What I Know for Sure: My Story of Growing Up in America

I Have a Dream, Dr King intoned In English class, we were just starting to learn about similes and metaphors and figures of speech Those concepts weren t immediately clear to me as Dr King talked about symbolic shadow, butI understood the power of symbolic language.Over the next several weeks, I spent hours studying that one speech King s speeches touched me so d I Have a Dream, Dr King intoned In English class, we were just starting to learn about similes and metaphors and figures of speech Those concepts weren t immediately clear to me as Dr King talked about symbolic shadow, butI understood the power of symbolic language.Over the next several weeks, I spent hours studying that one speech King s speeches touched me so deeply and profoundly that, for reasons I couldn t explain, I found myself crying I wasn t sure what those tears represented maybe his words touched the pain and hurt and humiliation I was still feeling maybe my tears stemmed from the new confidence and purpose his words gave me Maybe I felt an empathy with my people whose history of suffering and survival was coming alive to me for the first time In part, they reflected my pride in the courageous brilliance of a leader outspoken in conveying our purpose and passion.I see now that King influenced me on several levels First, he showed me that words have meaning they aren t arbitrary and words are powerful He showed me that words can carry the force of love He also showed me that one man can make a difference He himself had made that difference.Despite evidence to the contrary, King believed that things would get better Every day that I read his words, they moved me like a powerful sermon They changed my life and emboldened my ambition From What I Know For SureFrom the man who catapulted The Covenant with Black America to number one on the New York Times bestseller list comes a searing memoir of poverty, ambition, pain, and atonement Celebrated talk show host Tavis Smiley describes growing up in an all white rural community in Indiana and the impact it had on his life.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 the color of his skin, his Pentecostal religious beliefs, and his family s economic circumstances It was the love and support of his family that sustained him But that trust and support was shattered when his father, in a moment of rage, beat him with an electrical cord, sending him to the hospital Tavis was placed in foster care for a time, and it took him years to bridge the emotional chasm between him and his parents Nothing, however, could quench Tavis s fierce 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 Later, 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 with his own show on PBS, 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 An honest, deeply moving self portrait of one of America s most popular media figures, What I Know for Sure should appeal to readers everywhere.
What I Know for Sure My Story of Growing Up in America I Have a Dream Dr King intoned In English class we were just starting to learn about similes and metaphors and figures of speech Those concepts weren t immediately clear to me as Dr King talked abou

  • Title: What I Know for Sure: My Story of Growing Up in America
  • Author: Tavis Smiley David Ritz
  • ISBN: 9780385505161
  • Page: 237
  • Format: Hardcover
  • 1 thought on “What I Know for Sure: My Story of Growing Up in America”

    1. I really liked this book; It showed me that one, you can be born in real humble circumstances or encounter some real hard experiences and move on to something better if you wish, it really doesn't matter in this country Smiley was born illegitimately in Gulfport, Miss in 1964; I believe he met his real father a couple of times, but his mother met and married the man he considers his father, Gaynell Smiley around 1965,1966. They moved to Indiana due to him being in the Air Force, and was raised r [...]

    2. I love watching Tavis Smiley Show and always wondered about his ending quote "Keep the faith". This book helped me understand his faith a little bit better and did he have a hard childhood or what!Always interesting to see people's lives through their narration.

    3. BETTER THAN ANY SELF-HELP BOOK OUT THERE--BUY THIS BOOK!I'm a big fan of Tavis Smiley's TV program. I love his combination of intelligence, courage and kindness when he interviews guests. So when I saw this book, I bought it. Wow! What a read. This book is the story of Tavis' life, so far, as told by Tavis. A mid-life memoir? I'm a couple chapters short of finishing it, but the book is so inspirational that I HAD to get up and write this review before I could do anything else. Seeing that well d [...]

    4. I don't know at what point this book started to annoy me. There were parts that I found fascinating and I started off thinking that Tavis Smiley was charming. That soon gave way as he mentioned MANY times that he had a gift with words, that he was a gifted orator, that he was verbally gifted, etc. I get it- you are a great speaker and very eloquent, let's move on. While I admire many things that Smiley has accomplished, I feel like his approach to this book wasn't balanced. I was quickly turned [...]

    5. I read this book because I saw Tavis Smiley on ABC THIS WEEK WITH GEORGE STEPHANOPOLOUS. I was stunned and in awe when Tavis Smiley actually had the courage to call President Obama on his blatant hypocrisy as Commander In Chief, paying lip-service to the non-violence of Dr. Martin Luther King while routinely ordering up drone strikes that kill innocent women and children in Afghanistan and Pakistan.Much to my surprise, on reading this book I learned that Tavis Smiley is not a product of the inne [...]

