21 Of The Top Black Social Media Influencers

I know a few of you are saying “hey, didn’t Mitch do something similar to this at the beginning of the year? Actually yes, in December I did something I called 8 of the top Black Individual Blogs. That was a tough one to research based on my criteria and the fact that I didn’t really have a place to start. This one’s a little bit different.

Before I tell you what I did, I want to tell you why I did it. This year, I’ve seen a lot of lists from people that announce the top blogs or top influences or top social media whatever for the year.

There are tons of lists telling you “this is someone you should follow.” I think that’s a wonderful idea, because it’s always great giving a bit of love to people that deserve it. Where my gripe is in that almost never are there any black people on the list. This week was a great example. One list came out highlighting 25 women bloggers you just have to know; the other was 50 social media influencers you had to know. Neither list had a single black person on it. Asian sure, but black person; not one.

The argument one gets is “I don’t know any of those people”. Sorry, I’m not buying it. That argument pretty much says “I don’t care to know any black people” because we’re here. Heck, I’m here. This blog’s been out 3 1/2 years, and my business blog has been out at least 6 years.

Why is this important? Beyond the fact that everyone deserves being known if they do pretty good work online it’s also got a monetary consideration behind it. When people are known for their influence they get invited to conferences, whether to speak or just to participate. Often they get paid; who’d turn that down?

Do we need another list with Chris Brogan, Gary Vanderchuk, Darren Rowse or any of those other top guys that are already millionaires on it? Maybe, but not today. Today is the 10th anniversary of my being in business, so I get to do it my way, to help highlight some folks I believe really deserve it.

This is a group that needs a list But I didn’t want to just find any ol’ people and put a list together. I wanted a list that had some kind of meaning after all. I had to have some standards, and I think the one I, and the person I’m naming first off this list, came up with.

Her idea was to maybe do something based off Klout. I wasn’t sure, as I’ve written about Klout twice before. And yet, it’s an easy measurement to track. Pretty much like other stats that people either believe or disbelieve, the better your number is the more influence you probably have. There may be flukes that keep you ranked lower but there’s no fluke that ranks you higher.

So Klout it is, but I still had to have some standards. I wasn’t about to try to go through every person in the world that’s on Twitter; I’m not crazy! What I did was go through people I’m connected to on Twitter. Now, Twitter isn’t the only determinant for Klout influence. They have a connection with both Facebook and LinkedIn now. So, that means that their algorithm is supposed to be an amalgam of all of these, although LinkedIn is pretty new for them so it probably has little influence thus far.

And they’re still not connected to blogs. I used that as a major gripe when I had a chance to talk to a Klout representative during a Twitter chat session once, and the lady said that was something they’re working on. I tend to believe that many people would greatly benefit if our blog rankings were included, or the number of blogs we have meant something.

So, here were my rules. One, I looked at people I’m connected with already in some fashion. Two, every person except one that’s on this list had to have at least one blog; I’ll name the person when I get to him. Three, no celebrities; sorry Shaq and Oprah, you don’t count. And four, as much as I could determine, you had to be an individual; no group bloggers on this list. Sometimes that’s hard to know, but so be it.

I don’t make any claim that this list is perfect. If someone’s missing it either means no blog or I’ve never heard of them; believe it or not all black people don’t know each other. I hope you visit these people and I hope you find something to comment on so you can tell them they’re on this list. I even personally know a couple of these folks; they’ll probably be shocked to see their names on the list. Actually, I’m wondering how many of them will pay attention to find out they’re on this list in the first place; hmmm…

Oh yeah; I thought about creating a badge of some kind, but I really have no creativity when it comes to that type of thing and didn’t want to create something I consider cheap like last year, so all I have is what you see above; it’ll have to suffice. And I know I’m missing some folks, but man, it took almost 3 hours to find the folks I did; seems the plugin I used to help me get it done slowed things down considerably. So, I apologize to those of you who should be on this list that I missed.

