The BET 100 Entertainers & Innovators of the Year | Politics

See who superseded our expectations.

BET 100 | Politics - There has been no election more important than the one our country has just endured. So much was at stake. With a global pandemic continuing to ravage our country, and an unprecedented level of civil unrest stoked by police violence, 2020 has forced many of the most politically apathetic among us to care and become involved in the political process. The historic Biden-Harris victory revealed just how fed up the country was with President Donald Trump. The election cycle also begets several other exciting – and important – historical firsts for our community. We celebrate them here. —Written by Dustin SeibertPlus, don't forget to check back each day this week to find out who else we've added to the BET 100 list...we're just getting started. (BET Digital Design/Getty)

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BET 100 | Politics - There has been no election more important than the one our country has just endured. So much was at stake. With a global pandemic continuing to ravage our country, and an unprecedented level of civil unrest stoked by police violence, 2020 has forced many of the most politically apathetic among us to care and become involved in the political process. The historic Biden-Harris victory revealed just how fed up the country was with President Donald Trump. The election cycle also begets several other exciting – and important – historical firsts for our community. We celebrate them here. —Written by Dustin SeibertPlus, don't forget to check back each day this week to find out who else we've added to the BET 100 list...we're just getting started. (BET Digital Design/Getty)

Jaime Harrison - Despite losing to Lindsey Graham in the South Carolina U.S. Senate race, Jaime Harrison is credited with expanding the Democratic base in an historically Republican state. Twice, his campaign broke fundraising records, bringing in more than $27 million in the first half of the year. Fortunately, Harrison is on a short list to head up the Democratic National Committee after President-elect Biden takes office in 2021. (Photo by Cameron Pollack/Getty Images)

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Jaime Harrison - Despite losing to Lindsey Graham in the South Carolina U.S. Senate race, Jaime Harrison is credited with expanding the Democratic base in an historically Republican state. Twice, his campaign broke fundraising records, bringing in more than $27 million in the first half of the year. Fortunately, Harrison is on a short list to head up the Democratic National Committee after President-elect Biden takes office in 2021. (Photo by Cameron Pollack/Getty Images)

Rep. Lauren Underwood - In 2019, at age 32, Lauren Underwood became the youngest Black woman elected to Congress, representing Illinois’ 14th congressional district in the House of Representatives. On Nov. 18 of this year, she won her bid for a second term when she defeated Jim Oberweis. (At press time, the Associated Press declared Underwood the winner, although Oberweis promised to explore all legal options to dispute the win.) Underwood has co-sponsored 324 pieces of legislation, three of which have been signed into law. She is a tireless fighter against family separation and should be offered up as an example by her fellow Millennials every time a Boomer challenges their work ethic. (Photo by Michael Brochstein/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images)

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Rep. Lauren Underwood - In 2019, at age 32, Lauren Underwood became the youngest Black woman elected to Congress, representing Illinois’ 14th congressional district in the House of Representatives. On Nov. 18 of this year, she won her bid for a second term when she defeated Jim Oberweis. (At press time, the Associated Press declared Underwood the winner, although Oberweis promised to explore all legal options to dispute the win.) Underwood has co-sponsored 324 pieces of legislation, three of which have been signed into law. She is a tireless fighter against family separation and should be offered up as an example by her fellow Millennials every time a Boomer challenges their work ethic. (Photo by Michael Brochstein/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images)

NY Attorney General Letitia James - As the attorney general of New York state, Letitia James (or “Tish,” as she’s known) has made it her mission to pursue President Donald Trump on a number of alleged legal transgressions. James’ office is currently working up a long list of Trump initiatives for Joe Biden’s incoming administration to undo. “No one, not even the president of the United States,” James has said, “can use the law to advance his or her own politicalagenda. It’s that simple. If individuals want to critique me, that’s fine. It’s about the rule of law and standing up for what’s right.” (Photo by Michael M. Santiago/Getty Images)

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NY Attorney General Letitia James - As the attorney general of New York state, Letitia James (or “Tish,” as she’s known) has made it her mission to pursue President Donald Trump on a number of alleged legal transgressions. James’ office is currently working up a long list of Trump initiatives for Joe Biden’s incoming administration to undo. “No one, not even the president of the United States,” James has said, “can use the law to advance his or her own politicalagenda. It’s that simple. If individuals want to critique me, that’s fine. It’s about the rule of law and standing up for what’s right.” (Photo by Michael M. Santiago/Getty Images)

Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms - Atlanta became an early battleground over the COVID-19 crisis lockdown when Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms clashed publicly with Georgia’s ultra-right-wing Gov. Brian Kemp, who insisted the state remain open while the majority of the country was shutting down. Kemp sued Bottoms over mask mandates, but she maintained grace under pressure and never backed down. She was just as dogged when it came to supporting Joe Biden during the presidential election. Because she’s been instrumental delivery the state to him, it’s rumored she is on his short list to head the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). (Photo by DNCC via Getty Images)

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Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms - Atlanta became an early battleground over the COVID-19 crisis lockdown when Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms clashed publicly with Georgia’s ultra-right-wing Gov. Brian Kemp, who insisted the state remain open while the majority of the country was shutting down. Kemp sued Bottoms over mask mandates, but she maintained grace under pressure and never backed down. She was just as dogged when it came to supporting Joe Biden during the presidential election. Because she’s been instrumental delivery the state to him, it’s rumored she is on his short list to head the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). (Photo by DNCC via Getty Images)

Rep. Ritchie Torres - Ritchie Torres is a trailblazer as one of two first openly gay Afro-Latino members of Congress. The Bronx-native grew up in public housing the son of a Puerto Rican single mother who raised three children on her own. At age 25, he overcame his circumstances to set another record as the youngest person to be elected to public office in New York City. Torres has been a tireless advocate for working class families and the LGBTQ+ community. He made it clear in a statement following his victory that he would head to Washington D.C. to continue that same advocacy where he stands by his words, "What most people want is not a hand out. What most people want is a fighting chance at a decent life." (Photo by Noam Galai/Getty Images)

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Rep. Ritchie Torres - Ritchie Torres is a trailblazer as one of two first openly gay Afro-Latino members of Congress. The Bronx-native grew up in public housing the son of a Puerto Rican single mother who raised three children on her own. At age 25, he overcame his circumstances to set another record as the youngest person to be elected to public office in New York City. Torres has been a tireless advocate for working class families and the LGBTQ+ community. He made it clear in a statement following his victory that he would head to Washington D.C. to continue that same advocacy where he stands by his words, "What most people want is not a hand out. What most people want is a fighting chance at a decent life." (Photo by Noam Galai/Getty Images)

Rep. Cori Bush - The St. Louis native just became the first Black female congresswoman to serve in the House of Representatives in Missouri, unseating William Lacy Clay, Jr. and ending a 50-year dynasty started by Clay’s father. Rep. Cori Bush initially came to national attention in the Netflix documentary, Knock Down the House, which depicted her as a working-class Black woman – mother, registered nurse and ordained minister – balancing life while also running for office. Bush has also received attention after declaring she has had to find creative ways to keep up to the optics of the job. “The system is not set up for regular people to do this,” she told Glamour magazine. “I realized I couldn’t just keep switching out the same four blazers! I needed some other options. And that's where thrifting comes in.” (Photo by Gary Miller/FilmMagic)

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Rep. Cori Bush - The St. Louis native just became the first Black female congresswoman to serve in the House of Representatives in Missouri, unseating William Lacy Clay, Jr. and ending a 50-year dynasty started by Clay’s father. Rep. Cori Bush initially came to national attention in the Netflix documentary, Knock Down the House, which depicted her as a working-class Black woman – mother, registered nurse and ordained minister – balancing life while also running for office. Bush has also received attention after declaring she has had to find creative ways to keep up to the optics of the job. “The system is not set up for regular people to do this,” she told Glamour magazine. “I realized I couldn’t just keep switching out the same four blazers! I needed some other options. And that's where thrifting comes in.” (Photo by Gary Miller/FilmMagic)

Mayor Ella Jones - At age 66, Ella Jones was elected the first Black mayor in the 126-year history of Ferguson, Mo. in June, at the height of protests over the murder of George Floyd by now former white police officer, Derek Chauvin. Not long ago, Ferguson was the center of similar strife. The city made international headlines in 2014 when Michael Brown was killed by police, sparking protests and civil unrest in the city, and also serving as a catalyst for the then-growing Black Lives Matter movement. Jones condemned violent actions in response to Floyd’s murder but encouraged peaceful civil protest. (Photo by Michael B. Thomas/Getty Images)

