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Smiley, Tavis

Tavis Smiley

1964—

Radio, television commentator

In a preview to its 1994 list of fifty future American leaders, Time magazine observed, "As surely as there are forces organic to today's America that stifle leadership, there are forces within some Americans that cause them to lead nonetheless. Ambition plays a role, as does a desire to do good, but doggedness is essential, as is a sort of questioning curiosity." In the years since he was named to that list of emerging leaders, Tavis Smiley has lived up to that promise and then some. Smiley has emerged as one of the most active black presences in American media, with a resume that includes high-profile slots on television and radio, bestselling books, and his own publishing company.

Smiley has been running on a political fast track since he was in college, when he served as an intern for Tom Bradley, the mayor of Los Angeles. After graduating from Indiana University, he worked for three years as an administrative aide in the Bradley organization, hosted radio talk shows, served as a guest commentator on several network television shows, and created his own sixty-second syndicated radio commentary, The Smiley Report. He reached an even broader audience in 1996 with the publication of his liberal manifesto Hard Right: Straight Talk about the Wrongs of the Right, which was into its third printing a mere month after first hitting the bookstores.

The third of ten children, Smiley was born on September 13, 1964, in Gulfport, Mississippi, the son of Emory G. and Joyce M. Smiley. When he was two, his father, a non-commissioned officer in the U.S. Air Force, was transferred to Grissom Air Force Base in Bunker Hill, Indiana. After arriving in Indiana, the Smiley family took up residence in a crowded mobile home in Kokomo. Smiley observed in the introduction to Hard Left: Straight Talk about the Wrongs of the Right (1996) that "while we never had a lot of what we wanted, I can't say we ever went hungry, either." His father often worked several part-time jobs to support his large family, and Smiley wrote of him, "I've never known anyone with a stronger work ethic." Smiley's mother was an associate minister at their church, the New Bethel Tabernacle, which was part of the Pentecostal Assemblies of the World. Smiley recalled for the Washington Post that he was in church every day when he was growing up.

Acutely aware that Indiana had once been home to the national headquarters of the Ku Klux Klan, Smiley nevertheless described his youth in Hard Left as "a typical midwestern small-town life." He was one of only a handful of African-American students in an otherwise all-white high school, but he did not allow this to become an obstacle. He was elected class president and voted "most likely to succeed." Smiley observed in Hard Left that "although I lived in a nearly all-White community, I never felt ‘less than’ simply because of the color of my skin. I learned that people of different races can and do get along. Which says to me that we don't have to buy this race-baiting, divide-and-conquer technique the radical Right is pushing."

Began Politics as a Teenager

Smiley's love for politics began at the age of thirteen, when he attended a campaign speech by the U.S. senator Birch Bayh at an American Legion hall. That night, he abandoned his dream of becoming a professional baseball player when he realized that politicians were in a unique position to motivate people and positively affect their lives. After graduation from high school, Smiley attended Indiana University in Bloomington, where he landed a spot on the debate team and became active in student government. He also got involved in local politics by working for Tomilea Allison, the mayor of Bloomington. Having achieved "everything I wanted to do in college except graduate" by the end of his junior year, Smiley told the Los Angeles Times that he considered dropping out. However, a friend persuaded him to stay in school and seek work as an intern. After repeated telephone calls and letters to the office of the Los Angeles mayor Tom Bradley, Smiley was eventually granted an internship.

After graduating from Indiana, Smiley worked for three years as an administrative aide in the Bradley camp. At the age of twenty-four, he was the youngest member of Mayor Bradley's executive staff. In 1991 Smiley left Bradley's staff to run for the Los Angeles city council. Running against the incumbent Ruth Galanter, Smiley finished a respectable fourth in a field of fifteen challengers.

With no clear plan for the future, his defeat forced him to reassess his interests and options. He wrote in Hard Left, "I realized I was most fulfilled when I was helping educate, empower, and encourage people who live in the indigenous community." Undeterred by his election loss, Smiley was already planning to run again in four years. To keep his name before the public and maintain a political image based on current issues, he decided to tackle talk radio. "It's a high-profile job that allows you to say whatever you want—and keep in constant contact with the public," he wrote in Hard Left.

At a Glance …

Born Tavis Smiley on September 13, 1964, in Gulfport, MS; son of Emory G. Smiley (a U.S. Air Force noncommissioned officer) and Joyce M. Smiley (an associate Pentecostal minister). Education: Indiana University, bachelor's degree, 1986.

