Urban Issues Breakfast
Princeton professor Cornel West (top) joined Tavis Smiley (center) and Anthony Assadullah Samad during a teach-in about the exhibit “America I Am: The African American Imprint” on view through May 2 at the California Science Center in Exposition park. The event drew an intent crowd and a joint project of Samad’s Urban Issues Breakfast forum and the Smiley Group, which is co-producing America I Am. The interactive exhibit highlights 500 years of African contributions to America through 300 rare artifacts and other items.
“Any man who wants to be president is either an egomaniac or crazy.” —Dwight D. Eisenhower
“Does it disturb you that so many people hate you?” —Conservative political commentator Bill O’Reilly to Barack Obama on a Feb. 6, 2011, during a White House interview.
Tavis Smiley and Cornel West, Ph.D., deserve high props for their summer poverty tour. They started on an Indian reservation, hit the inner city, and looked at poverty in all of its manifestations. While many dismissed their high-profile tour as a political ploy, I am absolutely convinced of their sincerity.
In addition, these two men are among the few who have dared utter the “p” word in public.
LOS ANGELES, Calif.—Tavis Smiley will put a human face on the alarming new data about poverty in America with special programming on both his national public television and radio programs.
With nearly 50 million Americans, or one in six, now living in poverty, “The Poverty Tour: A Call to Conscience” will kick off with a roundtable discussion on The Tavis Smiley Show from PRI on Friday, October 7 (public radio), and will be the focus of five special episodes on the PBS program Tavis Smiley Monday, October 10 through Friday, October 14.
This is the debate our community was waiting to have. It is a “must have.” We will discover everybody’s motives as this conversation shakes out—those who claim they’re with Obama, and just want him to “do something” to help Black people; those who just want to ‘push him’ to be ‘great;’ those who just want ‘what’s best for the people,’ and those who are true Obama-haters, but can’t admit it lest they lose legitimacy with the very people they claim to represent.
In February and again in April, President Barack Obama met with significant elements of the African American community to discuss what Blacks saw as their most critical need, and how they could work together with the White House to improve the condition of African Americans in the country. He met with the NAACP’s Ben Jealous, the Urban League’s Marc Morial, and Rev. Al Sharpton.