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The Root 100 Honorees. (Photo by )

Washington Post celebrates 45 and under African-American influencers who are shaping our daily conversations.
By Kinne Chapin

The Root 100 Honorees. (Photo by Chris Thomas)

It’s a challenge to pick the 100 most influential young African-Americans nationwide…but it’s even more of a challenge to rank their contributions. However difficult, this is the task that The Washington Post undertakes with its The Root 100 list. The list is chosen annually by The Root, the Posts’ site for African-American news and commentary, and features 100 African-Americans under 45 who do meaningful work in their communities and around the nation. This year, for the first time, The Root even ranked its list, which included such influential names as Kasim Reed, the Mayor of Atlanta, and Benjamin Todd Jealous, the president and CEO of the NAACP.

But The Root 100 isn’t only about seeing who comes out on top – it’s about commending hard work and success. The Post and The Root did just that at a reception for all of their honorees at the The Andrew W. Mellon Auditorium. Guests such as Congressman Andre Carson of Indiana and Susanne Malveaux, a news anchor for CNN, mingled and posed for photos on the green carpet before heading inside for the dinner and Root 100 awards ceremony. In the spirit of celebration, honorees ended the evening on the dance floor. But the celebration couldn’t last forever – the next morning the honorees returned to the work that The Root so values.

NAACP CEO Ben Jealous with his wife, law professor Lia Epperson-Jealous. (Photo by Chris Thomas)

Suzanne Malveaux (News anchor, CNN) and Donna Byrd (Publisher, The Root). (Photo by)

CNN anchor Suzanne Malveaux and Donna Byrd, publisher of The Root. (Photo by Chris Thomas)

Mayor of Atlanta Kasim Reed. (Photo by Chris Thomas)

Indiana Congressman Andre Carson and Maurisa Potts, founder of Spotted MP. (Photo by Chris Thomas)

Ben Jealous

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