Ebony recently revealed their 2015 Power 100 list, which salutes the achievements of the most influential African-Americans in the country within the fields of the arts, politics, education, community activism, media and medicine. Among the game changers honored this year are Prince, Russell Westbrook, California Attorney General Kamla Harris, Zendaya, Trevor Noah and Viola Davis.
REVOLT was on hand for the Power 100 Gala earlier this week, where we spoke to many of the influencers being awarded. We even spoke to the host of the evening, late-night legend Arsenio Hall who explained how important it is for people of color to speak out about issues affecting their communities.
"My first priority in life is to make people laugh, but every now and then you have to sneak some knowledge in the back door while they're laughing," he told us. "And that's what makes it valuable."
Honoree Zendaya boldly stands firm in her role as a positive voice for young women. She explained her fearless demeanor. "When you have a lot of 'power', meaning people know your name, people follow you," she said. "It is important for you to use that for positive things and to get positive messages across. And, with great power comes great responsibility."
Gala honoree and Newark Mayor Ras Baraka took on a deficit in the millions and a high crime rate when he took his position. The burden of cleaning up a city that he was born and raised in was not too much. Mayor Baraka went into detail about how the execution of Chicago teen Laquan McDonald affected him and how he commends what young people are doing around the Black Lives Matter movement.
Many of the Ebony Power 100 Gala attendees echoed the sentiments of Mayor Baraka, including Holly Robinson Peete who explained that she has such a tough time explaining to her children that their lives matter amid constant police brutality suggesting otherwise.
REVOLT was the only outlet to speak to Tina Knowles, who explained how she raised Beyoncé and Solange to stand up for social issues they believed in.
"I taught them just to always give back and be as active as they can in making a difference and helping people," she said.
Check out the full red carpet recap below.