Career: Assistant to Bloomington, IN, mayor Tomilea Allison, 1984-85; aide to Los Angeles City Council president Pat Russell, 1987; special assistant to the executive director of Southern Christian Leadership Conference, Los Angeles, 1988; administrative aide to Los Angeles mayor Tom Bradley, 1988-90; The Smiley Report, radio/television commentator, 1990-2001; BET Tonight, commentator/host, 1996-2001; Tavis Smiley Foundation, founder, 1999; Tavis Smiley, host, 2004—; The Tavis Smiley Show, host, 2005—; Smiley-Books, publisher, 2007—.

Memberships: Los Angeles' Young Black Professionals, operations committee, chairman, 1988-90; United Way of Greater Los Angeles, steering committee, 1989-90; Inner City Foundation for Excellence in Education, advisory board, 1989-91; Challengers Boys and Girls Club, board of directors, 1989—; LA Black College Tour, board of directors, 1991—; Kappa Alpha Psi; Martin Luther King Jr. Center for Nonniolent Social Change, advisory board, 1992-93.

Awards: Time, List of Fifty Future Leaders, 1994; National Association for the Advancement of Colored People Image Award, Best News, Talk, or Information Series, 1997-99, 2006; Time, Fifty Most Promising Young Leaders, 2004.

Addresses: Office—The Smiley Group, 4434 Crenshaw Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90043.

Created His First Talk Radio Show

Smiley developed a sixty-second daily commentary called The Smiley Report, which dealt with various social and political issues of the day. He gradually obtained sponsors, and the African-American-owned radio station WGFJ in Los Angeles agreed to broadcast the commentary. The Smiley Report became an over-whelming success and was eventually syndicated in markets nationwide. As his reputation grew, Smiley received air time on larger Los Angeles radio stations as well as KABC-TV, Southern California's number-one news station. In 1993 Smiley published Just aThought: The Smiley Report, 1991-93, a compilation of his one-minute commentaries.

In 1994 Smiley was working as a commentator on KABC-AM's morning drive show, The Ken and Barkley Company, when he was asked to cohost an evening talk show on KMPC-AM with Ruben Navarrette. The show, Twentysomething Talk, was aimed at a younger "twentysomething" audience, a demographic group not widely targeted for talk radio. "We want to get young people thinking and talking," Smiley told the Los Angeles Times in 1996. "I think too often we go through life in our younger stages not thinking that social or political issues are going to impact us."

Smiley was included in Time's 1994 list of fifty future American leaders based on his record of "ambition, vision and community spirit." Time also praised Smiley as "a young black man unafraid to take on the white establishment," and noted his success in "engaging both blacks and whites on sensitive issues." Smiley wrote in his introduction to Hard Left that even though he was "humbled and honored" to have been so distinguished by Time, he noticed that most of the other political honorees were "from the Right." It spurred him to write Hard Left: Straight Talk about the Wrongs of the Right in 1996. "We'd better raise our voices quickly," Smiley wrote, "before the rhetoric from the Right overwhelms us all. It's not that the country has gone conservative, it's that those of us who are left of center have allowed the Right to take control of the dialogue." As a result, he argued, the Right has managed to promote the idea that it is the only group that believes in God and family. Smiley also discussed in Hard Left the political beliefs of the Left, the unrestrained bigotry of talk radio, and many other topics. Publishers Weekly called the book a "partisan, thoughtful political statement" and a "hard-hitting intellectual counterpunch that liberals will endorse."

Became Host for Nationally Syndicated Program

In the summer of 1996 President Bill Clinton introduced Smiley to Tom Joyner, the host of a nationally syndicated show on WABC Radio. Two months later, Smiley was doing commentaries for The Tom Joyner Morning Show. In the fall of 1996, he was selected for an on-air slot at Black Entertainment Television (BET) in Washington, D.C. Smiley's audition was so impressive that he was offered the job as host of BET Tonight even before the other applicants had a chance to interview. He soon began an exhausting bicoastal schedule that brought him home to south-central Los Angeles every week. In 1998 Smiley published On Air: The Best of Tavis Smiley on the Tom Joyner Morning Show: Thoughts on Culture, Politics, and Race, and he traveled overseas to cover President Clinton's trip to Africa in March of 1998.

