At No. 8 I have LeBron James. Although I am not generally a LeBron fan, I must say I was pleased that he finally and convincingly rose to the challenge of winning an NBA championship. The embarrassment of “the decision” is finally behind him (and all of us). Bravo.
For No. 9 I am thankful for Robert Griffin III. RGIII proves that young, highly successful African-American athletes can, from the beginning, be poised leaders, neither caricatures of adulthood (e.g., Chad “Ocho Cinco” Johnson, TO née Terrell Owens) nor hopeless thugs (e.g., Ndamukong Suh) and tragedies waiting to happen (e.g., Jovan Belcher).
Lastly, I want to turn to the media and elite discourse in our culture. No. 10 on my list of things to be thankful for is Melissa Harris-Perry’s MSNBC show. She is a remarkable breath of fresh perspectives, different voices and many hues on the stage of national civic discourse. If you have seen eruption against giving tax breaks to millionaire “risk takers” versus the day-to-day risks of living in poverty in America you must find it on YouTube. Political discussion on television can never be plain vanilla again. Thank you, Melissa!
So, that is one slice on the good that 2012 brought into the world. It works for me. For now, at the least. So, pass me a glass of Pol Roger, and let’s ring in 2013 with smiles on our faces!
Lawrence D. Bobo is the W.E.B. Du Bois Professor of the Social Sciences Harvard University.