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OH NO: Tavis Smiley Ends State of the Black Union Series! What will the celebrities do for publicity now?
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Originally Posted: January 1, 2010
The State of the Black Union (SOBU) symposium has been one of the most anticipated events for millions of African Americans during the last decade, but after 10 years of conversations, founder Tavis Smiley has announced the end of the series.Smiley, the host of Tavis Smiley on PBS, said ending production of SOBU will allow him to concentrate on a new series of primetime television specials for 2010 on PBS as well as grow other divisions of his multimedia company, including the SmileyBooks imprint, his weekly public radio show, his non-profit youth foundation and the award-winning traveling museum exhibition America I AM: The African American Imprint.For fans and collectors, the State of the Black Union: 10-Year Conversation Box Set Collection, which includes all 10 symposia on 23 separate discs on DVD, is now available. Each boxed set is numbered and personally autographed by Smiley.Smiley moderated the first SOBU in 2000 on the eve of the Democratic Convention in Los Angeles. The series, always free and open to the public, then crisscrossed the country often serving as a pulse check on how African Americans were fairing economically, politically and socially. While tens of thousand s attended the forums in person; millions more viewed the live broadcasts annually on C-SPAN. It returned to Los Angeles on February 28, 2009, marking its 10th anniversary.”This symposium represents one of the great joys of my life. I have thoroughly enjoyed raising awareness and moderating the dialogue between the panelists and our live audiences,” Smiley said. “I am grateful to the viewing audiences who have tuned in over the years.”The DVD collection showcases some of the nation’s most influential and prolific thinkers, entertainers, politicians and social critics weighing in on a range of issues such as wealth-building, the Black church, family, justice, education and health. (Click “Next” above or below for next segment)
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