Tavis Smiley Quotes

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The choices we make about the lives we live determine the kinds of legacies we leave.
Tavis Smiley (The Other Wes Moore: One Name, Two Fates)
I believe that unarmed truth and unconditional love will have the final word in reality. That is why right temporarily defeated is stronger than evil triumphant.
Tavis Smiley (Death of a King: The Real Story of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.'s Final Year)
If the soul is left in darkness, sins will be committed. The guilty one is not he who commits the sin, but the one who causes the darkness.
Tavis Smiley (Death of a King: The Real Story of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.'s Final Year)
When Fox News’s Sean Hannity asked black talk-show host Tavis Smiley in October of 2013 if black Americans were “better off five years into the Obama presidency,” Smiley responded: “Let me answer your question very forthrightly: No, they are not. The data is going to indicate, sadly, that when the Obama administration is over, black people will have lost ground in every single leading economic indicator category. On that regard, the president ought to be held responsible.”2
Jason L. Riley (Please Stop Helping Us: How Liberals Make It Harder for Blacks to Succeed)
All he could think of was how all people require attention. All people require respect. All people require acknowledgment. All people require love.
Tavis Smiley (Death of a King: The Real Story of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.'s Final Year)
The old African proverb says, ‘The ax forgets; the tree remembers.’ I saw how horrifically it injured us to identify with our oppressors. If we were to keep our souls whole, we couldn’t afford to forget. We had to remember.
Tavis Smiley (My Journey with Maya)
I refuse to despair in this moment. I refuse to allow myself to fall into the dark chambers of pessimism, because I think in any social revolution the one thing that keeps it going is hope, and when hope dies somehow the revolution degenerates into a kind of nihilistic philosophy which says you must engage in disruption for disruption’s sake.… I believe that the forces of goodwill, white and black, in this country can work together to bring about a resolution.… We have the resources to do it.…
Tavis Smiley (Death of a King: The Real Story of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.'s Final Year)
Well, if that’s the case, then it’s not silly to see rejection as a gift whose contents and character may not be known until a later time. But that doesn’t mean that the gift isn’t real. It doesn’t mean that the gift isn’t precious. And it doesn’t mean that the gift isn’t helping us to subtly shift our thinking from willful expectation to grateful acceptance. We want our journey to be directed by God, not our adamant insistence that things go our way.” “I may be guilty of that very tendency,” I
Tavis Smiley (My Journey with Maya)
Hope is not desire.… You may desire money, but you hope for peace. You may desire sex, but you hope for freedom. You may desire beautiful clothes, but you hope for the ringing of justice. You see, desire has an ‘I’ quality, but hope has a ‘we’ quality.… I’ve seen people who have lost hope. They wander through life, but somehow they never live life.… They merely exist.… I have seen hate, and all the time I see it, I say to myself, ‘Hate is too great a burden to bear.’ I don’t want to be like that.… It is only through love that we keep hope alive.… Hope is based on faith that life has ultimate meaning.
Tavis Smiley (Death of a King: The Real Story of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.'s Final Year)
Fundamentally, this story is about two boys, each of whom was going through his own personal journey and searching for help. One of them received it; the other didn't. And now the world stands witness to the results. Small interactions and effortless acts of kindness can mean the difference between failure and success, pain and pleasure - or becoming the people we loathe or love to become. We are more powerful than we realize, and I urge you to internalize the meaning of this remarkable story and unleash your own power. (Tavis Smiley)
Wes Moore (The Other Wes Moore: One Name, Two Fates)
battered
Tavis Smiley (The Rich and the Rest of Us: A Poverty Manifesto)
White America has told Doc: We have created a space for you. We have allowed you to be the leader of your people for your cause. We have become comfortable seeing you in this space. This space has resulted in your receiving a Nobel Peace Prize. But that leadership and prize do not allow you to address issues outside your space.
Tavis Smiley
Poverty is not the stepchild of the Great Recession; poverty has always been a part of American life.
Tavis Smiley (The Rich and the Rest of Us: A Poverty Manifesto)
Since time immemorial wise people have been saying that all comparisons are odious. When we compare, we set up a winner-loser dynamic. If my crisis is greater than yours, then yours is belittled and insignificant. I say that’s nonsense. Each crisis has its own power, its own unique reality.
Tavis Smiley (My Journey with Maya)
The man who has been to ‘No House’ is as significant as the man who’s been to Morehouse.… The person who picks up our garbage is as significant as the physician.… All labor has worth.… You are reminding not only Memphis but the nation that it is a crime for people to live in this rich nation and receive starvation wages.… The vast majority of Negroes in our country are still perishing on a lonely island of poverty in a vast ocean of material prosperity.…
Tavis Smiley (Death of a King: The Real Story of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.'s Final Year)
True compassion is more than flinging a coin to a beggar. It comes to see that an edifice which produces beggars needs restructuring.” Doc
Tavis Smiley (Death of a King: The Real Story of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.'s Final Year)
The draft,” he shouts, “is white people sending black people to make war on yellow people in order to defend the land they stole from red people. The draft must end: not tomorrow, not next week, but today.
Tavis Smiley (Death of a King: The Real Story of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.'s Final Year)
True democracy focuses on the public interest; it defends the common good and protects its citizens - especially the weak and the vulnerable. We maintain that no democracy can survive without the powerful notions of compassion and public service. The level of wealth inequality in this country has gotten so far out of hand, the quantity of compassion so diminished, that the very future of democracy is at stake." ― & Cornel West
Tavis Smiley (The Rich and the Rest of Us: A Poverty Manifesto)
Unfortunately, Stand Your Ground laws have recently become the subject of a racially-charged debate. President Obama and then-Attorney General Holder have weighed in, suggesting that Stand Your Ground laws do not apply equally to all races. And in 2013 on ABC News’s This Week, Tavis Smiley declared: “It appears to me, and I think many other persons in this country, that you can in fact stand your ground unless you are a black man.”5 In fact, blacks living in high-crime urban areas are the most likely victims of violent crime and the most likely beneficiaries of Stand Your Ground laws. Blacks are disproportionately affected by rules that make self-defense more difficult.
John R. Lott Jr. (The War on Guns: Arming Yourself Against Gun Control Lies)
The guilty one is not he who commits the sin, but the one who causes the darkness.
Tavis Smiley (Death of a King: The Real Story of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.'s Final Year)