    6. Tavis Smiley offers a unique perspective on parenting. This book is, in part, a tribute to his mother, a pretty crummy parent by most people's standards. When Smiley was beaten regularly by a bully in grade school, his mother made sure to beat him harder--with a belt--every time he let it happen. She also stood by while his step-dad beat him for an hour with an electrical cord (an experience that landed Smiley in the hospital and placed him in the care of foster parents). Instead of appreciating [...]

    7. This is a well-written biography, which for me means that I got caught up in Tavis Smiley's story, and found myself rooting for him as he faced his challenges. A well-written biography enriches one's own experience, almost as if it allows you the chance to live another life, seeing the world from another perspective.My lone area of uneasiness with the book was that Smiley does at times seem rather arrogant, but then again he generally admits to that, and I view that self-recognition as a strengt [...]

    8. As a regular viewer of Tavis Smiley's show on PBS, I was compelled in reading this book as a means to understand more about his life, experiences, and views. While Smiley has talked about his life throughout his show, in this book, we get a fully fleshed out narrative detailing his life and how its shaped his life and his goals as a television personality. In this memoir, we hear about his humble childhood in a predominantly White farm town in Indiana, his sometimes difficult relationship with h [...]

    9. Tavis Smiley has presented us with a journey of his life on up to now. I was truly impressed with the following words stated by Mr. Talley, "My dismal made me realize that being an entrepreneur can serve a journalist as well as a businessman-and the key to entreprenuership was self-motivation, intelligent planning, and autonomy. These words serve as pure encouragement for the entreprenuer on the "Hot Pursuit" of success. Adra Young Author of: The Everyday Living of Children & Teens Monologue [...]

    10. An important book. Smiley became enormously successful in spite of the isolating and limiting influences of poverty, his mother's Pentecostal church, and being in a tiny minority in rural Indiana. His story is the introspective and brutally honest account of how he overcame his inauspicious circumstances with a combination of intellegence, talent, chutzpah-level self confidence, and connections. His personal growth seems to parallel his financial success. An immensely talented but very flawed in [...]

    11. A memoir of Tavis Smiley's growing up and going past his youth of poverty and strict religious rules imposed by his well-meaning but destructive parents. Smiley is ambitious and persevering, and while his tale is interesting, it's not all that compelling, maybe because of the very simple literary style.

    12. I am an admirer of Tavis Smiley and his tenacity to uplift and improve the lives of African Americans. This book is autobiographical and was so revealing. I learned alot about his childhood and how he overcame alot of things. I developed an even stronger appreciation for him and what he has accomplished.

    13. The first part was interesting but lagged with the details especially of the political variety. I wanted to get a glimpse of the man who wrote a book about the final year of Martin Luther King Jr. Writing about his faith and background in the Pentecostal tradition was very inspiring since I also have the same Pentecostal upbringing.

    14. I always enjoy Tavis Smiley's show on PBS. This book gave me a deeper appreciation for him as a man, a dreamer, an overcomer. Tavis clearly shows the heights that can be attained with vision, ambition and preparation. I truly couldn't put this book down. If you need inspiration to clear the hurdles on your journey--no matter how difficult your journey may be right now-- RUN and grab this book!

    15. Did you know Tavis Smiley grew up in Kokomo, Indiana in a double-wide trailer with 12 other family members?If you like Tavis Smiley, you will be inspired by his life story. Read it, it's at the Harold Washington library!

    16. This was a very inspiring novel. Combining strict religion, tough parents, and a motivated child brings you a tale of struggling to success. I may or may not have shed a tear from being touched. I would say again, it was truly an inspirational novel.

    17. What a candid bookHe eloquently writes of his past his successes.d pain his uncanny dedication to his beliefstalents and desires.Love ya Tavis!!!!

    18. Tavis Smiley's life story is truly amazing. They way that he brought himself up is a true testimony of determination.

    19. Poorly written (as told to some author, not Tavis's writing), but a compelling enough story that it doesn’t matter. Definitely worth a read for any Tavis lovers (and aren’t we all?).

    20. Had heard alot about Tavis Smiley and wanted to learn more about his life and thoughts on lifeis is a book that will provide insights to the man behind the radio and TV host and commentator.

    21. This book is really enjoyable! It's encouraging for anyone who has gone through difficult times and how you can persevere!

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