A “Lil Positivity”: Coverboy Camel And Other Prominent African-Americans Who Appear On TIME Magazine’s “100 Most Influential People In The World”

- By Bossip Staff
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12 Black faces are considered to be the most influential folks in the world, come check out who made the list!

African Americans That Appear In TIME Magazine’s 100 Most Influential People In The World

Via TIME100

Jay Z embodies so much of what makes New York New York. A kid from a tough neighborhood who grows up in public housing, overcomes lots of bad influences on the street, never lets go of his dream, makes it to the top — and then keeps going, pursuing new outlets for his creativity and ambition. When no one would sign him to a record contract, he created his own label and built a music empire — before going on to design clothing lines, open sports bars and, most recently, represent professional athletes. He’s an artist-entrepreneur who stands at the center of culture and commerce in 21st century America, and his influence stretches across races, religions and regions. He’s never forgotten his roots — “Empire State of Mind” was a love song to our city — and as a co-owner of the NBA Nets, he helped bring a major league sports team back to Brooklyn, not far from his old neighborhood. In nearly everything he’s tried, he’s found success. (He even put a ring on Beyoncé.) And in doing so, he’s proved that the American Dream is alive and well.

-This passage was written by NYC Mayor Michael Bloomberg

Guess Hov’s “political connects” aren’t too offended.

Hit the flip side to see which other beautiful black bosses and boss ladies landed on TIME’s list.

Valerie Jarrett

President Obama’s right-hand woman

A chief executive, particularly one dealing with the highest of pressures, relies on many things. Perspective and context. Strategic counsel. Courage of conviction. But perhaps chief among them is loyalty. And in a word, that describes Valerie Jarrett.

A strong and dedicated leader and public servant in her own right, she is a good friend to the President and a trusted adviser. She brings clarity of thought and purpose to her work. She is a good listener who comes to the table not with some preset notion of distrust but rather an open mind; she asks tough questions and tries to find solutions. Above all else, however, and beyond all doubt, Valerie Jarrett is loyal. She has been tireless in her outreach to the business community. She has both the President’s best interests and his back — and at all times.

In today’s climate, where people spend capital avoiding blame instead of finding common ground, the qualities she brings to her job are rare. That only makes loyalty like hers more valuable. And it is why I admire Valerie Jarrett.


Recently, when singer-songwriter-producer Miguel performed on Saturday Night Live, Mariah Carey sent an ebullient tweet: “slam dunk. R&B is alive!” That statement is not as simple as it might sound. The survival of the black pop tradition isn’t just a matter of preserving its history — although Miguel does that too: the soul seducer’s Grammy-winning hit single “Adorn” ingeniously evokes Marvin Gaye’s “Sexual Healing” and “Let’s Get It On.” What has nourished that tradition over the past 70 years, though — what has kept it not just alive but thriving — is what makes Miguel’s recent music so special: constant innovation, formal daring, unexpected sources of inspiration, and emotional directness. His audacious, hazy album Kaleidoscope Dream aims for the psychedelic as much as the erotic. (The hook that goes “Do you like drugs?” isn’t just a question; it’s a come-on.)

He often gets compared to ’80s-era Prince, which is another way of saying that he’s tricky to pin down. “I want to change the sound of what’s expected from R&B songs,” Miguel announced when Kaleidoscope Dream came out last year. So far, he is succeeding.

Shonda Rhimes

I grew up at a time when it was an anomaly to see people who looked like me on TV.

When you don’t feel seen or heard, you don’t feel validated or valued. That was the ultimate lesson and prevailing thread of truth from 25 years of Oprah shows.

Shonda Rhimes, creator of the must-see TV thriller Scandal, validates our story — the human story of faults and fears, loneliness and loss, triumphs and often short-lived joys. She gets us — all of us!

Shonda is a storyteller for our times. Courageous in her approach to the work, she’s never played by other people’s rules. Eight years ago, she introduced us to Grey’s Anatomy with an African-American chief of surgery and an Asian character with leading plotlines. Gay, straight, single, divorced, lost, searching — everybody gets a seat at Shonda’s table.

