and Activist
  10. Marc Morial – National President of the National Urban League, Mayor of New Orleans 1994-2002, Louisiana State Senator 1991-1994
  11. LeBron James – Professional basketball player, Entrepreneur, Philanthropist and one of several athletes who More than a Vote to keep polling stations open and to address the shortage of poll workers.
  12. Serena Jameka Williams – American professional tennis player and former world No. 1 in women’s singles tennis. She has won 23 Grand Slam singles titles, the most by any player in the Open Era, and the second-most of all-time behind Margaret Court
  13. Michael Jordan – Former American basketball player, Businessman, Majority owner of the Charlotte Bobcats
  14. Christopher Paul Gardner – American businessman and motivational speaker. He is the author of critically acclaimed “Pursuit of Happyness”
  15. Joy Reid – MSNBC Cable television host, Author, political commentator
  16. Maya Moore – WNBA player who took a year off to ensure that Jonathan Irons’ wrongful conviction was overturned in July after he had spent 24 years in prison
  17. Ava DuVernay – Filmmaker, director of “13th”, “Selma” and “A Wrinkle in Time”, as well as the Netflix series “When They See Us”
  18. Tyra Lynne Banks – also known as BanX, is an American television personality, model, producer, businesswoman, actress, singer and author. She was the first woman of African-American descent to be featured on the covers of GQ and the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue, on which she appeared thrice.
  19. Symone D. Sanders, an American political strategist and commentator. She served as national press secretary for Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders during the Bernie Sanders 2016 presidential campaign.
  20. Nicole Hannah-Jones – Journalist, creator of “The 1619 Project” for the New York Times, winner of 2020 Pulitzer Prize
  21. Denzel Hayes Washington Jr. – American actor, director, and producer. He has been described as an actor who reconfigured “the concept of classic movie stardom
  22. Colin Kaepernick – Activist & former NFL quarterback, sacrificed his athletic career to pave the way for the current trend of professional sports teams and players supporting social justice issues
  23. Wesley Trent Snipes – American actor, director, film producer, martial artist and author
  24. Renee Montgomery – WNBA player who is sitting out this season to work on social justice reform
  25. Samuel Leroy Jackson – American actor and producer.
  26. Aaron T. Manaigo & David A. Morgan- Co-Founders of the Multicultural Media Correspondents Association- responsible for advocating on behalf of diversity in media


  1. U.S. Senator Tim Scott (R-SC)
  2. U.S. Senator Corey Booker (D-NJ)
  3. Ambassador Susan Rice – Diplomat, United States Ambassador to the United Nations 2009-2013, United States National Security Advisor 2013-2017
  4. JaRon K. Smith-White House Sr. Advisor, highest-ranking African American in the Trump Administration
  5. Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms – Politician, Lawyer and 60th Mayor of Atlanta, Georgia
  6. Mayor Muriel Bowser – Politician, Mayor of Washington, DC, renamed a stretch of 16th Street in front of the White House to “Black Lives Matter Plaza”
  7. Mayor London Breed – Politician, 45th Mayor of San Francisco (First African American Woman)
  8. Mayor Lori Lightfoot – Attorney, politician and the 56th Mayor of Chicago (First African American Woman)
  9. Mayor Sharon Weston Broome, First African American woman Mayor-President Baton Rouge, Louisiana, Former Louisiana State Senator 2005-2016
  10. Donna Brazille – Political Strategist, Campaign manager, Author and political analyst who served twice as Acting Chair of the Democratic Party
  11. U.S. Representative Val Demings, – U.S. Representative for Florida 10th Congressional District 2017 – Present, Former Chief of Police for Orlando Police Department
  12. U.S. Representative Karen Bass – – Representing California 37th Congressional District since 2013 and 33rd District 2011-2013. Former Speaker of the Assembly for the State of California. Current Chair of the Congressional Black Caucus
  13. U.S. Senator Kamala Harris – Democratic candidate for vice president, U.S. Senator and Former Attorney General for the State of California
  14. Attorney Stacey Abrams – Voting rights advocate, former Georgia Legislator and gubernatorial candidate
  15. Senator Roland Wallace Burris – American politician and attorney who is a former United States Senator from the state of Illinois and a member of the Democratic Party
  16. Congressman Gregory Meeks – United States Congress
  17. Congressman Hank Johnson – United States Congress