And in case you were wondering, as a point of comparison as I’m writing this my Klout score is 63. Now, to the names:

Ileane Smith @BasicBlogTips 53
It was Ileane’s idea to put a list together with this kind of criteria, so I thank her for it. Ileane’s got a very highly ranked blog and it gets lots of attention so she definitely should be showing up on people’s radar. http://basicblogtips.com/

Scott Williams @scottwilliams 69
Scott talks a lot about leadership and social media, with a religious background. http://www.bigisthenewsmall.com/

Wayne Sutton @waynesutton 69
Sayne talks a lot about social media and technology. http://socialwayne.com/

Justice Wordlaw IV @justicewordlaw 67
Justice is a young guy that talks a lot about social media and internet marketing. http://justicewordlaw.com/

JAWAR @jawar 65
Jawar is the only guy on this list that doesn’t have a blog, but he’s got over 111,000 tweets and is kind of a multimedia mogul, so there’s no way I could keep him off this list. http://www.jawarspeaks.com/ Update – turns out he does have a blog, which you can find here.

Ronald Jackson @ronaldjackson 63
Ronald talks about historical issues as they apply to minorities and he’ll keep you on your toes if you’re strong enough to hear it. http://nowandthen.ashp.cuny.edu/

Fields Jackson, Jr @fleejack 62
This one’s pretty easy; Fields talks a lot about diversity issues. http://racingtowarddiversity.com/blog/

Jill Hurst-Wahl @jill_hw 62
Jill is a local celeb of sorts in that almost anyone that knows anything about social media knows who she is. Her background is in library science, and she travels the country giving presentations at many conferences. http://hurstassociates.blogspot.com/

Faydra Deon @faydra_deon 60
Faydra is a former officer in the military that’s taken social media and internet marketing by storm. I have a story in a book that she’s marketing on Amazon. http://myqotd.com/

Rachel Rodgers @RachRodgersEsq 58
Rachel is a lawyer, hence the “esq” after her Twitter handle. You don’t get a lot of lawyers that blog; I like that. http://rachelrodgerslaw.com/blog/

Tami Gaines @tamicgaines 56
Tami talks about a tough subject, premature births, and gives counsel to parents of those children. http://www.preemieparents.com/

Shallie Bey @ShallieBey 53
Truthfully, Shallie hasn’t written anything in her blog in a long time, but she should. She’s a small business coach with lots to offer, but maybe needs more time and encouragement to blog more. http://shalliebey.blogspot.com/

Yasmin Shiraz @YasminShiraz 52
Yasmin’s going to be big, and probably already should be there. Books, movies, speaking engagements… she’s got energy to burn and a lot to share. http://www.yasminshiraz.com/

Kelvin Ringold @kelvinringold 51
I’ve known Kelvin about 12 years now. He’s moving into the direction of motivational speaking but also knows a lot about marketing. He has multiple websites and a motivational daily newsletter, along with this blog. http://ringoldnet.blogspot.com/

Darnyelle A. Jervey @darnyellejervey 51
Darynelle is a business coach and consultant who’s also a published author. I’ll admit that some of what she writes feels above my head, but other stuff is right on point. http://www.darnyelle.blogspot.com/

Andrea Amir @AndreaAmir 50
Andrea talks a lot about ways of saving and managing one’s money, along with help in getting out of debt. http://smartmoneychicks.com/

Lisa Irby @2createawebsite 50
Lisa Irby has the highest ranked blog on this list, so high that I’m stunned her Klout score is only 50 and that she’s not being invited to every social media conference that’s out there. http://blog.2createawebsite.com/

Marlee Ward @marldble 49
Marlee talks about online and internet marketing and gives a lot of great advice through her usage of video; great stuff. http://marleeward.com/

Leesa Barnes @leesabarnes 46
I’ve known Leesa the longest of anyone that I met online, as we originally talked when we were both on Ryze. She talks a lot about making money virtually, while also being a favorite at a lot of events in Canada. http://virtualeventsuccess.com/

Vernessa Taylor @coachnotesblog 47
If you look to the left and see the image for my book, Vernessa made that for me. She does online business development and coaching and talks a lot about technology. http://www.localbusinesscoachonline.com/coachnotes/

Beverly Mahone @bevmahone 45
If you read this blog often you see Bev’s name here a lot. She’s a media consultant, helping people learn how to get known in a variety of ways to help increase visibility. She also has multiple blogs and websites that you might enjoy. http://www.beverlymahone.com

80 thoughts on “21 Of The Top Black Social Media Influencers”

  1. Hey Mitch,

    I always enjoy it when you do lists acknowledging black bloggers. We’re out here.