She creates an assemblage of worldly foibles and aspirations. She understands that every dream is valuable and every identity deserves inspection through the looking glass of television.

“She knows the power of reflection and wields that power with grace and generosity,” Scandal star Kerry Washington told me. “Shonda allows for more people than ever before to see themselves and feel as though the world sees them too.”


Omotola Jalade Ekeinde

The world’s most productive English-language film industry is not Hollywood but Nollywood. The teeming Nigerian cinema grinds out some 2,500 movies a year, mostly direct-to-DVD quickies mixing melodrama, music and an evangelical Christian spin. (Think Bollywood via Tyler Perry.) Employing a million Nigerians, Nollywood enthralls millions more who come for the thrills, the uplift and the artful agitations of Omotola Jalade-Ekeinde — the Queen of Nollywood.

Called OmoSexy by her fans, she has made 300 or so features, from the 1996 Mortal Inheritance to the 2010 superproduction Ijé, shot partly on location in Los Angeles. Married to an airline pilot she wed on a flight from Lagos to Benin, Jalade-Ekeinde brings a juggler’s grace to her roles as actress, singer, reality-show star, mother of four and philanthropist (the Omotola Youth Empowerment Programme).

Success hasn’t spoiled Africa’s most renowned leading lady. Rather than going Hollywood, Omotola wants to stay Nollywood.

President Barack Obama

Crowds jammed the streets of Rangoon. Children waved American flags. Parents craned to see something long thought impossible: the President of the United States had come to Burma with a message of hope, freedom and opportunity. This was American leadership at its best.

When Barack Obama was first elected, the world saw the realization of the American Dream. Today, they see a leader who delivers — whether it’s ending the war in Iraq, imposing crippling sanctions on Iran or reasserting our role as a Pacific power and building a world with more partners and fewer enemies. At home, the economy is growing, unemployment is falling, and home prices are rising.

Now, President Obama is working to create broader prosperity at home and become more competitive abroad by investing in our people, modernizing our infrastructure, building a new energy future and managing our long-term fiscal challenges. That’s the course for a better future.

-Hillary Clinton


Beyoncé contributed a song to the Great Gatsby sound­track, and I worked with her quite intensely some years ago on the Academy Awards. When I met her, I was struck by her warmth and her humility; she was surrounded by family and was always family-oriented. For the Oscars, she had to learn some extremely difficult choreography, and she just had that incredible work ethic where she was in the door, hit the number, let’s go, let’s work. Just work.

When all the work is done, she can step onto a stage and draw every single person in the audience into an intimate experience. No one has that voice, no one moves the way she moves, no one can hold an audience the way she does. And she keeps growing and evolving in the ways that she expresses herself as a singer, as a performer and now as a mother.

She and Jay Z are the royal couple of culture, and she is the queen bee. She’s gone beyond being a popular singer, even beyond being a pop-cultural icon. When Beyoncé does an album, when Beyoncé sings a song, when Beyoncé does anything, it’s an event, and it’s broadly influential. Right now, she is the heir-­apparent diva of the USA — the reigning national voice.

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    Lebron James

    I’ve had the chance to meet LeBron James, and I know he’s a Yankees fan. I also know it must be tough to root for the Yankees while living in Miami and Cleveland.

    The first thing that strikes you is his sheer size and athleticism. Another thing, he’s down to earth. Most people in LeBron’s position aren’t as grounded as he is. He hasn’t forgotten where he comes from, and he’s given back so much to Ohio and Akron, his hometown. LeBron cares deeply about these places, and that says a lot about him.

    LeBron never takes a play off. His all-out effort is what stands out when you watch him. Whether his team is up 20 or down 20, LeBron is playing like it’s Game 7 of the NBA Finals. His dedication, devotion and focus have won the admiration of fans — and his athletic peers. He’s someone anyone, in any profession, can look up to. Set the bar high for yourself, like LeBron does.