  1. Reverend Jesse L. Jackson – Civil Rights Activist, Politician, Presidential candidate in 1984 and 1988, Founder Rainbow/Push Coalition, Talk show host
  2. Reverend Al Sharpton – Civil Rights Activist, Politician, Talk show host, Founder of National Action Network
  3. Charles Steele, Businessman, politician, civil rights leader, Former Alabama State Senator, President/CEO of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC)
  4. Alicia Garza, Patrisse Cullors and Opal Tometi – Founders Black Lives Matter, a movement that has galvanized activists across the United States to protest against police brutality and racially motivated violence against black people.
  5. Martin Luther King III, American human rights advocate who served as 4th President of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference – SCLC. 
  6. William “Smitty” Smith – Founder of the National Center for Race Amity and producer of the documentary film “The Other Tradition”
  7. Joseph Henry Beasley – was the Southern Regional Director of the National Rainbow/PUSH Coalition, founded by the Rev. Jesse Jackson, Sr. and President of African Ascension, an organization he formed to develop economic and political ties throughout Africa and the African Diaspora
  8. Bernice King, Minister, the youngest child of Martin Luther King Jr., Civil Rights Leader, CEO of the King Cente
  9. Majora Carter – is an American urban revitalization strategist and public radio host from the South Bronx area of New York City. Carter founded and led the non-profit environmental justice solutions corporation Sustainable South Bronx
  10. Claudette Colvin – an American nurse and one of the pioneers of the Civil Rights Movement. Colvin was arrested on March 2, 1955, at the age of 15 in Montgomery, Alabama, for refusing to give up her seat to a white woman on a crowded racially segregated bus.
  11. Cliff Albright – Co-founder of Black Voters Matter Fund (and BVM Capacity Building Institute) which builds community and organizational capacity related to Black voting power and LaTosha Brown, Co-founder – Black Voters Matter Fund, and award-winning organizer, philanthropic consultant, political strategist and jazz singer


  1. David L. Steward – Billionaire Businessman, Chairman and Founder World Wide Technology
  2. Clarence Thomas, an Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States. He is the second African American to serve on the Court. Thomas’s service began October 23, 1991. Upon the retirement of Anthony Kennedy in 2018, Thomas became the longest-serving member of the Supreme Court, with a tenure of 28 years, 341 days as of September 28, 2020.
  3. Robert Louis Johnson – an American entrepreneur, media magnate, executive, philanthropist, and investor. He is the co-founder of BET, Johnson’s companies have counted among the most prominent African-American businesses in the late twentieth and early twenty-first centuries.
  4. Michael John, Chairman of Nevicott U.S/Ghana- international energy and mining, global business development company with $US 4.7 billion under management
  5. Ursula M. Burns, Former Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Xerox
  6. Kenneth C. Frazier is the Chairman of the Board and Chief Executive Officer at Merck & Co., Inc., an American multinational pharmaceutical company headquartered in New Jersey.
  7. Roland Wallace Burris, an American politician and attorney who is a former United States Senator from the state of Illinois and a member of the Democratic Party. In 1978, Burris was the first African-American elected to statewide office in Illinois, when he was elected Illinois Comptroller.
  8. Elon Reeve Musk FRS – business magnate, industrial designer, engineer, and philanthropist. He is the founder, CEO, CTO and chief designer of SpaceX; early investor, CEO and product architect of Tesla, Inc.; founder of The Boring Company; co-founder of Neuralink; and co-founder and initial co-chairman of OpenAI
  9. Robert Reffkin is the Founder and CEO of Compass, an online real estate broker platform headquartered in New York.
  10. Benjamin Crump – Civil Rights Attorney. Known for supporting high profile murders such as Trayvon Martin, Michael Brown, George Floyd, Breonna Taylor
  11. David Bing – an American retired Hall of Fame basketball player, former mayor of Detroit, Michigan, and businessman. Bing founded Bing Steel, which is one of the largest steel companies in Michigan.
  12. Robert Smith – CEO of investment firm Vista Equity Partners, a billionaire who contributed over $34 million to pay off student loan debt for the entire Morehouse College class of 2019 and any student loan debt held by their parents
  13. Kimberlé W. Crenshaw – is the co-founder and executive director of the African American Policy Forum, a nonprofit think tank that focuses on scholarly research on race, gender inequality, and discrimination in public policy discourse in the media and government. She became world-famous in 1989 for creating the concept of intersectionality in a paper for the University of Chicago Law Forum.
  14. Morgan DeBaun – Founder of Blavity, one of the largest media startups and lifestyle brands for millennials
  15. General William ‘Kip’ Ward – First Commander, US Africa Command
  16. Claire Babineaux-Fontenot – Executive Vice President, Treasurer, Wal-Mart Stores, Inc & CEO Feeding America, the nation’s largest domestic hunger-relief organization
  17. Soni Olufemi Olubunmi Oyekan – is a Nigerian-American chemical engineer, inventor, entrepreneur, author, mentor and educator. He holds patents and has made other contributions in the areas of chemical engineering, oil refining, and catalytic systems
  18. Charles Brown Jr., – first African American to serve as a United States military service chief since General Colin Powell left as chairman in 1993
  19. Marvin Ellison, an American business executive who serves as the President and Chief Executive Officer of Lowe’s
  20. Kerry S. Harris -American entrepreneur and inventor, involved with motorcycle helmets under the brand name Akuma Helmets utilizing his patented Integrated Power System.
  21. Eric Holder, 82nd United States Attorney General – an American lawyer who served as the 82nd Attorney General of the United States from 2009 to 2015. Holder, serving in the administration of President Barack Obama, was the first African American to hold the position of U.S. Attorney General.


