Sunday, February 28, 2010

The Black Agenda: Black Leadership in the Age of Obama

Take just a second and listen to the exchange embedded above between Tavis Smiley and Rev. Al Sharpton. Can you tell me just what is happening here? First of all, I’m a bit surprised that this very public and seemingly acrimonious disagreement took place the way it did. Usually, African Americans do not air our dirty laundry in public like that. But most importantly, I am wondering what are they arguing about anyway?

Many times I’ve asked readers to enlighten me on just what is this “Black Agenda” I keep hearing so much about. And not only that, what this “Black Agenda” consists of. Furthermore, just who set this “Black Agenda”?

We have any number of people claiming the mantle of leadership in African America, and any number of people claiming to represent “The Black Agenda,” but I cannot for the life of me figure out what this “Black Agenda” is, nor can I find it articulated anywhere. Not only that, I cannot figure out exactly who is out front leading, and more specifically, where they are leading African Americans to?

Plus join me tonight along with RiPPa, our new co-host Fungke Blak Chik, and special guest Kris Broughton of the blog Brown Man Thinking Hard and contributor to Slate Magazine, Talking Points Memo, and The Big Think, as we engage in a round table discussion on the relevance of “Black Leadership” in the age of Obama.

Using the recent controversial and very public disagreement between Al Sharpton & Tavis Smiley on national radio, we’ll explore this disagreement to expand on the idea of a “Black Agenda.” Or what exactly is a “Black Agenda”. How do we incorporate said agenda in our perceived “post-racial” society? How do we go about communicating said agenda and is said “agenda” a political liability for Barack Obama?

Most importantly, we’ll discuss the division within our community caused by said agenda and try to come up with a solution as to just what is best for Black America. We’ll also explore the New York Times’ piece on the CBC, and discuss their relevancy as it relates the Black electorate at large. Are they, like “Black Leadership,” doing enough for Black America?

Stop by tonight to get in on the discussion at 9 PM EST. You can either listen directly from the platform at Freedom thru Speech Radio or by using the dial-in number at 914-803-4881. And remember, the most important voice in this discussion is yours.


SjP said...

I think Tavis's pants are still bunched with not being the WH Press Secretary because "his girl" lost the election. And the fact that the POTUS hasn't given him "props" doesn't help much either. As far as Reverend Al - well what can I say? The way I see it is that Tavis threw the first punch and then the shyt hit the fan.

The "Black Agenda"? I don't know what it is either...

Anonymous said...


Emerge Peoria said...

Although I despise the man that Tavis Smiley thinks he is - he started a dialogue that needs to happen.

So far I like how Shartpon has responded. IMHO, Sharpton is just a little less obsolete than the NAACP.

Hopefully, this will light a fire under him and other so called "black leaders" who take the monolith for granted.

Andre said...

I'm with SjP. I haven't a clue what this "Black Agenda" nonsense is all about. It sounds more like some concoction used by certain characters so they can consider themselves "leaders" (odd that black people are the only folks who apparently still need leaders, but I digress). As a race, we are remarkably diverse in our thoughts, ideas, and opinions; so to have advocates for a "black agenda" is farcical.

Besides all that, it's a little hard to take a person seriously when they are backing memoirs about R. Kelly. Just sayin'.

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