As his media profile grew, Smiley became a much sought-after public speaker. In 1999 he established the Tavis Smiley Foundation, whose purpose was to encourage and empower youth and help them build leadership skills. Smiley parted ways with BET in 2001 after a falling out with the network, but later that year he landed a sweeping multimedia deal that included work for ABC News, ABC Radio Network, CNN, and National Public Radio (NPR). In 2004 Smiley became host of his own Public Broadcasting System talk show, the self-titled Tavis Smiley. Later that year he left NPR, announcing that he was doing so because of public radio's perceived lack of commitment to diversity in its programming. Smiley's absence from public radio was short-lived, however. In March of 2005 he announced a deal with NPR to air The Tavis Smiley Show, a two-hour talker that debuted in April. The following year, Third World Press published the Smiley-edited book The Covenant with Black America, a collection of essays by high-profile black scholars and professionals that rose to the top of the New York Times bestseller list.

Smiley was in the news again in 2007 when none of the leading Republican presidential candidates saw fit to participate in a presidential debate organized by Smiley. Later that year, he launched his own publishing company, SmileyBooks, whose initial list of authors included well-known African American writers such as Cornel West and the Reverend Iyanla Vanzant. In 2008 Smiley incurred the wrath of many of his long-standing audience members by making a series of critical remarks about the presidential candidate Barak Obama. He reacted to the negative response to his position on Obama by quitting his job as commentator on the Tom Joyner Morning Show. By that time, however, Joyner's show represented only a small piece of Smiley's burgeoning media empire, collectively called the Smiley Group. As of 2008 the Obama flap showed no sign of slowing down the communications force of nature that was Tavis Smiley.

Selected works

Just a Thought: The Smiley Report, 1991-93, Pines One Publishing, 1993.

Hard Left: Straight Talk about the Wrongs of the Right, Anchor Books, 1996.

On Air: The Best of Tavis Smiley on the Tom Joyner Morning Show: Thoughts on Culture, Politics, and Race, Pines One Publishing, 1998.

Doing What's Right: How to Fight for What You Believe, Doubleday, 2000.

(Editor) How to Make Black America Better: Leading African Americans Speak Out, Doubleday, 2001.

Keeping the Faith: Stories of Love, Courage, Healing, and Hope from Black America, Doubleday, 2002.

(Editor) The Covenant with Black America, Third World Press, 2006.

Never Mind Success—Go for Greatness!, Hay House, 2006.

(With David Ritz) What I Know for Sure: My Story of Growing up in America, Doubleday, 2006.

Sources

Periodicals

Amsterdam News (New York, NY), October 11, 2007, p. 23.

Jet, October 30, 2006, p. 14; April 28, 2008, p. 6.

Los Angeles Times, July 22, 1996; October 1, 2006, E1.

Los Angeles Times Calendar, November 6, 1994.

New York Times, October 10, 2006, p. E5.

Publishers Weekly, May 27, 1996.

Time, December 5, 1994.

Washington Post, June 22, 1998; September 19, 2007, p. A1; April 12, 2008, C1.

Online

"Biography," TavisTalks.com, http://www.tavistalks.com/aboutus/tavissmiley/ (accessed May 29, 2008).

—Ellen Dennis French and Bob Jacobson

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Smiley, Tavis 1964–

Tavis Smiley 1964

Journalist, author

At a Glance

Drawn to Politics

Springboard to Talk Radio

Tapped as a Future Leader

Selected writings

Sources

In a preview to its 1994 list of 50 future American leaders, Time magazine observed, As surely as there are forces organic to todays America that stifle leadership, there are forces within some Americans that cause them to lead nonetheless. Ambition plays a role, as does a desire to do good, but doggedness is essential, as is a sort of questioning curiosity. Named to that list of emerging leaders, Tavis Smiley is an excellent fit for this leadership profile. Observers perceive him as impatient to get to the top. Yes, Im impatient, Smiley acknowledged to the Los Angeles Times in 1994, but I dont think I have to be patient. I have to be good. I dont see why you have to wait till youre 50 years old to be a success.

Smiley has been running on a political fast track since he was in college, when he interned in the administration of the late Los Angeles mayor Tom Bradley. After graduation from Indiana University, he worked for three years as an administrative aide in the Bradley organization, hosted radio talk shows, served as a guest commentator on several network television shows, and created his own 60-second syndicated radio commentary, The Smiley Report. He has written three books since 1993, most notably the liberal manifesto Hard Right: Straight Talk about the Wrongs of the Right Published in June of 1996, the book was into a third printing only a month later.

