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Top 30 Black Influencers


HON. RAS BARAKA, Mayor of Newark, NJ

The son of activist and renowned poet laureate Amiri Baraka, HON. RAS JUA BARAKA is a life-long resident and now serves as the 40th Mayor of the City of Newark, New Jersey.   Prior to leading New Jersey’s largest city, he was a member of the City Council and principal of Central High School.

Mayor Baraka has been in the forefront of the fight to bring revival and economic revitalization to Newark as a model city for the rest of the country.  With a strong focus on homeownership and reducing crime, he has also initiated the Model Neighborhood Program and discounted land sale initiatives to empower local residents and transform troubled neighborhoods.

Baraka, 50, graduated from Howard University with a Bachelor of Arts in political /science, and holds an MA in Education Administration from St. Peter’s University in Jersey City.  Himself a poet and a spoken word artist, he was featured on Lauryn Hills Miseducation of Lauryn Hill and other recorded works with The Fugees.  He was a frequent participant in the National Political Hip Hop Convention.

Baraka, husband and father of four, is at the helm of a Newark renaissance and is driven by a commitment to ensure the participation and inclusion of Newark’s Black and Brown population.


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