Tavis Smiley was in action in Louisville on Tuesday, February 20th on the Covenant In Action Tour which ended Friday, February 23rd in Los Angeles. Covenant In Action is the new companion book to the New York Times No. 1 best seller, Covenant With Black America. About 800 people attended the two-hour town hall meeting a Canaan Christian Church.
Presenting a photo gallery of babies whose pictures are on the cover of the new book, Tavis said in Louisville, "Everything we do has got to be about the babies. If you miss that, you've missed the whole point of my being here." What resonated when Tavis spoke was his genuine love for Jesus Christ and people of color, and his deep knowledge of African American history, politics, and current events. Quoting Cornel West, who was supposed to accompany him to Louisville, Tavis told the audience, "Leadership is about love and service. You can't lead folk if you don't love them. You can't save folk if you don't serve them." He went on to tell attendees before opening the floor to a question and answer period, "A strong community doesn't need a leader...You are the leader you've been looking for."
I was blessed to interview Tavis by phone on 1350 WLOU, Louisville's Praise and Worship Station last year in May (photo left) and again on February 19th. Tavis said Louisville was added to the 14-city tour, which included Chicago, Atlanta, Dallas, and Los Angeles, due to the overwhelming show of love we gave Covenant With Black America in 2006. I personally would love to see Louisville become a host city for an upcoming State of the Black Union summit. If we can pack Freedom Hall with 19,000 plus University of Louisville Cardinals fans, surely we can pack Freedom Hall with 19,000 plus State of the Black Union fans. We love him and what he's doing, and like he says, there ain't nothing he can do about it.
Additional Sources: The Smiley Group; *Jet Magazine, February 26, 2007 Edition, page 10; Youtube.com, February 19th video posting.