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Thanksgiving

This Thanksgiving, NewsOne would like to recognize those newsmakers who have made a positive impact in one way or another. Here are the top 5 people who deserve our gratitude this year:

Senior Sgt. Mark Todd – Though his partner was initially given the credit, Sgt. Todd fired the shot that took down the alleged Fort Hood shooter, Maj. Nadal Hasan. Without his bravery and quick thinking, countless more lives could have been lost in the massacre.

RELATED: Black Officer, Not White Partner, May Have Shot Ft. Hood Shooter

Oprah Winfrey – Oprah is the ultimate rags-to-riches story. This multi-platform mogul has conquered television, magazines, and film, and her influence has been known to make and break book publishing careers. The most high-profile example of Black business savvy, for the past 25 years Oprah has shown millions that with enough hard work and talent, anything is possible.

RELATED: Tearful Oprah Confirms 2011 End Of Show

Attorney General Eric Holder – Though the symbolic value of a Black man being the nation’s highest representative of law and order is worth a great deal on its own, Holder’s words and actions thus far have done our community proud. He has been unafraid to take strong positions, speaking out without apology on race relations and condemning the use of torture. Holder is also working to rectify racial disparities in crack cocaine vs. powder sentencing, and has pushed for a war against hate crimes.

RELATED: Attorney General Holder Pledges To Fight Youth Violence

Michael Jackson – The loss of MJ this summer was a painful one, but it did have a small silver lining: It reminded us all of the amazing musical accomplishments he achieved during his life. This was the man who gave us “Billie Jean,” “Don’t Stop Til You Get Enough,” “Remember the Time,” the moonwalk, and the modern music video as we know it — how could we be anything but grateful?

RELATED: Michael Jackson Wins 4 Awards At AMAs

Michelle Obama – Intelligent, successful, poised, fashion-forward, and happily married with children: The First Lady is singlehandedly turning every negative stereotype about Black women on its head. With her international exposure, Obama is showing the world that the caricatures peddled by the media don’t tell the real story about African-American women and families. Back at home in the states, she’s giving millions of little Black girls a high-profile role model who looks like the mothers and big sisters they already know – and that’s quite a gift.

RELATED: Michelle Obama Announces Mentoring Program For Girls