It began when he, a recent college graduate and a poor kid from a big family in the Midwest, was invited to join the revered writer on a sojourn to Africa.
He would be handling her bags, but Maya didn't let that stop a friendship waiting to happen. Here Tavis Smiley shares his personal memories of Maya Angelou, of a decades-long friendship with one of history's most fascinating women, one who left as indelible an imprint on American culture as she did on him.
“How am I gonna carry all this food and my bags now?
The story of “Meet the Patels”, this real life documentary, is what? Here I am on this 18-hour flight and my sister just bought this camera that she wanted to learn how to use.
Tavis Smiley used to be the darling of black America.
One of the things that I started off this campaign believing was that if people knew who I was, if they knew that I had helped reform the death penalty, if they knew that I had provided health insurance for children who didn’t have it, if they knew that I’d helped set up an earned income tax credit that gave tax breaks not to the wealthy but to people who really needed it, those kinds of messages are ones that would appeal across race, region, and class.
[End previously recorded interview clip] Tavis: Most people with political ambitions can spend years trying to gain name recognition and a seat at the table of national politics.