Amidst oppression, racial injustice, and a political climate designed to increase the inequality gap, it took a brave soul like Rosa Parks to fight against the forces withholding her and Black people their freedom. In 1955, Parks helped initiate the Civil Rights Movement when she refused to give up her seat to a white man on a Montgomery, Alabama bus. Her actions influenced civil rights activists and directly inspired the young Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. to lead the Montgomery bus boycott for more than a year to protest racial segregation. “People always say that I didn’t give up my seat because I was tired,” wrote Parks in her autobiography, “but that isn’t true. I was not tired physically… No, the only tired I was, was tired of giving in.” Her determination did not end with refusing to stand. Instead, Parks ‘the mother of the civil rights movement,’ later became an administrative aide in the Detroit office of Congressman John Conyers Jr. in 1965. A position she kept despite continued harassment for her ability to act against America’s biased political system. She fought the battle Black people continue to face today. Although the stories are different, the goal remains the same. 

CORE Magazine exists to honor the individuals taking the initiative in their respective fields. These honorees change the game by transforming people, policy, or practices through their leadership. For the 2023 CORE 100 Most Influential Blacks Today special issue, the following champions pay homage to their ancestors by furthering the advancement of Black people. 

The third edition’s 100 distinguished honorees are 116th Associate Justice of the United States Supreme Court, Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson; 30th President of Harvard University; Claudine Gay; Morgan Stanley financial consultant, Joshua Leblanc; Vice President of Marketing for Porsche Cars North America, Inc., Ayesha Coker; “the man who helped Air Jordan take flight,” Howard “H” White; Georgetown University Head Baseball Coach, Edwin Thompson; Dean of the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania, Erika James; the first black woman Chick-Fil-A owner, Sereena Quick; PepsiCo board of directors, Edith Cooper; former MLB All-Star and current MLB Network Analyst Chris Young; author, political analyst and TV personality, Tiffany Cross; and North Carolina Head Baseball Coach, Hubert Davis.

More honorees of the CORE 100 include 30-year serial entrepreneur, Dr. Felicia Phillips; Georgia House of Representatives, Dar’shun Kendrick; former MLB executive and All-Star David Stewart; businessman, television producer, and comedian, Byron Allen; businessman and professor at Howard University, Nicholas Perkins; former World Series champion and MLB Network Analyst Cameron Maybin; journalist and TV personality, Roland Martin; reporter, anchor, and host, LaMonica Peters; radio personality, Tiffany Warren; author, senior client advisor at Morgan Stanley, Carla Harris; Fulton County Judge, Elizabeth Emmanuel; and the power couple, “first-time African American hotel investors;” Norland James and Dr. Amina Gilyard James.