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Mayor Ella Jones - At age 66, Ella Jones was elected the first Black mayor in the 126-year history of Ferguson, Mo. in June, at the height of protests over the murder of George Floyd by now former white police officer, Derek Chauvin. Not long ago, Ferguson was the center of similar strife. The city made international headlines in 2014 when Michael Brown was killed by police, sparking protests and civil unrest in the city, and also serving as a catalyst for the then-growing Black Lives Matter movement. Jones condemned violent actions in response to Floyd’s murder but encouraged peaceful civil protest. (Photo by Michael B. Thomas/Getty Images)

Rep. Mondaire Jones - Like Ritchie Torres, Mondaire Jones defeated a Republican to be the first openly gay Black member of Congress. Jones’ background reads like that of so many Black Americans coming to grips with their sexuality: raised in the Baptist church, he was made to believe that Hell was the only option for a gay boy. He quietly dated males in high school and college and came out while at Harvard Law School. Despite the progress marked by the election of Jones and Torres, there are only nine LGBTQ+ identifying members of Congress. We have a long way to go. (Michael Noble Jr. for The Washington Post via Getty Images)

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Rep. Mondaire Jones - Like Ritchie Torres, Mondaire Jones defeated a Republican to be the first openly gay Black member of Congress. Jones’ background reads like that of so many Black Americans coming to grips with their sexuality: raised in the Baptist church, he was made to believe that Hell was the only option for a gay boy. He quietly dated males in high school and college and came out while at Harvard Law School. Despite the progress marked by the election of Jones and Torres, there are only nine LGBTQ+ identifying members of Congress. We have a long way to go. (Michael Noble Jr. for The Washington Post via Getty Images)

Symone Sanders - Political talking heads often spew the same rhetoric, but you can always count on straight dope when it comes to commentary from Symone Sanders. Recently named as part of the Biden-Harris White House communications team as the Chief Spokesperson for vice-president elect, Kamala Harris, Sanders first made a name for herself during the 2016 election as national press secretary for Bernie Sanders. A constant presence on CNN, she tried to tell the world what many already knew: how awful a Trump presidency would be for anyone not rich and white. Sanders is currently on the short list to become Biden’s press secretary, which would make her the first Black woman to hold the position. (Photo by JP Yim/Getty Images for Girlboss Rally NYC 2018)

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Symone Sanders - Political talking heads often spew the same rhetoric, but you can always count on straight dope when it comes to commentary from Symone Sanders. Recently named as part of the Biden-Harris White House communications team as the Chief Spokesperson for vice-president elect, Kamala Harris, Sanders first made a name for herself during the 2016 election as national press secretary for Bernie Sanders. A constant presence on CNN, she tried to tell the world what many already knew: how awful a Trump presidency would be for anyone not rich and white. Sanders is currently on the short list to become Biden’s press secretary, which would make her the first Black woman to hold the position. (Photo by JP Yim/Getty Images for Girlboss Rally NYC 2018)

Yamiche Alcindor - Trump’s White House press conferences – often filled with absurd claims and wanton misinformation – have never been easy for journalists to cover. Leave it to Yamiche Alcindor to do what most of her counterparts seemed too scared to do: challenge the leader of the free world about his lies. The PBS NewsHour’s White House correspondent made headlines for going toe-to-toe with Trump, challenging his claims while always remaining both poised and composed. For her work, Alcindor was recently named the 2020 NABJ Journalist of the Year. (Photo by Ed Rode/Getty Images for Politicon)

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Yamiche Alcindor - Trump’s White House press conferences – often filled with absurd claims and wanton misinformation – have never been easy for journalists to cover. Leave it to Yamiche Alcindor to do what most of her counterparts seemed too scared to do: challenge the leader of the free world about his lies. The PBS NewsHour’s White House correspondent made headlines for going toe-to-toe with Trump, challenging his claims while always remaining both poised and composed. For her work, Alcindor was recently named the 2020 NABJ Journalist of the Year. (Photo by Ed Rode/Getty Images for Politicon)