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The Undefeated 44 is a list—fervently debated among our staff, chiseled and refined —of 44 blacks who shook up the world or at least their corner of it. We recognize that this is not a complete list of jaw-dropping black achievers; we know that such a list would never run out of names. Who would have made your 44?


All submissions are moderated. We’ll send an email if we publish your submission. And don’t worry — we won’t publish your email address or add you to any mailing lists.


I agree with the non-sports/entertainment selections. In fact, these individuals and their contributions and tribulations should written about in more books. Some of the books should be for the elementary school level and more detailed books should be written for middle school/high school age students. In the end, whether I agree with the selections or not, I appreciate the effort. Thank you.

It’s interesting that you selected Jay Z for this list and then go on to mentioned that he sold crack before making it big, as if selling drugs is something to be proud of. I have to ask, how many black lives did Jay Z help destroy while he was on those corners selling crack to his own people? I’m not judging him because I have not walked in his shoes, but it’s weird to talk about Black History Month & pride then ignore the fact that some of his actions actually harmed the black community.

Without Fannie Lou Hamer on your list, it is a fail.

I’d add both Bayard Rustin and A Philip Randolph. Organizers and tacticians. Two people who understood just how to March on Washington.

He will probably never make anyone’s list. But Richard Williams, father of Venus and Serena is a visionary. The Williams sisters path to fame is more than improbable. I know he’s a reach but imagine tennis without his vision.

My apologies. I meant Paul Robeson. I was listening to Eric Roberson while typing my entry.

This is a good list. I was hoping you would have included Paul Roberson. Talk about Undefeated!!! If you don’t know you better start reading. Scholar, amazing athlete, amazing actor, opera singer, civil rights activist…. The brotha got blacklisted during the McCarthy era. I’m just saying. Yes he is one of my favorites. He was a true force to be reckoned with.

How did Jordan make it over Magic? Magic saved the NBA, is a winner on every level and has provided jobs for the culture for over 20 years!

When I heard of this list on TV (watching ESPN of all things) I promised myself I wouldn’t complain; you chose to limit it to 44 in honor of President Obama. But the omission of George Washington Carver is a terrible oversight. Surely he must have been one of the 4 or 5 sitting on the bubble. Who were your top 4 or 5 who almost made the list? Just curious.

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