Fantasia, Taraji, & Colman Domingo Among Honorees on Time’s List of 100 Most Influential People


April 23, 2024

We’ve compiled every Black artist, innovator, titan, leader, icon, and pioneer on 2024’s list!

Every year, Time Magazine unveils its list of the 100 most influential people, showcasing individuals who have made significant contributions to various fields. In the 2024 edition, Black honorees shine brightly across categories, from artists and icons to leaders and innovators. Let’s take a closer look at some of these remarkable individuals and their impactful work.



21 Savage

Credit: Burak Cingi—Live Nation/Getty Images

“Throughout his work—including on his newest album, American Dream, which opens with a reflection by his mother on their immigration story—21 maintains an authenticity that resonates deeply. His approach to rap is refreshingly genuine; he speaks to us in a relatable way, effortlessly navigating the complexities of the genre. Whether he tackles weighty subjects or offers moments of levity, his delivery remains compelling.” – Burna Boy

Colman Domingo

Credit: Keith Major

“He also happens to be a fantastic actor. The characters Colman plays onscreen are all over the map—from an addict in recovery to civil rights activist Bayard Rustin—which shows his depth as an actor and a creative. Seeing how his work continues to evolve is inspiring, and I love that he’s finally getting his flowers.” – Lenny Kravitz

Da’Vine Joy Randolph

Credit: Charlie Clift—BAFTA/Contour by Getty Images

“It’s exciting that now we all get to experience the fullness of what Da’Vine can do. Her performance in The Holdovers was balletic, just so deliberate and crafted. She approaches her characters with the kind of sincerity, honesty, and nuance that makes me proud to be an actor.” – Uzo Aduba


Jeffrey Wright

Credit: Penske Media via Getty Images

“The first time I watched Jeffrey Wright act, I wanted to devour all his work. An actor who can disappear inside a role is, to me, the hallmark of genius.” – Octavia Spencer

Fantasia Barrino

Credit: Kayla Oaddams / WireImage

“Fantasia is a living testimony that we’re all going to go through storms. But at the end of a storm, what happens? The sun comes out. Whatever comes next for her will be so beautiful. She deserves everything. I see such big things for Fantasia—the sky’s the limit. Well, beyond the sky for her. It’s her time.” – Taraji P. Henson

Leslie Odom, Jr.

Credit: Gregory Pace / Shutterstock

“Leslie is committed to the arts and gracefully moves between music, theater, and film. His performances—including his recent Broadway run in Purlie Victorious—are palpable. It feels like a matter of life or death, the way he gives his absolute all to every character.” Kate Hudson


LaToya Ruby Frazier

Credit:  Newcomb Art Museum

“She is an archivist, a healer, and an artist. Her work captures the anxiety, the beauty, and the reality of people negotiating the complexities of life on the brink. The resulting photo essays are informed by collaboration with their participants, creating searing portraits that reflect care and intimacy.” – Lynn Nottage

James McBride

Credit: Chia Messina/Courtesy of Riverhead

“As a kid, you dream about meeting a great novelist. You imagine them as kind, noble, wise, omniscient. When I met James McBride, I felt like I’d had coffee with a hysterically funny 21st century Leo Tolstoy. James has all the qualities one would expect. With The Color of Water, The Good Lord Bird, Kill ’Em and Leave, Deacon King Kong, and now The Heaven & Earth Grocery Store, his excellence in the art of storytelling defies gravity.” – Ethan Hawke


Taraji P. Henson

Credit: Getty Images

“I couldn’t wait to meet her. And when I finally did, it was on and popping from there. Taraji fit right into my crew. What I love most about her is that she is unapologetically herself. Taraji is a real woman—she doesn’t bite her tongue, and she’s not afraid to stand up for what she believes in. ” Mary J. Blige

Burna Boy

Natasha Moustache / Getty Images

“Burna Boy’s deeply original flow and his signature groove have conquered the world with an impressive series of firsts: in 2023, he became the first African artist to sell out a U.S. stadium, and in 2024, he became the first Afrobeats artist to sing at the Grammys.” -Angelique Kidjo

Thelma Golden

Credit: Makeda Sandford

“As one of the most influential people in art, Thelma knows the power of flipping an assumption on its head. Her exhibits at the Studio Museum in Harlem and, previously, the Whitney not only stop you in your tracks, they also show you so much more about the depth of the Black experience. Her steadfast dedication has given voice to a new generation of artists and curators who are ready to stir our souls too—folks who may have otherwise gone unnoticed had it not been for Thelma’s eye for talent and potential.” – Michelle Obama


Frank Mugisha

Credit: Abubaker Lubowa/Reuters

“I’m honored to work alongside him as he defends the human rights of gay Ugandans and people around the world. Progress toward a more just future is possible, but it is not inevitable. Only through the undaunted work of leaders like Frank—whose courage has earned him the Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights Award and a Nobel Peace Prize nomination—will true equality be achieved.” – Hillary Rodham Clinton

