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Faculty Members Coates and Richen Make The Root 100 List of Black Influencers

  • By CUNY J-School Staff
Ta-Nehisi Coates

Director_Yoruba-Richen_horizontalCUNY J-School Journalist-in-Residence Ta-Nehisi Coates and Documentary Program Director Yoruba Richen were named to The Root 100 list of African Americans 45 years old and younger who are responsible for the year’s most significant moments and themes.

Coates, who is teaching a narrative writing course this fall, topped the chart at No. 1 — ahead of  a distinguished group that includes such popular media figures as Beyoncé Knowles-Carter, LeBron James, and Queen Latifah.

According to The Root, “His cover story for The Atlantic, ‘The Case for Reparations,’ single-handedly reinvigorated the debate surrounding compensation for what he called the ‘multicentury plunder of black people in America.”…The piece set a single-day record for traffic to Atlantic.com and sold out on newsstands, delivering a resounding message that the black experience is not to be ignored.”

Cited for her award-winning documentary, “The New Black,” about the combative relationship among African Americans, the black church, and gay rights, Richen was ranked No. 77. Richen teaches documentary film at the CUNY J-School, where she was awarded one of two prestigious Tow professorships earlier this year.

Founded in 2008 under the leadership of Dr. Henry Louis Gates Jr., The Root describes itself as the premier news, opinion and culture site for African-American influencers. It provides smart, timely coverage of breaking news, thought-provoking commentary and gives voice to a changing, more diverse America.