The blacklist100: Celebrating 100 Black Culture Makers And Thought-Leaders From Harlem To Hollywood

July 3, 2020

Following the recent launch of the Juneteenth Image Capsule (JIC) campaign – a future-forward, all-digital movement designed to comprehensively celebrate Black culture and Blackness – the next phase of the JIC initiative will continue with the release of the inaugural blacklist100. Curated by media executive, author, Columbia University lecturer, and JIC creator Kai D. Wright, the blacklist100 is a unique digital book spotlighting and celebrating 100 Black culture-makers and thought-leaders across various industries from Harlem to Hollywood.


The blacklist100 was created to amplify emerging voices within the Black community representing bold, innovative, and culture-making thought-leadership. This inaugural list contains 49 females, 36 males, and 15 teams, all hailing from the African Diaspora including, but not limited to: the United States, Haiti, Ethiopia, and the West Indies, to name a few, with individuals being recognized in five categories including:

  • Cause & Community
  • Industry & Services
  • Marketing, Communication & Design
  • Media, Arts & Entertainment
  • STEM & Healthcare

The inaugural list includes, for instance:


  • I Promise Academy – The public elementary school in Akron, Ohio supported by the LeBron James Family Foundation.
  • Harlem Capital – Diversity-focused venture capital firm on a mission to change the face of entrepreneurship by investing in 1000 diverse founders over the next 20 years.
  • Everyday People – “The World’s Coolest Day Party” according to Vice, Everyday People (EP) is an event and cultural platform that celebrates the diversity of Black culture.
  • Afropunk – The annual mixed arts festival has brought together Black culture-makers through a lens of music, fashion, food, and art. The celebration of culture has expanded over the past 15 years, growing its reach worldwide.


  • Bozoma Saint John – Businesswoman and marketing executive who was just named Chief Marketing Officer (CMO) at Netflix.
  • Maverick Carter – Long-time business partner of LeBron James and the two have formed a new company new media company, SpringHill Company (already securing $100 million in funding) that the founders state will be “a maker and distributor of all kinds of content that will give a voice to creators and consumers who’ve been pandered to, ignored, or underserved.”
  • Dr. Kizzmekia “Kizzy” Corbett – Viral Immunologist and lead researcher for the U.S. government responsible for developing a COVID-19vaccine).
  • Omar Johnson – Marketing guru whose full-page NY Times ad delivered a wake-up call entitled Dear white Corporate America.
  • Angelica Ross – Businesswoman, actress and activist in the movement for transgender and racial equality. She also stars in Ryan Murphy’s hit FX series Pose.
  • Christena J. Pyle – The Executive Director of Time’s Up Advertising who has dedicated her time to build an industry that is safe and fair for all women.
  • Jessica Matthews – Founded Uncharted Power to provide clean, low-cost energy and data through a renewable power infrastructure. Matthews invented the SOCCKET ball – an energy-generating soccer ball that provides off-grid power for the developing world.

Excerpt: blacklist100 – Curatorial Statement

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Go beyond celebrating these individuals. The celebration is not enough. Starting today, share their profiles within your organization or network & immediately contact them to hire them….. to advise you, your team or organization through a virtual talk/event, to keynote programming for conferences, to serve in your influencer relations efforts, to fill your candidate pipelines, to serve as career/personal coaches, to collaborate in creative campaigns (from the beginning), to discuss trends and lessons, to train & teach others a new skill, and most importantly, to catalyze your commitments to change.

Whatever your business need, these 100 experts represent a starting point for action. Use this guide regularly as go-to-resource, join the online blacklist100 community, and keep telling others about Black talent on your radar. Knowledge is power.

Pledge to action…Welcome to the 2020 #blacklist100.

A Call for Change

The idea for the blacklist100 originated as a post on LinkedIn the week following the death of George Floyd. The post included an eight-page document entitled an “Open Letter on Race.” The letter was also released as a 25-minute video. The letter centered around a reflection on Dr. Martin Luther King’s critical question: “Where do we go from here?” Leading into the week of Juneteenth, the Open Letter on Race received over 30,000 views, shares, and engagements. Inspired by the idea of carrying the celebration of Blackness beyond Juneteenth and expanding on it event further, Wright created JIC and, specifically the blacklist100, to provide a platform for current culture makers in Black America with the thought that these individuals should be invited to virtual & physical stages to share their research, work, and point of view that has influenced and will continue to impact culture.

The central theme of the book is “A Call for Change” in which these change agents are answering 10 calls-to-action:

  • Leveling the playing field
  • Uplifting & rallying action
  • Guarding Black culture & history
  • Protecting justice & freedom
  • Creating new paths to prosperity
  • Turning community into commerce
  • Leading a wellness movement
  • Paving a way for others
  • Setting new trends
  • Owning the narrative

The featured artwork underpinning this book is from the 2020 Juneteenth Image Capsule of five works by Harlem-based painter & visual artist Elizabeth Colomba, who is French-born & raised and of Martinique-descent.

For more information on the blacklist100, to see the complete 2020 list, to get the 170-page e-book resource, and to start sharing their profiles with one-click to email/socials, please visit:

Read more about the blacklist100 digital initiative from the former Forbes 30 under 30 honoree on their Website here.

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