11 Sharp Black Commentators You Should Be Following

July 27, 2010  |  

by De’Juan Galloway

Traditionally, when the media wanted African-American commentary on the news topic of the day, there were the predictable go-to-guys: Al Sharpton, Jesse Jackson or Reverend [insert name here], to name a few. However, in the midst of a digital revolution and in the age of Obama, a new generation of African-American scholars has emerged. While they are all educated, opinionated and engaged, interchangeable they are not.

It is their experiences combined with their individuality that shape their resounding and distinctive voices. Nowadays, in order to have a fresh and modern analysis of political and cultural affairs, the media and the public welcomes these faces. Beyond the national press, these individuals have adopted the social web [Twitter, Facebook] and personal websites as vehicles to communicate their insights and advocate on behalf of the issues dearest to them. Through writings, activism, interviews and commentary, they have proved to be some of the most interesting African-American voices heard above the crowd. And, obviously, there are many riveting pundits out there but we had to narrow down our list to a mere 11. Feel free to cast your votes for other commentators we didn’t mention in our comments section or on Twitter with the hashtag #blackpundits.

Ta-Nehisi Coates

Twitter Handle: @Tanehisi

Web: TheAtlantic.com

Excerpt: On black support of Proposition 8 (gay marriage)…. “There is a deeper dislogic haunting this country on race. It can’t be beaten with facts, stats and arguments. The notion that black people are a problem is superreligious. It is bone-deep.”

About: Ta-Nehisi Coates’ is the senior editor of TheAtlantic.com, where he blogs about culture, politics and society. The Baltimore native is at his best when he ties events of the past to a “contemporary” analyses i.e his reflections on the Civil War illuminate an interesting connection to modern day trials.

Book: “The Beautiful Struggle: A Father, Two sons, and an Unlikely Road to Manhood”.


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  • zionmassai

    You also left off Dr. Michael Fauntroy, professor of political science at George Mason University, he does a lot of national media. Did the last big event that Tavis had in Chicago, with Al, Jesse, Farrkhan, Julianne Maklvauex and others. You should be fired for including John McWhorter. He is a clown and sell out.

  • Cant Believe you Left Of Dr. Torrance Stephens Infectious Disease specialist, senior Op-Ed writer for RollingOut, former Professor at Emory University and Morehouse School of Medicine and owner of the blog Rawdawgbuffalo

  • Helen

    Matsimela Mapfumo aka (Mark Thompson) has a political talk show on Sirius Left Make It Plain from 5-8pm M-f. Twitter handle: @makeitplain

  • ditto on Albert Butler comment and BIIIIIIIIIG ditto about Marc Lamont Hill! I have had him on my show before and he is phenomenal. Especially for so long being the only Black representation on Fox News that DIDNT agree with most things on Fox News! Otherwise great article. I definitely will be following some new folk on Twitter!

  • Ernest Talley Jr.

    John McWhorter is quite simply a monumental sell-out, and for you place this Uncle Tom House N______ on the list is unforgivable. Do your research please!!!

    • Black

      Calling that highly educated BLACKMAN the names you have used makes you sound like one of those people back in the days when BLACKS were not supposed to read or write or have thoughts, dreams and be equal why because he is not a member of the black mentality cult he dosent submit to your school of thought o i get it he should be on TV calling people uncle tom and sellout N**gers to make a point what schools did you go to that limits your way of thinking and if you ask me he speaks in many ways with the same thought process as Obama

  • Black Thought

    I just wanted to say thank you for offering this list since it has enlightened me to a group of people who I might not have known existed otherwise. To those who feel that some were left off the list, I also thank you…but respectfully advise you that this list was not titled ¨The top 11¨or ¨Best of the net¨ and one journalist can not be held accountable to the multidue of highly intellectual content by authors from the diaspora that is available in virtual space..so I would say that nothing was left out just not included in this Journalist's list I take these as well as the other mentions as well meaning suggestions to broaden my intellectual pallette and thank those for shring.

    • D. Donatto

      Very well-said. I too appreciate the list of intelligent

      young voices that I may have previously been unaware of. While the list is by no means a conclusive one, it gives the reader a starting point to begin broadening their horizons.

  • Steven

    You left out Warren Ballentine.

  • Ernest Talley Jr.

    How dare you!!! Who are you to talk so ill of Jesse and Al. It is often the most ignorant among us who preceive themselves to be so smart. For instance, among that list of eleven is one of the largest self hating, uncle Tom, Sell-Outs in the country. Ha Ha you just made a fool of yourself. Since you didn't do you homework, I'll give you another chance. Here's your task: Do your homework and figure out who I'm talking about. Then print an apology to your readers and Al and Jesse. You big Dummy!!!!!!!

  • eshowoman

    I like fact that you included conservative commentators. Even though I vehemently disagree with them, it would be wonderful if they actually addressed more black people instead of their usually predominantly white audience.

  • Fab

    YOU DIDN't EVEN PUT MARC LAMONT HILLL!!!!!! He's a professor at Columbia and a regular on air pundit.. He has lots to say about every big/ sad/ deplorable moment in African American culture…

    I clicked through them all waiting to see his face… what happened??? I love the others but, Hill deserves a spot..

  • Really solid list but very East Coast heavy.

  • DocDre

    You forgot a few…Melissa Harris Lacewell, Gina McAuley, and Latoya Peterson off the top of my head.

  • Susan

    You seem to have left off Philadelphia's 900 WURD AM's Albert Butler.