Julienne Lusenge

Credit: Victor Boyko/Aurora Humanitarian Initiative/Getty Images

“Julienne, a human-rights defender, co-founded SOFEPADI, which works to prevent sexual and gender-based violence, to support and empower survivors, and to help them rebuild their lives. She is also on the board of the U.N. Voluntary Fund for Victims of Torture, which each year helps thousands of people regain their dignity.” – Volker Turk


Patrick Mahomes

Credit: Kansas City Chiefs

“Patrick has transcended the game of football to become one of the most respected athletes of all time, both on and off the field. His insatiable desire to win is outdone only by his passion to give back and make the world around him better.” – Alex Rodriguez

A’ja Wilson

Credit: Shaina Benhiyoun/SPP/Reuters

“With two WNBA championships with the Las Vegas Aces, two WNBA MVP awards, a WNBA Finals MVP award, an NCAA title at the University of South Carolina, and even an Olympic gold medal, A’ja is undeniably a generational talent.” -Tom Brady


Thasunda Brown Duckett

Credit: TIAA

“She is truly grounded in her purpose of helping those who need it most—driving real change within her own organizations and broader communities. She’s a passionate advocate for financial inclusion, determined to put more underserved Americans on a path to financial health and resilience.” – Jamie Dimon

Kelley Robinson

Credit: Errich Petersen/SXSW Conference & Festivals/Getty Images

“Kelley has a voice that demands to be heard. Whether it’s in front of Congress, at a political rally, or over social media, she inspires and mobilizes longtime advocates and new young activists into action with fresh energy and urgency. She has also brought the LGBTQ+ movement to recognize the critical intersectional work needed on gun reform, racial justice, immigration, voting rights, climate, abortion, and safeguarding our very democracy.” – Sarah Kate Ellis


Marina Silva

Credit: Adriano Machado/Reuters

“As the country’s Minister of Environment and Climate Change, she is rebuilding Brazil’s capacity to halt rampant illegal deforestation in the Amazon, a mission that has been at the center of her political and activist life. Against the odds, she is valiantly pushing for a domestic transition from centralized fossil-fuel energy to locally generated renewable energy.” – Christina Figueres

William Ruto

Credit: Wang Guansen/Xinhua/Getty Images

“Kenyan President William Ruto has emerged as a key voice of Africa’s climate ambitions, hosting a summit in Nairobi last September that drew leaders from around the globe. The event concluded with a unanimous agreement from African countries in attendance to rapidly expand renewable energy over the next decade, aided by $23 billion in pledges to catalyze the continent’s climate goals.” -Justin Worland



Maya Rudolph

Credit: Shayan Asgharnia

“We all fell in love with her on Saturday Night Live, where her characters were not only funny, they were having fun. Her work constantly reminds us that we shouldn’t be taking ourselves or our lives too seriously. For a comedy genius, she is a giant comedy fan. She is generous with her laughter. She loves being part of a team, but she can make the winning shot if you pass her the ball. And let’s not forget her voice, a special gift given to her by her mother Minnie [Riperton].” – Amy Poehler


Siya Kolisi

Credit: Cameron Spencer/Getty Images

“Siya Kolisi, as the captain of the [South African] rugby team, is right at the center. He’s been the embodiment of hope during a time in which many South Africans find it hard to hold on to any. Through his wisdom and humility, Siya has taught us what a powerful captain should be: someone who serves and inspires those he leads.” -Trevor Noah

Rachel Hardeman

Credit: Duke University

“Our moms shouldn’t have to beg for their lives, and Rachel Hardeman isn’t afraid to say so. Her antiracism research has been at the forefront of our fight to end our nation’s maternal-health crisis, uplifting evidence-based solutions to address the root causes of racism in our health care system.” – Lauren Underwood


Lesley Lokko

Credit: Murdo MacLeod

“Lesley Lokko is one of those forces of nature who does many things well. She’s an acclaimed architect and academic, having established the University of Johannesburg’s Graduate School of Architecture. But one of the things I love about her is that while she was thriving as a star in the architecture world, she was also writing novels. Yes, she’s penned more than a dozen books chronicling tales of intrigue, romance, and adventure. Like I told you, force of nature.” – Ava Duvernay

Kennedy Odede

Credit: Eric Laurits

“Kennedy finds ingenious solutions: schools for the most vulnerable girls, training programs for men to combat domestic violence, safe houses for survivors, community libraries, employment programs, innovative clean-water kiosks, a community cooperative bank. There is no challenge he will not take on.” – Salma Hayek Pinault


Sharon Lavigne

Credit: William Widmer—Redux

“I met Sharon Lavigne when she invited me to come to St. James Parish, Louisiana, and stand with her community against a planned petrochemical plant. Sharon founded the advocacy group Rise St. James in 2018 to draw attention to the environmental racism that has turned the community she loves into ‘Cancer Alley.'”- William Barber, II

The honorees remind us that with talent, hard work, and a relentless pursuit of justice, anything is possible. Let their achievements inspire us to lift their voices even higher, celebrate their lasting impact, and continue the fight for a world where everyone has a fair shot. Congrats to all of this year’s honorees.

Cover photo: Fantasia, Taraji, & Colman Domingo Among Honorees on Time’s List of 100 Most Influential People / Credit: Getty Images


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