    -Derek Jeter

    Michelle Obama

    Modesty is a learned affectation. It’s just like decals. As soon as the world shakes the modest person against the wall, that modesty will drop off them. But humility comes from inside out. It says someone was here before me; I have already been paid for. All I have to do is prepare myself to pay for someone else who is yet to come. And that’s exactly what Mrs. Obama’s doing with the fight against obesity. She considers all children her responsibility: black or white, pretty or plain, all the children.

    The philosophers tell us that power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely. Mrs. Obama is as if it doesn’t touch her. She hasn’t tried to become anybody else’s idea of the First Lady. She has remained herself, with her grace, her gentleness and her sense of humor. That she would dare to wear clothes off the rack. Or go out and garden. Or have a grandmother in the White House. She knows how to be a public creature without being separate from her family.

    -Maya Angelou

    Mario Balotelli

    Mario has all the qualities to be a top player: power and athleticism, alongside a good understanding of the game — all positive.

    I worked with Mario for a short period with Italy’s under-21 side. I liked him straightaway. I liked the way he handled himself and his composure and calmness in situations. Mario could shrug off things happening around him. Only the big players have that calm.

    Mario can play the big games and handle the crucial moments, but he needs to keep control. That is vital for him.

    From afar, people may think he’s a madman, but he isn’t. Mario is a lovely guy, very humble and very funny. I can assure people he has always been a pleasure to deal with. He has returned to Italy from England as the main man with lots of attention. Now he has to ensure he keeps control and keeps focus. Mario loves the pressure, but to succeed, it is about finding balance.

    Kamala Harris

    As a child, Kamala accompanied her parents to civil rights marches in Oakland. She’s been making strides for justice — and breaking down barriers — ever since.

    In 2010, after seven years as San Francisco district attorney, she became the first African American, first South Asian and first woman to be elected California attorney general.

    She has expanded the smart-on-crime approach she pioneered as DA, taking dangerous guns off the street and targeting human trafficking.

    She took on big banks to secure a bill of rights for California homeowners and up to $20 billion to help struggling families, and she has taken bold action to protect immigrant rights and consumer privacy.

    The child who witnessed the civil rights movement from a stroller has taken a lead role in the fight for marriage equality by challenging the constitutionality of Proposition 8.

    As a new generation of women picks up the mantle of progress, she will always be among the first to stand up and step forward.

    -Nancy Pelosi

    Frank Ocean

    Frank is brilliant. The day I started writing with him, it was clear that he has a very interesting mind and a distinctive way of expressing himself. He was fearless and innately creative. You talk to some people in this business and you get the sense that they’re very focused on radio: what will be a hit or won’t be a hit. You never get that from Frank. The focus is on creating something that’s beautiful, that’s great art.

    Frank broke a lot of rules with his album Channel Orange. He wasn’t focused on “What’s gonna be my single?” And obviously, one of the cardinal rules was that he wasn’t supposed to come out. But he did, and he did it in a way that speaks to what kind of artist he is, in a beautifully written letter to his fans. The day the letter was published, he came over to my house for a July 4 barbecue, where he was among friends who supported him and showed him love.

    How fitting that he released his “declaration” on Independence Day. I think Frank’s career will be defined by his fearlessness and his artistic freedom. He has the talent, the ability and the brilliance to have an impact for a long time. He will follow his muse wherever it goes — he’s not the kind of artist to adhere to everyone else’s schedule. That’s what makes him special.

    -John Legend

    Joyce Banda

    Joyce Banda, Malawi’s first and Africa’s second female President, could not have come onto the stage at a better time, particularly since the African Union declared 2010 to 2020 African Women’s Decade. Together, she and I can talk about the situation in Africa and what can be done by all our countries, working together in strong partnership, to build bridges and democracies and get our institutions and economies strong again.

    President Banda possesses the traits needed during this period of great challenges in Malawi’s, and Africa’s, history. Before her active career in politics, Joyce Banda established several nongovernmental and charitable foundations, all geared toward improving the lives of her compatriots, particularly women. Today Joyce and I have a collaborative program that focuses on improving the working conditions of market women. There have already been exchange visits between market women of our two countries.

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