The Root 100 list for 2017 is out, and two powerful Jacksonians are near the top. Mayor Chokwe A. Lumumba is No. 9—above Beyoncé, y’all—and author Angie Thomas is No. 30. The honor goes to the most influential African Americans, age 25 to 45.
“It’s our way of honoring the innovators, the leaders, the public figures and game changers whose work from the past year is breaking down barriers and paving the way for the next generation,” The Root explains. “This year’s list of honorees are a reminder of the beauty and brilliance of blackness, at a time when the political and cultural landscape has grown even more hostile to the idea of black achievement.”
The list applauds Lumumba for his belief in “collective genius,” adding, “As mayor, Lumumba hopes to turn Jackson into “the most radical city in the country” with progressive policies aimed at growing local businesses, creating a civilian law-enforcement-review board and reforming the education system.”
Angie Thomas, the Jackson break-out author of “The Hate U Give,” which is a National Book Award nominee and headed to the big screen. The Root wrote of Thomas: “Clearly, the Mississippi native understands the power of words. ‘Writing is a form of activism,’ she told The Root earlier this year. ‘Art is a form of activism, and it helps more than we may realize it does.'”
Congrats to these two powerful thought leaders in the capital city.