The third of ten children, Smiley was born September 13, 1964 in Gulfport, Mississippi, the son of Joyce M. and Emory G. Smiley. When he was two his father, an Air Force noncommissioned officer, was transferred to Grissom Air Force Base in Bunker Hill, Indiana. Upon arriving in Indiana, the Smiley family took up residence in a crowded mobile home in Kokomo. Although the family was poor, Smiley observed in the introduction to Hard Left thatwhile we never had a lot of what we wanted, I cant say we ever went hungry, either. His father often worked several part-time jobs to support his large family, and Smiley wrote of him, Ive never known anyone with a stronger work ethic. Smileys mother was an associate minister at their church, the New Bethel Tabernacle, part of the Pentecostal Assemblies of the World. Smiley recalled for the Washington Post that he was in church every day when he was growing up.

Acutely aware that Indiana had once been the location of the national headquarters of the Ku Klux Klan, Smiley nevertheless described his youth in Hard Left asa typical midwestern small-town life. He was one of only a handful of African American students in an otherwise all-White high school, but he did not allow this to become an obstacle. He was elected class president and votedmost likely to succeedat his high school. Smiley observed in Hard Left thatalthough I lived in a nearly all-White community, I never felt less than simply because of the color of my skin. I learned that people of different races can and do get along. Which says to me that we dont have to buy this race-baiting, divide-and-conquer

At a Glance

Born Tavis Smiley September 13, 1964 in Gulfport, Mississippi; son of Emory G. Smiley (an Air Force noncommissioned officer) and Joyce M. Smiley (an associate Pentecostal minister). Education: Indiana University, bachelors degree, 1986.

Career: Radio/television commentator, author, 1990; asst.toBloomington, IN, mayor Tomilea Allison, 198485; aide to Los Angeles City Council president Pat Russell, 1987; special asst. to the exec. dir. SCLC, Los Angeles, 1988; admin, aide to Los Angeles mayor Tom Bradley, 198890; The Smiley Report radio/television commentator, 1990; tv commentator/host, BET Tonight Black Entertainment Television, 1996.

Member: Los AngelesYoung Black Professionals, chairman, operations committee, 198890; Inner City Foundation for Excellence in Education, advisory bd., 198991; Challengers Boys and Girls Club, board of dirs., 1989; LA Black College Tour, board of dirs., 1991; Kappa Alpha Psi; Martin Luther King, Jr., Centerfor Non-Violent Social Change, advisory board, 199293; United Way of Greater Los Angeles, steering committee, 198990.

Awards: Dollars and Sense Magazine, Outstanding Business and Professional Award, 1992; Time Magazine, List of 50 Future Leaders, 1994; Vanity Fair Hall of Fame, 1996.

Addresses: Home Los Angeles, CA; Office Black Entertainment Television, One BET Plaza, 1900 W Place NE, Washington, DC 200181211.

technique the radical Right is pushing.

Drawn to Politics

Smileys love for politics began at the age of 13, when he attended a campaign speech by then-U.S. Senator Birch Bayh at an American Legion Hall. That night, he abandoned his dream of becoming a major league baseball player when he realized that politicians were in a unique position to motivate people and positively affect their lives. Upon graduation from high school, Smiley attended Indiana University in Bloomington where he landed a spot on the debate team and became active in student government. He also got involved in local politics by working for the mayor of Bloomington, Tomilea Allison. Having achievedeverything I wanted to do in college except graduateby the end of his junior year, Smiley told the Los Angeles Times that he considered dropping out. However, a friend persuaded him to stay in school and seek work as an intern. After repeated telephone calls and letters to the office of Los Angeles mayor Tom Bradley, Smiley was eventually granted an internship.

Springboard to Talk Radio

After graduating from Indiana University, Smiley worked for three years as an administrative aide in the Bradley camp. At the age of 24, he was the youngest member of Mayor Bradleys executive staff. In 1991, Smiley left Bradleys staff to run for city council in Los Angeles. Running against incumbent Ruth Galanter, Smiley finished a respectable fourth in a field of 15 challengers. With no clear plan for the future, his defeat forced him to reassess his interests and options. He wrote in Hard Left, I realized I was most fulfilled when I was helping educate, empower, and encourage people who live in the indigenous community. Undeterred by his election loss, Smiley was already planning to run again in four years. In order to keep his name before the public and maintain a political image based on current issues, he decided to tackle talk radio. Its a high-profile job that allows you to say whatever you wantand keep in constant contact with the public, he wrote in Hard Left.

