Even the President Can’t Talk Openly About Race. What Does That Mean for the Rest of America?

Moving past racism "is about respecting and reveling in the humanity of every other fellow citizen."

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My Journey With Maya author Tavis Smiley calls racism "the most intractable issue in this country" and explains why it won't going away anytime soon unless society shifts how it values humanity.

Self-Help from Maya Angelou: There Are No Shortcuts. You Find Your Path by Walking It

Tavis Smiley dictates a letter to a young American with inspiration from his late friend, Maya Angelou. No matter how much you seek the answers to life from external sources, the truth you seek can only be found within you.

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Tavis Smiley dictates a letter to a young American with inspiration from his late friend, Maya Angelou. No matter how much you seek the answers to life from external sources, the truth you seek can only be found within you. You must walk your own path without aid of shortcuts. And you need to acknowledge that the journey toward the authentic you is more important than the destination. Smiley's latest book is an account of his friendship with Angelou, My Journey with Maya.

Tavis Smiley on When It’s OK to Use the N-Word

Tavis Smiley, author of "My Journey With Maya," recalls many of the topics he and author Maya Angelou debated -- notably the use of the N-word -- during their long friendship.

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Tavis Smiley, author of My Journey With Maya, recalls many of the topics he and author Maya Angelou debated -- notably the use of the n-word -- during their long friendship. "Maya could not stand the N-word," says Smiley. "Had no use for it and the context of its use did not have matter to her." Smiley also delves into a conversation about values and virtues. What value did Maya Angelou cherish above all? Courage, because it takes courage to love.

Tavis Smiley: Is There Such a Thing as Selling Out? Why Maya Angelou Acted in a Tyler Perry Movie

The late Maya Angelou taught Tavis Smiley an important lesson about the respective values of art and entertainment.

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Talk show host Tavis Smiley is author of the new book My Journey With Maya about his friendship with Maya Angelou. In this video interview, Smiley recounts a conversation he had with the late poet about her involvement in a Tyler Perry "Madea" movie. It wasn't high art, said Angelou, but it afforded her an opportunity to be in a film where she could speak to a generation of young people that she otherwise might never have reached. Angelou taught Smiley to approach the Art vs. Entertainment dilemma with new eyes. Smiley also touches on the topic of hip-hop and why it's important not to judge and demonize an entire genre or subculture based on predilections against individuals.