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This was a great news year for black folks. Some stories were disappointing, a few made you cry and others were just flat out embarrassing!

SEE ALSO: The Disappearing Black Journalist

But news is news and the NewsOne team put together a good mix of this year’s top news stories of notoriety in black America.

1) Black unemployment hits 16.7 percent

There is a saying that goes “When America has a cold, black America catches the flu.” When the unemployment rate hit 16.7 percent, almost double that of white Americans, it was a silent, yet devastating report of how poorly African Americans are fairing in this rough and tumble economy.

2) Herman Cain Sex Scandal

As ill-conceived as his White House campaign was, Herman Cain actually seemed like he had a shot. He didn’t know much about national security and his 9-9-9 economic plan ironically, in German, is no-no-no. But with Tea Party support and the up and down GOP geometry in this election cycle’s field, Cain was ahead of the pack.

This is, until woman after woman came out saying Cain sexually harassed them. He never recovered and his campaign went down the drain. And to add insult to injury, his last accuser gave him poor marks in the bedroom. Guess Herman couldn’t keep his Cain up, either!

3) Troy Davis Execution/Mumia Abu-Jamal Death Penalty Overturned

Thousands of anti-death penalty advocates marched and protested the injustice of Troy Davis’ case til the better end. No story in black America caught the conscience of the community as much as Davis’s execution. Though many were saddened that Davis was executed, jubilant cheers of hope rung loud around the black community when Mumia Abu-Jamal’s sentence was changed from death to life in prison. Though Abu-Jamal and his supporters preferred a new hearing, that he will not be put to death gives them hope.

4) The Help

Viola Davis and Octavia Spencer put on spectacular performances in “The Help.” But the movie was at the receiving end of its fair share of controversy because some critics felt it under-estimated the racism in which domestic maids worked during the 1950s and 1960s. But with its leading actresses receiving top acting nominations for their performances, naysayers may be hushed by the prospect a black Oscar winner.

5) Heavy D Death

When the Heavy D passed away, the Hip Hop community lost an icon. Unlike many of his musical colleagues of the 1990s, Heavy D didn’t wade in the more salacious or “thuggish” aspects of the gangster rap movement. The “Overweight Lover” will always be remembered for being light on his feet and making “nice guy” music when being “hood” was very much en vogue.

6) FAMU Hazing

Hazing is nothing new in fraternities and sororities. But the nation was put on notice about the practice when Robert Champion of Florida A&M’s famed Marching 100 was allegedly beaten by several fellow band members for supposedly dropping a baton during a performance. Champion’s death has since been ruled a homicide.

7) The Kardashians

You’re probably shocked to see the Kardashians here. But think about it: Would we really know who Chris Humphries is if he wasn’t-at least once upon a time- attached to the hip of Kim Kardashian? And what about Lamar Odom? I mean, he’s aiight. But he ain’t Kobe! Being married to Khloe Kardashian made him something of a household name. Reggie Bush is nice on the gridiron, but being with Kim gave him notoriety that his moves of the football field could never garner.

Love them or hate them, those Armenian chicks love them some black men and give them major press at that.

8) Detroit

Oh, Detroit! If it is not one thing it is always another. With one of the highest homicide rates in the nation, a hemorrhaging population, citywide dilapidation, the prospect of state receivership and a host of other problems, the Motor City has been in the national news for all of the wrong reasons. But 2012 will hopefully bring more prosperity to the nation’s largest African American city.

9) Two African Female Nobel Peace Prize Winners

This was the year of the African women with two Liberians, Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, the president of Liberia and Leymah Gbowee, a Liberian peace activist winning the Nobel Peace Prize. Sirleaf is Africa’s first elected female head of state who is credited with keeping Liberia on a democratic track. Gbowee is hailed for helping to end Liberia’s civil war in 2003 and her relentless efforts to promote women’s rights.

With all of the negative news coming from Africa, these two women prove that the continent indeed has advocates that care about its future.

10) Tiger’s First Win Since 2009

There was a time when competitors cringed at the thought of teeing up against Tiger. No more. Since he was caught up in affairs with numerous women, the former number one golfer in the world experienced loss after lose. But after he won the Chevron World Challenge this December, even Tiger’s detractors were rooting for him.


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