Essence Magazine Presents 25 Most Influential of 2007 in December Issue

ESSENCE magazine reflects back on 2007 and recognizes 25 distinguished African-Americans who have made a difference. From triumphs on the playing field to victories in the court of public opinion, from groundbreaking moments in politics and entertainment to the hard-fought battles of everyday heroes, ESSENCE salutes those that gave everybody much to talk about in 2007. Senator Barack Obama received the most votes in an online poll on, earning recognition as the “Readers’ Choice” for the year’s most influential African-American. “Some of the most poignant moments in African-American history took place in 2007, from the unified stance that was taken in support of the JENA Six and the Rutgers University Women’s Basketball team to the triumphant victory made by Barry Bonds,” says Angela Burt-Murray, editor-in-chief, ESSENCE. “Making their voices heard on, the overwhelmingly positive response from our 8 million readers for Senator Obama as African-American of the Year is noteworthy, as African-American women are predicted to be the tipping point for the Black vote in the 2008 election.” “I am deeply honored to be named ESSENCE Magazine’s “Readers’ Choice: African-American of the Year,” says Senator Barack Obama. “Michelle and I have long admired ESSENCE for its invaluable role in celebrating the rich talents, beauty and spirit of African American women. It means a great deal to me to have the support of my fellow ESSENCE readers.” Although the list honors renowned ministers like Rev. Jesse Jackson, Rev. Al Sharpton and Bishop T.D. Jakes, and famous entertainers like Beyonce Knowles and Don Cheadle, unsung heroes are included as well, such as Majora Carter, founder of Sustainable South Bronx, a community organization dedicated to environmental rejuvenation. Newark mayor Cory A. Booker is also featured for his accomplishments, including a decline in city shootings, which are down 28 percent under his leadership.

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