Smiley ends decade-long State of the Black Union

After 10 years, PBS talk host Tavis Smiley is ending his State of the Black Union event. He crisscrossed the country for the free gatherings, which served as “as a pulse check on how African Americans were fairing economically, politically and socially,” according to a statement. Tens of thousands attended in person and millions viewed the annual live broadcasts on C-SPAN, the statement said. In a video on his site, Smiley says that during the past 10 years, many venues for those discussions have developed — especially the Internet — which reduced the need for a once-yearly meeting. He also cited his work on a series of primetime specials for PBS that will put more demands on his time. Smiley thanked numerous supporters of what he calls SOBU, including a group of participants that literally followed the event from city to city.

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