Smiley developed a 60-second daily commentary entitledThe Smiley Report, which dealt with various social and political issues of the day. He gradually obtained sponsorship, and the African American-owned radio station WGFJ in Los Angeles agreed to broadcast the commentary. The Smiley Reportbecame an overwhelming success and was eventually syndicated in markets nationwide. As his reputation grew, Smiley received air time on larger Los Angeles radio stations as well as KABC-TV, Southern Californias number one news station. In 1993, Smiley published a compilation of his one-minute commentaries entitled Just A Thought: The Smiley Report.

In 1994, Smiley was working as a commentator on KABC-AMs morning drive show, The Ken and Barkley Companywhen he was asked to co-host an evening talk show on KMPC-AM with Ruben Navarrette. The show, Twentysomething Talk, was aimed at a younger, twentysomethingaudience, a demographic group not widely targeted for talk radio. We want to get young people thinking and talking, Smiley told the Los Angeles Times in 1996. He further explained, I think too often we go through life in our younger stages not thinking that social or political issues are going to impact us.

Tapped as a Future Leader

In 1974, Time magazine created a list that predicted 50 future American leaders. President Bill Clinton was on that list. Smiley was included on Times list of 50 future American leaders in 1994 based, according to the magazine, on his record ofambition, vision and community spirit. Time also praised Smiley asa young black man unafraid to take on the white establishment, and noted his success inengaging both blacks and whites on sensitive issues. Smiley wrote in his introduction to Hard Left that although he washumbled and honoredto have been so distinguished by Time, he noticed that most of the other political honorées werefrom the Right. It spurred him to write Hard Left: Straight Talk about the Wrongs of the Right in 1996. Wed better raise our voices quickly, Smiley wrote, before the rhetoric from the Right overwhelms us all. Its not that the country has gone conservative, its that those of us who are left of center have allowed the Right to take control of the dialogue. As a result, he argued, the Right has managed to promote the idea that it is the only group that believes in God and family. In Hard Left, Smiley also discusses the political beliefs of the Left, the unrestrained bigotry of talk radio, and many other topics. Publishers Weekly called the book apartisan, thoughtful political statementand ahard-hitting intellectual counterpunch that liberals will endorse.

In the summer of 1996 President Clinton introduced Smiley to Tom Joyner, host of a nationally syndicated show on WABC Radio. Two months later, according to the Washington Post, Smiley was doing commentaries forThe Tom Joyner Morning Show. In the fall of 1996, he was selected for an on-air slot at Black Entertainment Television (BET) in Washington, D.C. Smileys audition was so impressive, that he landed the job as host ofBET Tonighteven before the other applicants had a chance to interview. Since then, he has pursued an exhausting bi-coastal schedule that brings him home to South-Central Los Angeles every week. In 1998, Smiley published the compilation On Air: The Best of Tavis Smiley on the Tom Joyner Morning Show and traveled overseas to cover President Clintons trip to Africa in March of 1998.

Smiley has enjoyed phenomenal success since losing the Los Angeles City Council election. As Esther Iverem noted in the Washington Post, From where he sits now, politics has lost its gloss. Hes seen that he can get more accomplished quickly with one commentary than with months of trying to pass some legislation. Iverem also wrote that Smileys commentarieshave been the catalyst for national campaigns that have registered voters, halted a planned auction of slave memorabilia, and packed a congressional hearing on legislation to wipe out affirmative action. Smiley has become a voice for the people, a frank delegate for the disenfranchised, a motivator for those who have given up. As Iverem wrote, In an era when many African Americans feel politically impotent, he has used the media pulpit to make his voice, and as an extension, the voices of African Americans heard in usually inaccessible halls of power.

Tavis Smiley has enjoyed many great accomplishments and has traveled far from his days as a poor boy in Kokomo. However, his past successes mark only the beginning of a bright future. Smileys driving ambition, political activism, and willingness to confront the issues of the day ensure that his voice will be heard on the American scene for many years to come.

Selected writings

Hard Left: Straight Talk about the Wrongs of the Right, Anchor Books/Doubleday, 1996.

On Air: The Best of Tavis Smiley on the Tom Joyner Morning Show, Pines One Publishing, 1998.

Sources

Books

Smiley, Tavis. Hard Left: Straight Talk about the Wrongs of the Right New York: Anchor Books/Doubleday, 1996.

Periodicals

Los Angeles Times, July 22, 1996.

Los Angeles Times Calendar, November 6, 1994.

