Every year when Time's list of 100 Most Influential People comes out, there are some surprising nods and snubs (this year's includes some... interesting choices, like situating Christine Blasey Ford alongside Brett Kavanaugh, or having Steve Bannon write a blurb, or Chris Christie lavishing praise upon President Trump.) But the list at least serves as a record of a certain point in time. This year's list captures a moment where people of color are making their voices heard in the fallout of #MeToo and the broader tensions of the Trump Era.
But the best part of these lists is reading powerful people write about other powerful people. There are touching moments, like Alicia Keys writing that Khalid "has a beautiful journey ahead of him." And it's full of rare moments where cultural figures show they too fan out over people like AOC. Despite some of the "all lives matter" vibes of the curation, there's a lot to love about the list. Here are some of our favorite tributes:
1. Beyoncé Knowles-Carter on the true majesty that is Michelle Obama’s presence and leadership. Bey shares that they casually met for the first time on the eve of Barack Obama’s first inauguration—and of course Michelle was calm and regal as ever.
2. Ava DuVernay writes that after years of Gayle King being mentioned in relationship to other people, she's finally being seen "for the truth seeker that she has always been."
3. Janet Mock positions Pose breakout star Indya Moore as the next in line to carry the torch for transgender rights.
4. Trevor Noah reminds us that as a first generation Indian-American Muslim, Hasan Minhaj’s Netflix show, The Patriot Act, has been necessary ever “since Donald Trump came down that golden escalator and turned immigrants and Muslims into his targets.”
5. Elizabeth Warren turned her Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez tribute into a lowkey presidential candidate speech about AOC being failed by the system and then grabbing it by the horns, but we gotta hand it to her for the speech-writing skills.
6. Founder of the MeToo movement Tarana Burke lauds Surviving R. Kelly producer dream hampton for a career spent raising awareness of Black women’s humanity.
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