Another Day, which grossed more than $160 million. Berry also gained notoriety for her many production projects such as The Dorothy Dandridge Story and the HBO adaptation of Lackawanna Blues. One of the only black actresses who can command a salary in the millions, Berry has several films in various stages of production, including Gothika and Catwoman.
Yvette Lee Bowser
Television Producer Age: 38
Before she was 30, Bowser became the first African American female to develop her own television series. Now the president of SisterLee Productions, Bowser is currently serving as executive producer for the UPN series Half & Half. After working as a writer for Bill Cosby’s A Different World, she moved on to work as a producer for ABC’s Hangin’ with Mr. Cooper. In 1993, Bowser formed SisterLee Productions and in a collaborative effort with Fox and Warner Bros. Television, she created the hit series Living Single. The show is now in syndication.
Shawn “Jay-Z” Carter / Damon Dash
Entrepreneurs Age: 34 / 32
Jay-Z and Dash’s $300 million empire, Roc-A-Fella Enterprises, is still going strong. The 8-year-old company boasts Roc-A-Fella Records, Rocawear, a leading urban clothing producer, and Roc-A-Fella Films, which produced State Property and Paid in Full, a film nominated by the Independent Spirit Awards for best first feature. What’s next? Jay-Z, whose swan-song CD, The Black Album, was released in November, hopes to appear on the silver screen.
Director Global Real Estate Age: 34
Over the past two years, Chapman has logged more than 200,000 miles flying across the globe, managing the 11-million-square-foot portfolio of network, office, and technical facilities outside North America for Level 3 Communications Inc. Splitting her time between London and Denver, this ambitious executive helped sustain the $4 billion communications and information services company through a nasty industry downturn. Many of Level 3’s competitors have been unable to unload assets in the last few years, but Chapman and her team have closed more than $200 million in transactions in the last 15 months.
Sonya Summerour Clemmons
Bioengineer Age: 32
The founder of SSC Enterprises consulting firm is the one companies call when they want to get revolutionary biotech devices, such as liver detoxifiers and artificial organs, through clinical trials and to the market. The first black woman to earn a doctorate in bioengineering from the University of California, San Diego, Clemmons and her team conduct groundbreaking research in medicine.
Sean “P. Diddy” Combs
Entrepreneur Age: 34
As CEO of Bad Boy Entertainment Inc., Combs oversees multiple business units, including Bad Boy Records, Daddy’s House Studios, and the hugely successful Sean John apparel line. Combs’ empire grew substantially last year, raking in an estimated $500 million in sales, up from $300 million in 2001. He also executive produced this summer’s Bad Boys II soundtrack, which went platinum and debuted at No.1 on the Billboard charts.
Harold Ford Jr.
U.S. Representative (D-Tenn.) Age: 32
Serving his fourth term, Ford continues to gain momentum in the political arena. He has built his reputation by applying fresh ideas to the challenges of the 21st century, building coalitions and making bold