Friday, November 21, 2008

Marking It's Ten Year Anniversary - Does Tavis Smiley's State Of The Black Union Meeting Have Any Purpose or Value?

Other than resulting in more videos and books for Tavis Smiley to hawk on the Internet, what purpose has ten years of State Of The Black Union meetings served? Can anyone name one program or piece of legislation that resulted from these meetings? Other than the usual gang of predominantly black male panelists, Farrakhan, Joyner, West, Dyson, Jackson, etc.....has any African American gained anything from appearing on this program?

What has come out of the so-called Covenant With Black America? Has the State of the Black Union helped elect one African American to public office? African Americans are notorious for marches and meetings, but in the 1960s and 1970s we produced results, in the 1990s and 2000s, we have produced what exactly? I think it's time that we start asking ourselves that question.


Faith November 21, 2008 at 6:32 AM  

The Negro Superbowl hasn't done anything but line the pockets of Tavis. Every year it's the same blowhards pontificating for the purpose of exalting themselves while they get ZERO done. Talk is cheap Tavis! Are you going to enter his blogger contest?

Professor Tracey November 21, 2008 at 8:37 AM  

That's my very point, why isn't Smiley throwing open his doors to as many black bloggers as possible? Instead of using that group in the most productive way, he's having a contest?

cinco November 21, 2008 at 12:51 PM  

Exactly. A contest that winning means exactly what? The years of talking have done little to lead to actions that better the lives of other Blacks or empower them or even inspire.

Claudia November 21, 2008 at 1:22 PM  

I'm glad you said it, Tracey. Because I've been wondering this since the beginning. I think the follow-up should be more than just another publication credit for Tavis - where are the results? What makes it worse is that no matter what happens - these kinds of events will still be positively drowning in commercial sponsorship. I'm sure Wal-Mart, McDonald's, and SouthWest Airlines will continue to trip over themselves to finance these kinds of superficial activities. (I might be confusing Tavis with Tom Joyner here, but I think the issue is still relevant... who is paying for this stuff? I don't know anyone who owns a copy of Tavis's latest book...)

Having said this - you should enter that contest, Prof. T, and put Tavis in his place! Cornel West will have a fit...!

Mista Jaycee November 21, 2008 at 3:00 PM  

Sure it serves a purpose. It enlightens, it informs and it serves if nothing else but to piss you off! All these things have thier place and are good things!
Sounds like a lil haterade for Tavis!
Remember now Tavis has tried to inspire and incite a few efforts over the years but he is not solely responsible for leading an effort as you say!

Min. Lou has employed and reformed people within the Black community for years and instilled purpose within them too all while making a buck but he is not and can not be the sole leader. Remember now, Our leaders have always been targeted and destroyed. I just singled out Tavis and Lou for examples. We need a collective effort. What legistation or efforts have we Black Bloggers led? Yet we do serve a purpose beyond just our own enrichement. Be Fair!
Love y'all

Faith November 21, 2008 at 3:02 PM  

Claudia that contest is a joke. You have to write an essay, have your blog visitors vote on you then your name goes in a hat and you have to sign away you life and rights to Tavis. FAIL!

Professor Tracey November 21, 2008 at 3:29 PM  

Sorry Jaycee, but I respectfully disagree. The Black State of the Union draws thousands of dollars of sponsors each year and the only thing that comes out of it is a new book with Tavis Smiley's name on it. As I stated before, name one person that gained from being a part of that program.

In ten years has the Black State of the Union produced one new radio host, journalist, political spokesperson, a new black voice that NO ONE had ever heard of before or was not a buddy of Tavis'?

And Minister Farrakhan's voice is muzzled and ignored because of his extreme views, he only reaches one segment of the population. Ten years should have produced a college network, a non-profit network, a few think tanks, blogs, tv and radio shows, where is that stuff?

I will be posting on this subject for this weekend, come back and maybe you'll see where I'm going.

TD1016 November 21, 2008 at 5:06 PM  

I feel that it needs to be tweaked. I feel that there's lots of talk and not so much action from "leaders" or us as a community. Now its kinda like a let's b^%$# about everything fest. Plus I think you need some regular folks up. Have more of like a town hall meeting then a presentation.

Anonymous,  November 21, 2008 at 6:04 PM  

This is exactly why Obama didn't attend last year and that is exactly why Tavis endorsed Hillary.

Siditty November 21, 2008 at 10:29 PM  

It is informative, but not really effective, and I like Tavis, but in reality it is a way for him to keep his name in the public.

BLKSeaGoat November 22, 2008 at 11:12 AM  

Oh great... Another excuse for the creme de la creme of Chitlin Eatin' Negroes to meet and enjoy hearing themselves talk.

I'll pass. I challenge anyone to name ONE thing the SOBU has accomplished in its 10 year history.

Renee November 22, 2008 at 5:55 PM  

You get to see the black afrostocracy in action and nothing results of it. I believe that they should really open this up to coverage from bloggers and engagement with us. Lets face facts it is black bloggers that talk about the state of the black community on a daily basis. It us that struggle to make sure that everyone is informed.

Tavis isn't interested in uplift, he is interested in celebrity status. I am not even going to bother entering my blog. He is not going to use me to keep his arrogant ass in the spotlight.

oregonsistah November 22, 2008 at 8:03 PM  

Tavis doesn't impress me one bit, but I do believe he donated money to Texas Southern University in Houston for their Communications and I think it is named after him. I think about Tavis and the SOBU like blogger who calls them Intellectual Masturbators. Making money off of talking about black issues.

Anonymous,  November 25, 2008 at 11:14 AM  

My take is a bit different from yours Prof. Its too long for your comment field though...

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