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"Essence Magazine Presents 25 Most Influential of 2007 in December Issue"
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Senator Barack Obama Recognized as Readers' Choice for "African-American of the Year"
NEW YORK - 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 essence.com, 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 essence.com, 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.
The melange of influencers, ranging from actors and advocates to moguls and students, were compiled in a compelling feature of rarely seen before photos and biographical profiles.
25 Most Influential List
-- Senator Barack Obama
-- Gina McCauley- Blogger, whataboutourdaughters.com
-- Tyler Perry - Writer, Producer, Director
-- Majora Carter - Environmentalist, Founder, Executive Director,
Sustainable South Bronx
-- Victoria Lanier- Former Youth Director, NAACP, Northeast Region
-- Reverend Jesse L. Jackson - Civil Rights Activist, Minister
-- Reverend Al Sharpton - Civil Rights Activist and President, National
-- The JENA Six
-- Beyonce Knowles - Singer, Songwriter, Actress
-- Oprah Winfrey - Media Mogul, School Founder
-- Timbaland - Music Producer, Recording Artist
-- Cory A. Booker - Mayor of Newark, New Jersey
-- Lovie Smith - Head Coach, NFC Champions, Chicago Bears
-- Tony Dungy - Head Coach, Super Bowl Champions, Indianapolis Colts
-- Deval Patrick - Governor, Massachusetts
-- Don Cheadle - Actor, Activist
-- Shonda Rhimes - Creator, Executive Producer, Grey's Anatomy and Private
-- Venus Williams - Tennis Champion
-- Charles Rangel - Chairman, House Committee on Ways and Means
-- Barry Bonds - "Home Run King"
-- Cynthia Tucker - Syndicated Columnist, Editorial Page Editor, Atlanta
-- The Scarlet Knights - Rutgers University Women's Basketball Team, NCAA
-- Kiri Davis - Filmmaker, Youth Activist
-- Bishop T.D. Jakes - Founder, Senior Pastor, The Potter's House of
-- Steve Harvey - Radio Personality, Comedian, Actor
About Essence Communications Inc.:
Essence Communications Inc. (ECI) is the leading media and communications company dedicated to African-American women. With a multi-platform presence in publishing, live events, and online, the Essence brand is "Where Black Women Come First". The company's flagship publication, ESSENCE magazine, is the preeminent lifestyle magazine for African-American women; generating brand extensions such as the Essence Music Festival, Women Who Are Shaping the World Leadership Summit, Window on Our Women (WOW I & II) and Smart Beauty I, II & III consumer insights, the Essence Book Club, Essence.com, and ventures in digital media (mobile, television and VOD) via Essence Studios. For 37 years, ESSENCE magazine, which has a readership of 7.8 million, has been the leading source of cutting-edge information relating to every area of African-American women's lives. Additional information about ECI and ESSENCE is available at essence.com.