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From the predictable (President Obama and Melissa Harris-Perry) to the unexpected (Love & Hip Hop Atlanta and Lance Armstrong), Ebony's Michael Arceneaux offers a list of things that should inspire gratitude in African Americans this year.

1. President Obama's reelection: You've heard Mitt Romney speak, haven't you? A person as contemptuous as the now defeated Republican presidential contender deserved the decisive loss he suffered on November 7. Even if he doesn't realize that's his own fault, opting instead to stereotype minorities versus — gasp — acknowledging his own poorly ran campaign, at least none of us will have to deal with that condescending jerk anymore. If we can get Congress to cooperate with President Obama in 2013, we'll have a whole lot more to be thankful for this time next year. 

2. Allen West losing reelection: As a congressman in Florida, Republican Allen West has claimed that President Obama "emboldens our enemies," promotes "Soviet Union, Marxist-Socialist" themes, wants America to "be his slave," among other truly idiotic statements. If you're one of those reasonable Black Republicans I keep hearing actually exist, take comfort in this crazy not returning to Congress for the foreseeable future.

3. Frank Ocean's revelation: Frank Ocean didn't have to tell anyone that the first person he ever loved was a man, but thankfully he did anyway. Regardless of what anyone thinks drove him to make that declaration shortly before the release of his debut album, considering hip-hop has been a traditionally homophobic world and even soul singers like Luther Vandross and Freddie Jackson evaded longstanding speculation about their sexuality, Ocean's openness about who he loved has helped to move the culture forward.

4. Melissa Harris-Perry: The Tulane professor's weekend program on MSNBC has lent voice to issues often ignored in the mainstream press — particularly the prison industrial complex, a deeper exploration of voter suppression efforts, and the group both presidential candidates shied away from addressing directly: the poor. Plus, not only is MHP's show one of the smartest on television, she plays Beyoncé and references rappers like Young Jeezy. We adore thee …

Read Michael Arceneaux's entire piece at

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Michael Arceneaux hails from Houston, lives in Harlem and praises Beyoncé’s name wherever he goes. Follow him on Twitter.