    I only know a few on your list, but I’ll definitely connect with the others I do not know.

    Thanks for sharing.

    Congratulations on your 10th anniversary. Great accomplishment!

    1. Thanks Evelyn, but you’re the first one I missed on my quest; heck! With a Klout score of 48, you deserved to be here; sorry about that.

  2. Mitch, this list is pretty spectacular and I really need to hook up with these folks! I don’t know 90% of them and this is why we need to continue to be diligent about connecting with one another. Thanks so much for the inspiration and for listing me here as well. I’ve linked to my post about Klout in CommentLuv so people can learn more about it and how it works.

    Have a great weekend – chat soon!

    1. Ileane, we both got mad at the same time, and I thank you for the idea, even if it took hours to research. lol Yes, I guess it’s up to “us” to promote “us” until “we” get invited to the major conferences and get known. And I just realized I left Willie Crawford off, the only black person on any list when it comes to internet marketing; oy!

  3. Cool, I’m glad you published this list. There aren’t any lists like it out there. I love Beverly’s blog!

  4. Wowzers! Thanks for including me. I only know 3 on the list. Only 3. I have to reach out to each. And I have to climb back on Twitter so I can reach out to you Mitch.

  5. I love the list Mitch. I know you said you miss some people. I know a black blogger that has a klout score of 67 so next time you make this list. Look for Adria from butyoureagirl.com

    I’m going to work hard on my social media following. You know I like to be on lists like this. Right now my klout score is only 37.

    1. Do that, Deneil; we can use all the people we can get. I didn’t find Adria, as I don’t know her, but I will make sure to; thanks.

  6. Mitch,
    This is a great list, it shows you really did your research. It will take me some time to browse through this extensive list, so I’ve bookmarked it. As always Thank you for sharing. One more thing I have had your post re: irritating blogging and let me tell you I have started compiling a list in my head of things that irritate me on some sites πŸ™‚ No, nothing here irritates me.

    1. I’m glad Lynda, and if it helps prompt a post out of you, the more the better I say. I think you’ll like what you see here.

  7. I actually know several people on this list and feel I am in good company. Althought my klout score is lowest on this list, I appreciate being included. I am definitely serious about my blogging.

    I thought Shallie Bey was a man—ooops!

    Also, thank you Jasmine—I’ve just added your blog to my reading list πŸ™‚

    1. Glad to do it, Bev; I’m trying to figure out why your Klout score isn’t higher, and it’s probably because I’m not sure if you’re on LinkedIn or not. But you’ve made a nice impression on Twitter, so one would think you’d be higher, but no matter because you’re on the list.

  8. Hi Mitch,

    This is an awesome list! And I haven’t seen a lot of these blogs, but I’ll definitely be checking around now. Thanks for this! I think it’s really great that you developed your own list; oftentimes the “homegrown” ones are better than the high-profile acknowledged ones. =)


    1. Thanks Delena. It’s another good group of folks that are talented and have something to say in some fashion that I feel need to be better known. Glad to help bring some of them to your life.

  9. Hey Mitch, the only ones I’m familiar with are Ileane, Beverly and Vernessa. Strangely enough they are all women? You are right though they are all great bloggers and I’ve never come away disappointed after visiting their blog.

  10. Hi Mitch,

    You did a great job pulling this list together. I know quite a few of these awesome bloggers; the rest will be added to my short list.

    I talk about the future of publishing and the importance of curators. Your work here is a prime example of meeting that goal. Thank you!



    1. Thanks Mitch. You know how I am; I just want an even playing field, or at least as much of one as I can get.

  11. Thanks so much for including me in the list!

    I’m humbled and honored, and it’s so awesome to be acknowledged for putting in hard work.


