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Top 30 Black Influencers



Actor, Director, Producer

RUBEN SANTIAGO-HUDSON is a successful actor, playwright and director who has won many awards in all three categories and has earned multiple degrees. These awards include but are not limited to The Humanitas Prize, National Board of Reviews and the NAACP Image Award. His education is equally impressive, having earned his MFA (Wayne State University), BA (Binghamton University) and Honorary Doctorate Degrees (Wayne State University and Buffalo State College).

Santiago-Hudson credits both his achievements and failures for the successes he has made throughout his career.

“I’m equally built on all the “no’s” that I received that inspired me to work harder. That inspired me to want to prove more, not to anyone but myself. That I was worthy, that I did measure up, that I did count, that I did matter.”

Throughout his 45-year career, Santiago-Hudson has either produced, directed or acted in all of August Wilson’s play, most

recently having adapted Wilson’s Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom into a screenplay starring Viola Davis and Chadwick Boseman.

“There’s no other thing that I love more than telling the whole world real stories about my people and all their glory,” Santiago-Hudson explained.  “Other than my family, it’s the primary thing in my life:  telling our stories and making us whole and complete.”