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Across our media landscape the number of Black faces representing us as anchors, pundits, and hosts are slim to none. But in the last decade, a number of esteemed journalists, politicians, and educators have made the transition from their respectful careers to the TV screen analyzing everything from civil rights issues to entertainment, sports, and politics.

Here at NewsOne we decided to create a list of the most influential and important Black news pundits on the air today. Some of these pundits host their own TV shows, appear on networks like CNN, Fox News, and MSNBC, and also hold their own town halls across the country tackling various issues affecting the Black community.

Our list is ranked according to who we think is the top Black news pundit today. Feel free to re-order the list and provide us with your opinions.

10. Bob Herbert

One of the most celebrated Black journalists of our era, Bob Herbert, enters our list at number ten.

The former prized possession of the New York Times, Herbert, is now a Senior Fellow at the national think-tank, Demos; and a TV personality on networks such as MSNBC and CNN where he regularly appears conversing about political, education, and racial issues.

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9. Amy Holmes

One of television’s rising stars enters our list at number nine.

Amy Holmes, the independent conservative commentator, shot to fame as a CNN contributor during the 2008 elections. She is now a news anchor for Glenn Beck’s news network, GBTV.

Holmes recently held guest host spots on The View and makes a regular appearance on Bill Maher’s HBO show, Real Time with Bill Maher.

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8. Toure

Coming in at number eight is the essayist, music journalist, novelist, television personality, and cultural critic otherwise known as Toure.

Toure has sparked the minds and anger of many in his close to two decades in journalism.

His career started in 1992 when he was fired from Rolling Stone as an intern after dropping out of Emory College during his junior year. A few weeks later, Toure was called back by Rolling Stone to write music reviews and it has been history ever since.

Today, Toure appears on networks such as CNN and MSNBC to talk about everything from sports, politics, and civil rights. He recently released a book titled, “Who’s Afraid of Post-Blackness?” He’s also the host of Fuse’s Hip-Hop Shop and On The Record.

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7. Cornel West

The firebrand Princeton Professor comes in at number six after becoming a regular personality on cable talk shows due to his recent criticism of President Obama.

But the Princeton professor’s resume is nothing to overlook. He is an author, critic, actor, Harvard graduate, and civil rights activist.

West regularly appears on networks such as CNN and MSNBC to talk about a variety of issues.

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6. Eugene Robinson

At number six, we have the Washington Post’s Pulitzer-Prize winning journalist and regular contributor on MSNBC, Eugene Robinson.

Robinson, who started his career in the 1970’s at the San Francisco Chronicle, has made it all the way from a regular journalist to becoming one of the most respected columnists in the country.

He has also appeared on the popular Sunday political talk show, Meet The Press.

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5. Melissa Harris Perry

A rising star in the TV world, Tulane Professor Melissa Harris Perry enters our list at number five.

Perry, the author of two books, has been a regular contributor to the Rachel Maddow Show; and has even replaced her as the main host on her off-days.

Her writings appear in numerous national publications like The Chicago TribuneThe Los Angeles TimesCrain’s Chicago Business, and Newsday.

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4. Tavis Smiley

Coming in at number four is the both celebrated and controversial talk show host, author, and political commentator Tavis Smiley.

Smiley, who rode a wave of goodwill for the majority of his time as a personality, lost a lot of it with the African American population and mainstream media when he became what many term an, “Obama hater.”

He frequently appears on CNN and MSNBC to talk about political and racial issues, and also has his nightly TV show on PBS and radio show on PRI.

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3. Rev. Al Sharpton

If someone told you 20 years ago that Rev. Al Sharpton would be one of the top 3 Black news pundits in the world in 2011, you would have laughed at them.

But the person with the last laugh is Rev. Al Sharpton.

The firebrand civil rights activist has transformed his image in the last two decades. He hosts his own radio show, Keepin’ it Real, and recently became the host of the MSNBC nightly show, Politicsnation.

He also appears on FoxNews on a consistent basis to battle the right-leaning opposition.

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2. Donna Brazile

Close, but no cigar.

Coming in at number two is the veteran pundit on this list, the legendary Donna Brazile.

Brazile, who was the first African American to direct a major campaign for a presidential candidate (Al Gore, 2000), has earned the respect of numerous TV networks most notably, CNN.

She is a weekly contributor to CNN’s Situation Room and American Morning. She also contributes to NPR’s Political Corner and ABC News.

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1. Roland Martin

And coming in at number 1, there is no bigger personality on the TV screen than CNN contributor and TV One host, Roland Martin.

The American author and syndicated columnist, Martin, shot to fame during the 2008 election’s with his straight to the point commentary injected with his down south flavor.

The 2008 elections skyrocketed Martin into stardom.

Martin is a commentator for TV One and the host of Washington Watch with Roland Martin, a one-hour Sunday morning news show on the network. He is also a CNN contributor, appearing on a variety of shows, including Campbell Brown: No Bias, No BullThe Situation RoomAnderson Cooper‘s AC360Lou Dobbs Tonight, and many others. In October 2008, he joined the Tom Joyner Morning Show as senior analyst.

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