    1. Glad to have you on my list, Faydra; you’ve done amazing stuff over the past year.

    1. Glad you got to see it Mr. Ringold; now get on and get big with your bad self. lol

  12. Mitch — thanks so much for taking the time and effort to put this list together! I want to pull my hair out every time I see the lists come out with a tiny percentage of people of color or women.

    I will share this list and be sure to connect with everyone listed.

    Some of my favorite African-American bloggers are Willie Jackson of http://www.williejackson.com, Charlie Gilkey of http://www.productiveflourishing.com and Andre Blackman of Pulse and Signal http://www.pulseandsignal.com

    The more we share and connect communities, my hope is that lists will begin to evolve into more accurate representations of the great folks in social media.

    All the best,


    1. Thanks Pamela. I didn’t know any of these 3 guys, so now they’re on my radar. And that’s actually kind of my overall point; lots of qualified people that aren’t an anyone’s radar because no one talks about them. I hope to start a movement to help change that. I appreciate your support.

  13. Mitch,

    Pam Slim tweeted this list and I checked it out because I was excited to find out who these fine folks were and to begin following them on Twitter and checking out their blogs. Imagine my surprise when I saw my own name on the list! Thank you so much for this acknowledgement. I am truly honored!

    You make a good point about why black social influencers are excluded from mainstream lists. To claim that we’re not out there is just invalid. I agree that we’re not looked for to a large extent. So I really appreciate you taking the time to acknowledge this group for the work that they do. I am excited about connecting with everyone on this list. Thank you so much for taking the time to put this together, Mitch!


    PS- I agree that Adria is definitely an influencer!

    1. Glad you saw your name on the list, Rachel; your blog was interesting to a non-legal guy and I was impressed to say the least. And I’ve connected with Adria by now; she’s truly amazing and deserves to have people know more about her.

  14. Thank you , thank you, thank you. I would love to see Rosetta Thurman’s name on this list. She is a blogger with three blogs and does lots of social media. I can only imagine that her KLOUT score is quite high. Thank you again. As a person of color who blogs, it is so nice to see someone representing us.

    1. Thanks for your comment Ericka. It seems there’s more than one Rosetta Thurman, and both of them would have qualified based on their Klout score. Which one are you speaking of?

  15. Great post Mitch!

    I’m so happy to have come upon your blog through one of Ileane’s twitter links. Sadly, I was only familiar with one of the bloggers on the list (Marlee Ward), so it’s clear that there’s a need for more connectivity and publicity in this community. I am going to remedy my unacquainted-ness TODAY and check all of these bloggers out.

    Thanks so much for putting this terrific list together, can’t wait to start reading!

    1. Glad to have your visit and comment Tisha; that’s why I spent the time putting it together. Hopefully I started a movement that others will follow.

  16. Hey Mitch, I started a Twitter list and combined everyone you mentioned here with some of my favs – and you know me I just had to create a Paper.li too πŸ™‚
    It’s called Black Social Media Heroes and I added this note to the sidebar:
    Why β€œBlack” social media heroes? Because too often WE are overlooked and it’s time to RECOGNIZE! That’s why!
    Here’s a link to the Paper.li http://paper.li/BasicBlogTips/1309090970
    and the Twitter list – which is of course a work in progress
    Enjoy what’s left of the weekend and I look forward to more positive discussions that continue to move us in the right direction!

    1. Ileane, I’ll have to admit I don’t know a lot about Twitter lists, but I’m certainly checking it out. The movement has begun!

    2. Thank you so much for creating the Twitter list and the Paper.li Ileane! I just followed it and I’m looking forward to reading all these new (to me) blogs and watching the movement grow – you’re right, it’s time to recognize! πŸ™‚

  17. Mitch,

    I came back to read some of the posts and connect with some of the commentors. I was surprised to read how few of us know each other. I do know several people on your list but it’s amazing how we really arent connected as “tightly” as we probably should be. There is truly POWER in numbers!

