Tavis Smiley Ends State of the Black Union Conference

Black presidencies and bloggers started cramping Smiley's style...

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The State of the Black Union is no more.

Tavis Smiley has elected to end his State of the Black Union Conference. Smiley wishes to focus on other projects and cited new realities that change of the relevance of the decade-long conference.

Smiley also said that, unlike a decade ago, black issues now are being addressed by numerous other media outlets, commentators and bloggers.

The State of the Black Union ''doesn't have the premium that it used to have -- and that's a good thing,'' Smiley told The Associated Press.

Smiley, who hosts a nightly half-hour talk show on PBS, said he was inspired to start the conference because black issues were rarely addressed in the president's State of the Union speech or the national media.

The conference, which took place each February, was broadcast on C-SPAN and averaged 7,000 to 10,000 participants each year as it traveled to various cities. It drew almost 20,000 people in Jamestown, Va., in 2007, when it marked the 400th anniversary of the first arrival of African slaves in North America.

Mr. Smiley may seem alright with this, but The Buzz doesn't buy it. Obama's election made him significantly less relevant and bloggers were a step ahead of him as well. As The Black Snob notes, there's something more to ending the Great Negro Super Bowl than Smiley's merely having better things to do. And you know who gets hurt in this the most? Michael Eric Dyson. Where will he do his intellectual rap professor schtick now? What's that? Everywhere? Oh thank goodness.

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