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Posted at 12:32 PM ET, 12/15/2010

King of p-Op 2010: Antoine Dodson

By Jonathan Capehart

Time Magazine has had its say. Mark Zuckerberg, the multibillionaire founder of Facebook who has come to control my life without the benefit of me calling him "husband," is its 2010 Person of the Year. I don't disagree with Time editor Rick Stengel's reasoning. I just have a different, unconventional choice to dub my first-ever "King of p-Op."

Enraged by an attack on his sister in her bedroom and the seeming indifference of local authorities, Antoine Dodson of Huntsville, Ala., gave the interview seen around the world. His impassioned words became a hit song that has been replicated by everyone, from marching bands to college choirs to political campaigns.

By far, this was my favorite story of 2010. It was a near-tragedy that became a ticket out of the projects for the Dodson clan. And it was all because an unapologetically flamboyant black gay man decided that he was too-through.

DODSON.jpg

What I wrote about Dodson on Aug. 19 bears repeating today.

The photos present an image of a flamboyant punching bag, rhetorically and physically speaking. But when you consider that Dodson is an openly gay black man (who was) living in the projects in the deep south -- far from the cushy gay enclaves of Chelsea, Dupont Circle and West Hollywood -- you soon realize that he is one of the strongest people we've seen in a while. That Dodson can deal with the slights -- real and perceived -- that may come his way and still keep his head held high and a smile on his face despite the challenges he and his family faced is proof that he possesses an inner strength that is worthy of awe and respect.

For that, Antoine Dodson is my person of the year.

By Jonathan Capehart  | December 15, 2010; 12:32 PM ET
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Comments

Hear, hear, Jonathan! He would be my Person of the Year as well. With runner-up thanks to Mark Zuckerberg, for enabling me to 'friend' Antoine via Facebook.

Posted by: Victoria27 | December 15, 2010 1:53 PM | Report abuse

Yes, yes, I love him and the way he came to his sister's rescue. In his appearances he shows himself to be sweet, real and a good person with his eye on the ball of getting his family out of the "hood" as he says. I really admire this young man!

Posted by: mkm45 | December 16, 2010 3:37 PM | Report abuse

Amen to that! This guy could have been initially bitter about the media's mocking of his "over the top" or "ghetto" on-air antics. He turned the joke around and made something of it and is helping his family.And your right, it's no joke living in small towns or the projects when you're gay. He's comes across in interviews as having a great spirit and strong sense of self. Work it Antoine!

Posted by: kojoto | December 20, 2010 8:15 PM | Report abuse

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