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100 Greatest African Americans is a biographical dictionary of the one hundred historically greatest African Americans, as assessed by Molefi Kete Asante in 2002.


Asante used five factors in establishing the list:

  • "significance in the general progress of African Americans toward full equality in the American social and political system"
  • "self-sacrifice and a willingness to take great risks for the collective good"
  • "unusual will and determination in the face of great danger and against the most stubborn odds"
  • "a consistent posture toward raising the social, cultural and economic status of African Americans"
  • "personal achievement that reveals the best qualities of the African American people"

Asante consciously omits some contemporary celebrities, whom he did not consider notable enough for a historical list.

Asante does not rank the historical figures.



  • Asante, Molefi Kete (2002). 100 Greatest African Americans: A Biographical Encyclopedia. Amherst, NY: Prometheus. ISBN 9781573929639. 


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