Deciding who’s the “most influential” anything is inherently an arbitrary business. It’s even more difficult in this case, when we’re comparing black politicians, judges, columnists, radio hosts, and activists. Still, somebody had to do it, so…
Honorable Mentions: Ali Akbar, Deneen Borelli, Janice Rogers Brown, James Golden, Amy Holmes, Niger Innis, Roy Innis, Alan Keyes, AlfonZo Rachel, Erik Rush, Armstrong Williams
20) Jesse Lee Peterson: The founder of BOND, television personality, and radio host.
19) Deroy Murdock: He’s a syndicated columnist, political talking head, and contributing editor with National Review Online.
18) J.C. Watts: The former college football quarterback was a prominent Republican congressman, but lost considerable influence with conservatives when he publicly noted he was considering backing Obama in 2008.
17) Angela McGlowan: She’s an author, political commentator, and she ran and lost in a congressional primary in 2010.
16) Shelby Steele: The columnist and documentary film maker.
15) Ward Connerly: The founder of the American Civil Rights Institute and an activist dedicated to fighting racial quotas.
14) Mychal S. Massie: The National Chairman of the conservative black think tank, Project 21.
13) Robert George: He’s an editorial writer for the New York Post.
12) Ken Blackwell: He ran and lost for Governor of Ohio, was a candidate for the RNC National Committee Chairman; he’s a senior fellow for family empowerment at the Family Research Council and a columnist.
11) Star Parker: She’s an increasingly popular syndicated columnist who ran for Congress in California in 2010 and lost.
10) Colin Powell: He’s a former general and the first black Secretary of State. Although he still has considerable name recognition and influence with the general public, he has considerably less sway than he used to in the Republican Party since he endorsed Barack Obama in 2008.
9) Larry Elder: The sage from South Central is a popular columnist and syndicated talk radio host.
8) Michael Steele: He was the first black Republican National Committee Chairman. He’s now a columnist and TV commentator.
7) Condi Rice: She’s the head of the Global Center for Business and the Economy at Stanford, a former foreign policy advisor to George W. Bush, and the first black woman to ever be Secretary of State.
6) Walter Williams: The professor at George Mason University is a popular columnist and a fill-in radio host on the Rush Limbaugh program.
5) Tim Scott: Scott is the first black Republican congressman elected in South Carolina for 114 years.
4) Thomas Sowell: He’s a Senior Fellow on Public Policy at the Hoover Institution who’s one of the most popular conservative columnists in America.
3) Allen West: The first black Republican congressman from Florida since 1876. Keynote speaker for CPAC in 2011.
2) Herman Cain: Former CEO of Godfather’s Pizza, former talk radio host, and a candidate running for the presidency of the United States.
1) Clarence Thomas: Supreme Court Justice.