Smiley ends decade-long State of the Black Union

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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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