Accountable: Making America As Good As Its Promise

Accountable: Making America As Good As Its Promise Book III in the celebrated New York Times best-selling The Covenant series. How can we create an America as good as its promise? Best-selling author and award-winning broadcaster, Tavis Smiley, challenges us to set a new standard for those who lead and those who follow—in Accountable.

Accountable is the yardstick that will determine whether we, the people—both political leaders and citizens—have lived up to the aspirations enshrined in The Covenant and operationalized in THE COVENANT In Action.

It offers a pragmatic model for holding our new president and political leaders accountable for what they have promised and must deliver. It also holds us accountable both as individuals and as a community for our actions or inactions in keeping our agenda on track. Because the stakes have never been higher, Accountable teaches American citizens how to be driven by “the cause and not the candidate,” and how to sustain the new political dialogue in which “our votes cannot be separated from our voices.”

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AudioBook available at

What I Know for Sure

Tavis Smiley grew up in a family of thirteen in a small trailer in Indiana, where money was scarce and the sight of other black faces even scarcer. He grew up feeling like an outsider because of the color of his skin, his Pentecostal religious beliefs, and his family's economic circumstances, but the love and support of his family sustained him.

That trust and support were shattered when his father, in a moment of rage, beat him with an electrical cord.

Placed in foster care for a time, it took Smiley years to bridge the emotional chasm between him and his parents. Nothing, however, could quench his fierce inner drive to succeed.

From his remarkable speaking ability to his fight for African American rights and politics to the start of his career as a radio and television commentator, in What I Know for Sure you will discover a side of Smiley that has never been seen before.

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Covenant with Black America

Six years' worth of symposiums come together in this rich collection of essays that plot a course for African Americans, explaining how individuals and households can make changes that will immediately improve their circumstances in areas ranging from health and education to crime reduction and financial well-being.

Addressing these pressing concerns are contributors: Dr. David Satcher, former U.S. surgeon general; Wade Henderson, executive director of the Leadership Conference on Civil Rights; Angela Glover Blackwell, founder of the research think tank PolicyLink; and Cornel West, professor of religion at Princeton University.

Each chapter outlines one key issue and provides a list of resources, suggestions for action, and a checklist for what concerned citizens can do to keep their communities progressing socially, politically, and economically. Though the African American community faces devastating social disparities—in which more than 8 million people live in poverty—this celebration of possibility, hope, and strength will help leaders and citizens keep Black America moving forward.

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Keeping the Faith: Stories of Love, Courage, Healing and Hope from Black America

An inspiring collection of personal narratives about love, loss, and faith by African Americans from all walks of life, assembled and introduced by the popular author, PBS and PRI talk show host, and USA Today Weekend correspondent Tavis Smiley.

Written by African Americans from all walks of life, with a sprinkling of more famous individuals --

  • Cornel West
  • Angela Bassett
  • Jill Scott
  • Les Brown
  • Iyanla Vanzant
  • E. Lynn Harris

-- the stories, reminiscences, and testimonies in Keeping the Faith share lessons learned about family, heritage, and the celebration of black culture, illuminating moments that touched the contributors' lives in special ways.

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How to Make Black America Better

The book opens with Smiley’s own contribution, "Ten Challenges to Black America," in which he implores his readers to, among other invocations, "Think Black First" and "Establish a Black American Legacy."

Smiley also brings together a diverse range of today’s most prominent and accomplished African American individuals who provide their personal perspectives about the challenges facing Black America—and offer provocative ideas about how real change might be forged.

"What I hope to share with you in this book," Smiley writes, "are a few of the simple steps each of us can take to make a meaningful contribution to our community and our country."

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Doing What's Right

In a world where most people sit back and wait for change to miraculously unfold, Tavis Smiley is an inspiring exception.

Long before he burst on the scene with a talk show that reached 55 million households every night, he had been a crusader for change—the advocate’s advocate. Whether forcing a racist advertising firm to change its policies or successfully promoting a congressional bill to honor Rosa Parks, the mother of the civil rights movement, he has become a tireless champion of society’s most basic values: justice, civility, integrity, and responsibility.

In this book, Tavis Smiley gives us proven tools to transform our communities, our lives, our world.

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On Air: The Best of Tavis Smiley

In On Air, Tavis Smiley brings us a collector’s edition of his hard-hitting, thought-provoking, and action-guided commentaries heard on the Tom Joyner Morning Show.

From the nation’s capital, Smiley breaks down the political rhetoric to Black America and enlists their help to save Congressional politicians and stop attacks on affirmative action.

Included are some of Smiley’s most memorable campaigns, like the one that brought back Fox network’s Living Single and the voter registration campaign that registered 250,000 new voters in six weeks to Christie’s suspending the sale of slavery-era artifacts in an auction.

Smiley has become known as the "Black Ralph Nader" for justice in America.

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Hard Left

At last, those on the left have a fast-talking champion with fresh ideas to counter the outrageous barbs of conservatives like Newt Gingrich and Rush Limbaugh, who have cowed Capitol Hill and dominated talk radio. Tavis Smiley is particularly harsh on Black conservatives like Ken Hamblin and Armstrong Williams, who he feels have betrayed the Black community.

But Smiley isn't afraid to take on traditional politics-as-usual liberals as well. Smiley says it was the liberals' determined refusal to acknowledge the flaws of social programs and policies, from affirmative action to welfare, that gave conservatives the opening they needed to rechart the nation's course. Now, Smiley warns, that course has taken America dangerously close to the rocky shoals of the extreme right.

Hard Left is a clarion call for liberal politicians and leaders to pick themselves up off the ground, tear a page out of the conservative playbook, and counter the conservative offensive by tackling the political and racial issues that go to the core of our society.

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