Publishers Weekly, May 27, 1996.

Time, December 5, 1994.

Washington Post, June 22, 1998.

Ellen Dennis French

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Smiley, Tavis 1964-

Smiley, Tavis 1964-

PERSONAL

Born September 13, 1964, in Gulfport, MS; son of Emory G. and Joyce M. Smiley. Education: Indiana University, graduated, 1986.

Addresses:

Office—The Smiley Group, Inc., 3870 Crenshaw Blvd., Suite 391, Los Angeles, CA 90008. Agent— International Creative Management, 10250 Constellation Way, 9th Floor, Los Angeles, CA 90067.

Career:

Television show host and actor. The Smiley Report, commentator, 1990-2001; contributor to CNN and HuffingtonPost.com, 2001; ABC-TV, special correspondent, 2001; Tom Joyner Morning Show, commentator; Smiley Group, Inc., Los Angeles, CA, president and chief executive officer. Assistant to Mayor Tomilea Alison, Los Angeles, CA, 1984-85; special assistant to the executive director, Los Angeles, CA, 1987-88; council aide, Los Angeles, CA, 1987; administrative aide to Mayor Tom Bradley, Los Angeles, CA, 1988-90. Young Black Profiles, chairman of operations committee, 1988-90; United Way Greater Los Angeles, member of steering committee, 1989-90; Inner City Foundation for Excellence in Education, member of board advisory boards, 1989-91; After Class Scouting, Scouting USA, member of advisory board, 1991; Martin Luther King, Jr., Non-Violent Social Change, member of advisory board, 1992-93; Tavis Smiley Foundation, founder, 1999; Challengers Boys and Girls Club, member of board of directors; Black College Tour, Los Angeles, CA, member of board of directors.

Member:

Kappa Alpha Psi.

Awards, Honors:

Outstanding Business Profiles Award, Dollars & Sense Magazine, 1992; Image Award, best news, talk or information series, National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, 1997, 1998, 1999, all for BET Tonight with Tavis Smiley; President's Award, Image Awards, 2000; Image Award, outstanding television news, talk or information series or special, 2006, for Tavis Smiley; Mickey Leland Humanitarian Award, National Association of Minorities in Communications; numerous honorary degrees including honorary doctorate from Indiana University.

CREDITS

Film Appearances:

Himself, Letter to the President (documentary), Image Entertainment, 2005.

Television Appearances; Series:

Host, BET Talk, Black Entertainment Television, 1996.

Host, EmergeTV, Black Entertainment Television, 1997.

Host, BET Tonight with Tavis Smiley (also known as BET Tonight), Black Entertainment Television, 1997-2001.

Host, Tavis Smiley, PBS, 2004—.

Television Appearances; Movies:

Himself, One Special Moment, Black Entertainment Television, 2001.

Television Appearances; Specials:

Host, Race in America: A Multicultural Dialogue, Black Entertainment Television, 1998.

Presenter, The 30th NAACP Image Awards, Fox, 1999.

Tavis Smiley Presents: The Road to Health—Obesity & Our Children: Parts 1 & 2," 2007.

Television Appearances; Episodic:

Himself, "The Last Auction Hero," For Your Love, The WB, 1999.

Himself, "Election 2000," The Parkers, UPN, 2000.

"It's Not Just a Word: Part 1," Any Day Now, Lifetime, 2001.

Thurgood Marshall, "What Dreams May Come," American Dreams (also known as Our Generation), 2004.

The Late Late Show with Craig Kilborn (also known as The Late Late Show), CBS, 2004.

Real Times with Bill Maher, HBO, 2004, 2006.

Hardball with Chris Matthews, HBO, 2006.

Television Work; Series:

Supervising producer and managing editor, Tavis Smiley, PBS, 2004.

WRITINGS

Nonfiction:

Hard Left: Straight Talk About the Wrongs of the Right, 1996.

Doing What's Right: How to Fight for What You Believe and Make a Difference, 2000.

How to Make Black America Better: Leading African Americans Speak Out, 2002.

(With David Ritz) What I Know for Sure: My Story of Growing Up in America, Doubleday Publishing, 2006.

The Covenant with Black America, 2006.

Also wrote On Air: The Best of Tavis Smiley on the Tom Joyner Morning Show; Keeping the Faith: Stories of Love, Courage, Healing, and Hope from Black America.

OTHER SOURCES

Electronic:

Tavis Smiley Website,http://www.tavistalks.com, May 14, 2007.

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