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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. One of only a few African American kids in his high school, he grew up feeling like an outsider because of his race, his Pentecostal religious beliefs, and his family’s poverty. At home, the trust and support he felt from his family was shattered when his father, in a moment of rage, beat him with an electrical cord, sending him to the hospital. Placed in foster care for a time, it took Tavis years to bridge the emotional chasm between him and his parents.
Throughout his childhood, however, Smiley possessed an inner drive to succeed. His remarkable speaking ability made him an oratorical champion in Indiana and offered him a pathway to a different world. Determined to fight for the underdog and for African American rights, he entered the political arena, moving to Los Angeles to work in mayor Tom Bradley’s administration, and later ran for a seat on the city council. After losing the election, he embarked on his career as a radio commentator, discovering that it was an ideal way to influence public discourse on the issues of the day. Now a broadcast star, he remains committed to bettering the lives of all Americans; he's especially acclaimed for his work on behalf of people of color and the underprivileged.
A moving, deeply honest self-portrait of one of America’s most popular media figures, WHAT I KNOW FOR SURE will appeal to readers of every color and political persuasion.