25 Most Influential…Really??

I just found out that a very popular magazine which primarily targets African-American Women has printed it’s list of the 25 Most Influential African-Americans. I have stopped buying and reading this magazine a few years ago, largely due to lists like this one. This list consist of some very influential people indeed. Like Bishop T.D. Jakes; Tony Dungy;Don Cheadle; Gina McCauley; Oprah Winfrey; Tyler Perry; and Venus Williams. However this list also includes a few questionable picks and one I dare say for me personally was totally disgusting.

First of all let us define the word “Influential”…
Influential – exerting or possessing influence. Ok so now let us define “Influence”…
Influence – an emanation of spiritual or moral force.
These definitions came from the Merriam-Webster Dictionary.

So if these definitions can be called accurate then someone will need to explain to me how “The Jena Six” are possessing or exerting spiritual or moral force??? Who are they “influencing”?? And what are they influencing other to do?? As an African-American woman I hate racism and unjust behaviors, and racial crimes as well as all hate crimes should not be acceptable or tolerated. The hanging of nooses, burning crosses, degradation of churches, and other hate crimes have been making a fast & widespread come back. We are being transported back to the early 1960’s and it isn’t looking equal or just. The Jena Six were not treated fairly this is a fact, but another fact is that 6 young men jumped on and beat 1 young man.

And for this they have earned a spot on Essence Magazine’s Top 25 Influential List. Wow, Only in America…

Check out this list…
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
• Rev. Jesse L. Jackson – Civil Rights Activist, Minister
• Rev. Al Sharpton – Civil Rights Activist and President, National Action Network
• 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 Practice
• 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 Journal-Constitution
• The Scarlet Knights – Rutgers University Women’s Basketball Team, NCAA Finalists
• Kiri Davis – Filmmaker, Youth Activist
• Bishop T.D. Jakes – Founder, Senior Pastor, The Potter’s House of Dallas
• Steve Harvey – Radio Personality, Comedian, Actor

By the way didn’t anyone tell the magazine people that the Jena Six are 6 PEOPLE! How can they occupy 1 slot on this list??? Huuummmm.

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11 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Sonya C. Triggs
    Nov 26, 2007 @ 11:10:00

    Hey, Ms. Regina:I love your blog. Your grandbaby seems like such a huggable, loveable bundle of joy! I don’t have any children, but seeing her smiling face makes me think it won’t be all bad :)I agree that these ‘lists’ that magazines like Essence put out don’t reflect the people we would likely consider to be a strong moral force. Maybe they should have called their list, “The People Who Made the Biggest Headlines in 2007” or something along those lines.Anyway, I’ll be coming back to visit soon. I hope you are enjoying your holidays and all is well with you.God Bless!

  2. Pam
    Nov 26, 2007 @ 13:44:00

    I completely agree with this post! I am horrified at the things that are happening in our society and the things that are accepted. And to make it worse, it seems to be okay that we seek revenge for times when we are wronged. What happened to being the bigger person or turning the other cheek? I like that some of the people on that list have fought against wrongs and unjust- but in the right way. They used their actions and words as their power instead of their fists. Bless you for writing this and reminding us that just because you make the headlines, doesn’t make you influential or popular (someone tell Britney Spears this please!). Congrats to you!

  3. Sharon
    Nov 26, 2007 @ 19:39:00

    I feel kind of like the rabbit in Alice in Wonderland–I ‘m late, I’m late for a very important date. Only I am just late trying to get all these posts read. Take a couple of days off and people go crazy like they are a bunch of women who need to talk or something. :)Go figure.These list always amaze me. Someone must feel like they are speaking for a large group of people.I am not really up on what in going on in the media. I would hope that the body of Christ would never allow their influence die to such a low glow as to allow us to take a step back into the 60’s. I do live in the south and I have not seen it in our area.There are going to be sick sinful people in every generation. Those who choose to listen to the lies of the devil and hate instead of love.May our light always overshadow theirs.