    1. Sure is Bev, and it seems to be growing. Quick question; to feed off this, how would I create a press release for local media?

  18. Great list. I have personally connected with two of the mentions. Darnyelle Jervey is my business coach and she is great. I highly recommend her for those needing a business coach.

    Beverly Mahone and I connected when I first came on the scene and knew nothing about social media, she is truly a media expert.

    I’m so excited thank you for the list.

    1. Thanks Walethia. There’s a lot of folks I’ve had the opportunity to find out about over the last couple of days that never would have happened if I hadn’t written this post. That’s what it’s all about, and I’m glad to be a part of the movement, so to speak.

  19. Hi Mitch,

    I would have seen this within a few days because I visit about that often, but I was pleasantly surprised to see my Twitter handled mentioned among some of these heavyweights in a tweet by @VickensMoscova. Deciding to add the other folk he mentioned in the tweet to my follows, I came across the link back to your post.

    I had no idea I was listed! I’m honored Mitch, and appreciate the time you spent to put this list together.

    I have to admit, I only know you and Ileane, though I know of at least 3 others. I am really pleased to see the breadth and depth of Black bloggers out there, so I will posthaste make my way to their corner of the blogosphere. Compared to everyone else, I’m pretty low on the Klout metric; I’m just learning about it thanks to Ileane.

    Who else would I like to see here? JK Allen, Traffic Coleman … Thanks to you and a few others, we’ll soon be on the dais and pounding the podium! πŸ™‚

    1. Vernessa, glad you saw it and of course you had to make the list. I thought about JK hours after I posted this, and I don’t think Coleman & I have ever talked. Thing is, there’s so many folks, and if my computer hadn’t slowed down to a crawl I might have been able to make the list longer. Twitter doesn’t make it easy to see all of your followers or people you’re following after the first thousand. lol

  20. Mitch,
    Thank you so much for choosing to feature me. I am grateful that my message is being noticed…you’re Incredible. Congratulations on 10 years. If I can be of any assistance to help you Unleash Your Incredible Factor in a bigger, bolder way let me know (smile) You’re doing a great job.
    Be Incredible,

  21. Hi Mitch!
    Thank you so much for including me in this awesome list. You really put thought into the compilation. It amazes me how disconnect our community is. Every time I see a list like this I learn of new people who have been in the online community for a long time (such as yourself) that I’ve only recently discovered. Thank you for bringing us together and strengthening our connection.

    1. Marlee, it was a pleasure having you on this list. I hope it spreads and the idea spreads as well because I’ve learned about so many others just by doing this one. I feel like the Who’s in Horton Hears A Who: “We are here, we are here, we are here!” lol

  22. Great list Mitch! To tell you honestly, I haven’t visited many of them. I think, I have to go and check what their blogs are all about.

    1. Hi Fields; glad to have the opportunity to list you here. I have to admit that I don’t read any of the posts regarding religion, being a non-believer, but when he talks about other aspects I enjoy those a lot.

  23. Hey Mitch,
    Very nice post.Its like an act of kindness that you are doing.Although we have entered the information age long time ago yet thoughts of people are like the inhabitants of dark age.The same old hatred feelings between different ethnic groups and people of different origins is slowly eating our world like a termite.

    1. Thanks Shivam. Obviously it all affects me as well but you know, someone had to step up and kind of get it going, so it might as well be me. Of course I’m not the only one; I want to make sure folks know there have been some other attempts here and there to do something similar.

  24. I am so glad I stumbled across your site. This is an awesome list and I love the way you approach it analytically. I will definitely be back to check out some more of your great posts. Maybe someday my blog will even make your list (smile!)

    1. Thanks D. However, right now I’m not sure if we’re following each other on Twitter or not, but I’ve looked at your site & you don’t have your Twitter handle listed anywhere so people could follow you if they wanted to. Gotta fix that. πŸ˜‰

  25. This is an excellent article. We are out there but as usual, if you are not a celebrity, we do not get any notice. I am going to check out these people and subscribe! Thank you!

