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2015 EBONY POWER 100 Black Thought


EBONY POWER 100 Art of War Recognized People in 2015, the "thinkers," writers, journalists and academics that broke things down while continuously building us up.

1. DARNELL L. MOORE

DARNELL L. MOORE
WRITER / ACTIVIST
Born in Camden, N.J., Moore is a writer, scholar, activist and bearded wonder is known for his insightful commentary and advocacy around social justice issues, gender and youth development. Armed with a passion for progress and the uncanny ability to be perpetually Instagram-ready, Moore’s relentless fight for justice and awareness has taken him from the pages of EBONY and The Guardian to Palestine as the part of the United States’ first delegation of LGBTQ leaders. The co-managing editor of The Feminist Wire, Moore also became senior editor at MicNews in 2015.


2. ELLIOTT WILSON & DANYEL SMITH

ELLIOTT WILSON & DANYEL SMITH


JOURNALISTS / MAGAZINE EDITORS
Though many proclaim the death of magazines, these two veteran editors are determined to show the genre isn’t just alive, it’s exciting. Husband-and-wife team Elliott Wilson and Danyel Smith have worked at a host of publications, including Vibe, XXL and Billboard. But their most recent passion project was HRDCVR. Released in October after being crowdfunded on Kickstarter, the hardcover culture magazine celebrates the diverse stories, from transgender activists to middle school kids.


3. KIESE LAYMON

KIESE LAYMON
WRITER / EDITOR / ASSOCIATE PROFESSOR - ENGLISH AND AFRICANA STUDIES
VASSAR COLLEGE
Master wordsmith Kiese Laymon gripped hearts, shook minds and earned fans by the hundreds of thousands with a brutally introspective personal essay published on Gawker called How to Slowly Kill Yourself and Others in America. After going viral, it became the titular piece of his 2013 book of essays, which was released just months after Laymon’s debut novel, Long Division. The professor of English at Vassar College is now working on a memoir and a second novel.


4. KIRSTEN WEST SAVALI


CULTURAL CRITIC / SENIOR WRITER
THE ROOT
A cultural critic and writer, Kirsten West Savali is establishing her place among the new generation of Black thought leaders, a group passionate about the narrative presented to the African-American community. As senior editor for TheRoot.com, Savali writes intriguing commentary on feminism, race, religion and pop culture. She is also the recipient of the 2015 Harry Frank Guggenheim Fellowship.


5. LARRY WILMORE


HOST
THE NIGHTLY SHOW
One hundred episodes can either go by unbelievably quick or drag on painfully, depending on the circumstances. Luckily for the writer/comedian/producer and host of The Nightly Show with Larry Wilmore, the transition from his heralded character of Senior Black Correspondent on The Daily Show to his own seat at the host’s desk has been a successful one. With his signature mix of poignant social commentary and wry wit, Wilmore is standing solid and ready for an election year full of potshots—and no candidate is safe.


6. LATOYA RUBY FRAZIER

LATOYA RUBY FRAZIER

PHOTOGRAPHER
It’s an honor to be called a “genius.” Fortunately, when LaToya Ruby Frazier won the coveted MacArthur fellowship (aka the “genius grant”) her career had prepared her to embrace both. Frazier’s photographic storytelling is often set in Braddock, Pa., the steel town outside Pittsburgh where she grew up. It is the locale for The Notion of Family, Frazier’s celebrated debut book.

7. TRYMAINE LEE


JOURNALIST
Pulitzer Prize-winner Trymaine Lee is one of the most valued truth tellers in mainstream media. Exploring how social and political issues affect everyday people, the MSNBC national reporter delivered a powerful look at what it means to be poor in one of the world’s richest nation’s via the interactive Geography of Poverty project. Next up? He’s writing a book on the toll of gun violence in America.