  4. coloredgirlswhohaveconsidered
    Nov 26, 2007 @ 19:44:00

    Oh! Regina,Regina,Regina…the memories I have a yesteryear, waiting anxiously for the mailman to deliver the latest issue of Essence, sometimes impatience would take a hold of me and I would cave in and purchase a copy from the local drugstore. I can’t remember the year when I began to ignore their constant renewal reminders. I don’t know if I outgrew them or they me. Seeing that Steve Harvey made the list makes me believe I outgrew them. I wonder if the knew of his ‘shameful and scandalous divorce’ before they went to print.I find nothing more repulsive than a pitiful man with the morales of a gnat who refuses to care for his children. I pray that the Hand of God is against every one of his ventures until he does right by his children. And shame on Essence for not printing a last minute disclaimer.

  5. Mary@notbefore7
    Nov 26, 2007 @ 19:49:00

    First – love the new siggy – great job 🙂 I find the “lists” in these mags to be quite ridiculous. I agree with the first comment – maybe 2007 most talked about or something like that, not most influencial. If they are influencial, then their influence is not always positive.

  6. AJ
    Nov 26, 2007 @ 23:01:00

    cosign with mary@notbefore7″If they are influencial, then their influence is not always positive”

  7. Cecily R
    Nov 27, 2007 @ 02:47:00

    Regina, you are so cool. Serioulsy. You speak your mind and do it so well. I completely agree with you. And the lists ARE silly. You should make your own list of people who influence you. Bet it’d be a better one! 🙂

  8. Gill
    Nov 27, 2007 @ 07:00:00

    Sometimes I think that lists like these confuse “notorious” with “influential”

  9. zamejias
    Nov 27, 2007 @ 07:41:00

    Sometimes, magazines unwittingly produce something inaccurate at times. Much like blogs. But thanks for sahring these list. I’m actually trying to decide who should be in the list -and not -right now. 😀

  10. Anonymous
    Nov 27, 2007 @ 08:19:00

    I think my biggest problem is that they confuse their personal opinion with that of the rest of us.Just because they were black and got their names in the press, does not mean that they should automatically make the list. It just means that they were black and got their names in the press. Oops – did that by chance make sense?Oh by the way, as far as Jena Six is concerned, you know that some people are mathematically challenged. :-DHey by the way; when will we get to the place when we say that what the white boys did was wrong and what the black boys did was wrong? Oh that’s right we don’t deal with right and wrong, only color!mema

  11. Regina
    Nov 27, 2007 @ 21:11:00

    Hi All! Let me hit you all back…Ms. Sonya C. Triggs-You are right, and I don’t know who these list are supposed to represent because it sure isn’t representing me! And “The People Who Made the Biggest Headlines in 2007” would be a better title!Pam-turn the other cheek? Oh you mean be a person with morals and some kind of dignity?? Hummm, sorry that is a entirely different list! And about ms. spears…well I’ll let God handle that one (she is beyond our scope of help anyway!)Sharon-I pray that the body of Christ steps up their fight because Satan has surely stepped up his attack.Coloredgirls-I was not aware of the Steve Harvey thing, but I pray he gets it right before the Lord takes him home. Essence is tired and has been for a long time!Mary & AJ-You are right they do have influence but not “good” influence.Cecily-Thanks for those kind & encouraging words! After I read your comment I did consider a list of my own. I thing I will do it, and of course I am going to tag EVERYONE to do their own list also! So you may as well start thinking about who would be on it!!Gill-you are right, it is all in the interpretation of the “words”.Zam-magazines, like any other form of media has one key flaw…HUMAN BEINGS! And we tend to call things as we see them, the problem is we are all “seeing” something totally different.Mema-I quess someone figured that no one would notice that Jena Six was actually a group! or maybe they have to combine them all in order to get one big influence?!?! if everyone stood up and said the white boys & the black boys were both wrong then what would the media have to talk about. And what would Al & Jesse do with all of their free time??Thank you all for responding to this controversial post! Oh what brave souls you all are!!Blessings Regina

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