  1. Kay Coles James, President of the Heritage Foundation, largest Think Tank in the United States
  2. Dr Johnnetta Cole, Anthropologist, Educator, Museum Director, Spelman College President 1987-1997, Bennett College President 2002-2007, National Chair of the National Council of Negro Women,
  3. Dr Glenda Baskin Glover, International President of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority Incorporated. For the past 3 years the organization has raised over $1 million in a day for Historically Black Colleges and Universities, (HBCU), President of Tennessee State University.
  4. Shirley Ann Jackson, FREng is an American physicist and the eighteenth president of Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. She is the first African-American woman to have earned a doctorate at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology
  5. Ibram X. Kendi – Historian, director of the Center for Antiracist Research at Boston University & author of “Stamped from the Beginning: The Definitive History of Racist Ideas in America” and “How to Be an Antiracist”
  6. John Hamilton McWhorter V is an American academic and associate professor of English and comparative literature at Columbia University, where he teaches linguistics, American studies, philosophy, and music history.


  1. Kizzmekia Corbett – the immunologist, leading NIH coronavirus vaccine trials
  2. Cannon, Thomas C – he led a group of engineers who developed the Tactical Optical Fiber Connector (TOFC), the first fibre optic connector deployed under battlefield conditions, and the ST Connector that helped make fibre optic communications affordable.
  3. Wanda M. Austin – former president and CEO of The Aerospace Corporation, a leading architect for the nation’s national security space programs. She was both the first woman and the first African-American, to hold this position.
  4. Patricia S. Cowings – aerospace psychophysiologist, first African American woman scientist to be trained as an astronaut by NASA
  5. Mae Carol Jemison – is an American engineer, physician, and former NASA astronaut. She became the first black woman to travel into space when she served as a mission specialist aboard the Space Shuttle Endeavour.

Rising Stars

  1. Rep Karen Camper – President National Organization of Black Elected Legislative Women and Minority Leader Tennessee House of Representatives
  2. Representative Billy Mitchell – GA; National Black Caucus of State Legislators (NBCSL)
  3. Tamika Mallory – Co-Founder of Until Freedom, co-organizer 2017 Women’s March
  4. Honourable Dee Dawkins-Haigler – Former Georgia Legislator 2008-2017, Civil and Human Rights Leader, Founder Organization of World Leaders, INC (OWL) which does extensive work building bridges between Africa and the Diaspora, Political Commentator, Minister
  5. Mayor Steve Benjamin – Mayor of Columbia, SC (First African American), Attorney, 76th President of U.S. Conference of Mayors
  6. Carlos Moore – Attorney, Politician, Judge. President-elect National Bar Association
  7. Tamara Burke – Founder of the Me Too Movement

Post-Humous – In Memoriam

  • Congressman John Lewis February 21, 1940 – July 17, 2020 – American Statesman, Author, Civil Rights Leader Served in the United States House of Representatives for Georgia 5th District 1987-2020. Chairman of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee 1963-1966.
  • Dr Joseph Echols Lowery October 6, 1921- March 27, 2020 – Minister, Civil Rights Leader, Co-Founder of Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC) with Dr Martin Luther King Jr., President of SCLC from 1977-1997. Called the “Dean of the Civil Rights Movement” Presented Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2009  by President Barack Obama
  • Dr Cordy Tindell (C.T.) Vivian July 30, 1924 – July 17, 2020 – Minister, Author, Civil Rights Leader, Freedom Rider, President SCLC 2012- Presented Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2013 by President Barack Obama
  • Chadwick Boseman – Actor, star of “Black Panther”, “Marshall” & “42”, died in August 2020
  • Patricia Bath (1942 – 2019)- American ophthalmologist and laser scientist and the first female African American physician to receive a patent for a medical invention, in 1986
  • Herman Cain (December 13, 1945 – July 30, 2020) was an American business executive, writer, and former U.S. Presidential candidate 2016. Born in Memphis, Tennessee. He was chairman of the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City Omaha Branch from 1989 to 1991.
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