Meet the NBCBLK28: 28 innovators, vanguards, trendsetters, and pioneers under 28 years old. This year's crop is redefining what it means to be young, gifted & unapologetically Black.
The gospel songstress: Briana Babineaux
THE GOSPEL SONGSTRESS: Briana Babineaux quickly went from viral video sensation to touring in support of her critically acclaimed debut album, "Keys To My Heart." The spellbinding singer has become one of the most buzzed about singers on social media and counts stars like Rihanna and Drake among her 480K Instagram fans.
The Testimony: Richard Love
THE TESTIMONY: Richard Love is an artist, musician and mentor serving as the creative program manager with Teens With A Purpose, a non-profit dedicated to helping urban youth find and express themselves through the arts. Known to his peers as "Testimony," he creates dynamic music and poetry that challenges complacency.
The young mayor: Michael Tubbs
THE YOUNG MAYOR: Michael Tubbs made history this election when he became Stockton, California's first and youngest Black mayor at just 26. He didn't come from a politically connected family, his father was incarcerated. A lot of young people leave home and never look back, but this Stanford University grad came back to his community to make a difference instead of going to Wall Street.
The literary swag: Yahdon Israel
THE LITERARY SWAG: Yahdon Israel has been called "Chance the Rapper" of the lit world. The Brooklynite interweaves cultural criticism, social commentary, and personal narrative writing about race, class, gender, politics, and power in America. He also runs a book club and a popular Instagram page which promotes literature and fashion with the hashtag, #literaryswag.
Fashion engineer: Muktar Onifade
FASHION ENGINEER: Muktar Onifade works at General Motors as a calibrations engineer. He also brings his technical skill to design high-end streetwear. Now in its third collection, Onifade's fashion label, VIZUVLGVDS (aka "Visual Gods"), combines the precision and chemistry of engineering with his Nigerian heritage. Every piece is hand-stitched by Onifade in his Detroit studio.
The aviator: Isaiah Cooper
THE AVIATOR: This pilot from Compton became the youngest African-American to fly an airplane around the continental United States in 2016. Isaiah Cooper is now determined to break the Guinness World Record for being the youngest person to fly solo around the Earth.
The melanin goddess: Khoudia Diop
THE MELANIN GODDESS: The Senegalese-born model was bullied for her ebony complexion growing up, but now she's an inspiration to many young women. Khoudia Diop recently signed a modeling contract with an agency called The Colored Girl Inc., an agency that is changing the narrative of what it means to be Black and beautiful.