    1. No problem Kenya; I’m glad to help highlight folks like this, and I expect I’ll be doing it again at some point.

  26. Mitch,

    That is a great list and I want to go check out some of those blogs. They all sound great.

    I will have to go and check out my Klout score. I know it is not as high as these.

    I also like Ileane’s idea to connect on twitter with them all.

    Thanks for the list and great post.

    Dee Ann

    1. Thanks for commenting Dee Ann. Ileane’s connected a lot of folks and it’s a neat list to have access to so I applaud her as well.

  27. Mitch,

    Thank you for this list…I was surprised to find it as well…Went searching for a list beyond the norm as there is a new Social PRO book out today and well there’s not one person of color, no asian, no latino, no black. As one who works in a multicultural environment, I am always on the search to find the diverse influencers that speak on all realms. It’s more realistic and accurate for my universe. I appreciate you for being thorough and giving us this type of list.

    1. Thanks Dee Dee. Because of what you’ve said, that’s the reason I put together a list like this. Of course, there are people all over who deserve to be on this list, and I’ll probably do it again at some point, but maybe one day you’ll create a list as well. That’s really the way to go; these days, no one can wait for someone else to just find them.

  28. Yes Mitch I am doing just that now…Using my own influence to inspire others as I am creating the blog – deedeecocheta.com to make it so. I got to say you put in a lot of time to research that…your effort is very appreciated. Glad I found you…and you can find me on twitter PROFESSIONALLY @ABCPublicity or personally/brand wise – @DeeDeeCocheta

    1. Thanks Dee Dee; I’m now following your personal Twitter account, and I’m sure when you get your new site set up that your blog will be fantastic as well.

  29. #FistBump & Thanks for the luv Mitch… I’m connected with several on the list, but there are definitely some new ones that Im gonna have to check out.

    Thanks again!

  30. Thank you for your sharing. The list you provided is unique and different form the others. I would like to check them. By the way, congratulation on you 10th anniversary of your business!

  31. Hi Mitch…am glad to read your lists. Strange how free flowing on the web on top yoga blogs then clicking onto twitter led me here to your site:) must be a connection somewhere. I am only aware of Ileane Smith so I am looking fwd to connecting with the other stars. Wonder how many on your list are UK based? Keep up the +ve vibes. In peace

    1. Thanks Ntathu. I had a follow up list of Top 29 so that I could fulfill my original mission of wanting a top 50. I can’t see me doing something like this again for a long while.

    1. Well, I didn’t send the links out to everyone who was on the list because I thought that would be, well, too self serving. I hope that most of the folks on the list and the other post found out about it.

  32. Greetings Mr. Mitchell. I read your most recent (and final) issue and was struck by the statement,”most of the people I’ve featured haven’t found it yet.” Then I find my name “way back” in the list. First to say thank you for having mentioned me in your blog, 2nd to apologize for having taken so long to say thank you for mentioning me — highlighting me — in your blog. I’ll try to pay closer attention in the future, and I’m checking out some of the talent you’ve highlighted in your posts — some great talent indeed. Here’s to your continued success πŸ˜‰

    1. Glad to see that you finally found it Mr. Ringold. lol And I think there are a number of great blogs that you’ll enjoy looking back at in the series. Thanks for the good wishes as well.

  33. Hey Mitch,

    This list is still getting some luv almost a year later. Epic stuff, buddy! It’s one of the few posts where I’ve kept the notifications turned on. πŸ™‚

  34. I’m SOOOO excited to find this list! You are awesome Mitch. I’m a publisher working to promote a new black author, Coo Sweet, and her first book “Loose.”

    I had a hard time finding people and places that would be great to get the word out other than blackplanet!

    This list is invaluable! Thank you, thank you! πŸ™‚

    We have her book up on Amazon.com. We still have a few formatting bugs to work out, and then we are doing a big promotion in the next 2 weeks, so thanks again for the great list of people we can contact. πŸ™‚

    1. Glad you like that you found the list Elena. By the way, if you check out the categories on the right side of this blog you’ll find one called Black Web Friday which will lead you to a lot more names.

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