Tavis Smiley quotes

  • The data is going to indicate sadly that when the Obama administration is over, black people will have lost ground in every single leading economic indicator category..
    -- Tavis Smiley

    #Data #People #Black

  • It's hard these days to have a conversation, at least it is for me, about [Truman]Capote without "Good Night, and Good Luck" coming up in the same conversation.
    -- Tavis Smiley

    #Good Night #Good Luck #Truman

  • The choices we make about the lives we live determine the kinds of legacies we leave.
    -- Tavis Smiley

    #Choices #Legacy #Kind

  • [In a blogosphere] everybody has an opinion now, but I don't really freaking care about - all opinions ain't created equal, because everybody can go out there and express themselves and hide behind some character we don't know who you really are, a bunch of cowards.
    -- Tavis Smiley

    #Character #Coward #Care

  • I believe if we make black America better, we make all of America better.
    -- Tavis Smiley

    #Believe #America #Black

  • I think, for most of us is that once you get to a certain place in your career you're not having to elbow and knock people around and audition for parts.
    -- Tavis Smiley

    #Thinking #Careers #People

  • Why don't we scale up those things that do work.
    -- Tavis Smiley

    #Scales

  • I think when I stop fighting, I die in a sense.
    -- Tavis Smiley

    #Fighting #Thinking

  • In some states, not even 50 percent of black boys finish high school.
    -- Tavis Smiley

    #School #Boys #Black

  • I love the fight. I don't - it's not a negative, it's a positive, and I love the challenge. There's that little part of me that I love proving someone wrong in that way when they have an image of me or something, or they think they have me figured out or they think I'm a certain way.
    -- Tavis Smiley

    #Fighting #Thinking #Challenges

  • The storm came. Lives were washed away. Ancient pains resurfaced. Now it is time for a sea of change.
    -- Tavis Smiley

    #Pain #Sea #Storm

  • When I'm at the premiere and I see the film in its entirety, I forget plot, I forget the story, I forget what my character goes through, because I really do just let it go.
    -- Tavis Smiley

    #Character #Let It Go #Plot

  • This administration and these folk who run Washington are no more interested in our welfare and our well being than the man on the moon. And we have got to start taking our destiny into our hands.
    -- Tavis Smiley

    #Running #Moon #Destiny

  • For me, like when you've put yourself out there emotionally, physically, and you've really put yourself on the line, for me, that means I've really done something.
    -- Tavis Smiley

    #Mean #Lines #Done

  • To be clear, the gap between the have gots and the have nots is widening. In this most multicultural, multiracial, multiethnic America ever, that concerns me.
    -- Tavis Smiley

    #America #Gaps #Multicultural

  • I learned early on that it's heartbreaking to - there's the editor that comes in, and then they have to craft the movie together, and sometimes you give a whole performance that's just been cut up, and maybe it's better for it, absolutely, but you still have to deal with the loss of that.
    -- Tavis Smiley

    #Cutting #Loss #Editors

  • I feel like I've been successful after being done with the film is when I see it, if I'm embarrassed, if I'm slightly mortified, and if I feel super-vulnerable, I think I did something.
    -- Tavis Smiley

    #Successful #Thinking #Done

  • I grew. Going outside my comfort zone is a big one for me.
    -- Tavis Smiley

    #Comfort #Bigs #Grew

  • There are enough bad films coming out of this town already without the process being more democratized. I'm a guy who loves democracy. I'm all for democratizing any process, but I think there is a price to pay for that.
    -- Tavis Smiley

    #Thinking #Guy #Democracy

  • Troubled times do call for troubled songs, songs that unsettle our souls and our spirits unapologetically.
    -- Tavis Smiley

    #Song #Soul #Spirit

  • Poverty and wealth inequality are a form of instability into the future.
    -- Tavis Smiley

    #Poverty #Wealth #Form

  • I'm very musically curious and I love new experience. I'm an adventurer. Some people want to sort of stay in a safe zone and repeat the same things and give them more depth, and I want to do new things all the time
    -- Tavis Smiley

    #Giving #People #Safe

  • Competition's always been a product of American lifestyle
    -- Tavis Smiley

    #Competition #Lifestyle

  • Losing teaches you something
    -- Tavis Smiley

    #Losing #Teach

  • Having to try and going through the trials and tribulations to actually overcome, to get there to win, to triumph, that's what makes life interesting
    -- Tavis Smiley

    #Winning #Interesting #Trying

  • My acting gives me my self-worth
    -- Tavis Smiley

    #Self Worth #Self #Giving

  • I wanted to be a theater actress, and initially, I wanted to work in musical theater
    -- Tavis Smiley

    #Musical #Actresses #Theater

  • I think a lot of people who go to drama school have this ease with the text and they all have five monologues that they know by heart, and I never had that. I've done Chekov and I've done Moliere and I've done classic stuff
    -- Tavis Smiley

    #Drama #School #Heart

  • I fear that we are living in a society, living in a world where forgiving people is becoming more and more difficult to do.
    -- Tavis Smiley

    #People #Forgiving #World

  • I just find in our world that forgiveness is becoming more and more a difficult thing for us to do.
    -- Tavis Smiley

    #Our World #World #Becoming

  • Fear, fear, breeds hopelessness. When you're afraid, you don't know what to believe in, you don't know what to hold on to. You're struggling to find something to believe in.
    -- Tavis Smiley

    #Believe #Struggle #Hopelessness

  • Sometimes rejection in life is really redirection.
    -- Tavis Smiley

    #Rejection #Life Is #Sometimes

  • Regardless of your race, religion or political affiliation, never hesitate to question those in authority.
    -- Tavis Smiley

    #Race #Political #Authority

  • What determines your altitude in life is your attitude.
    -- Tavis Smiley

    #Attitude #Life Is #Determine

  • Don't envy someone else's gift. Discover your own.
    -- Tavis Smiley

    #Envy

  • Leonard Pitts, Jr. is the most insightful and inspiring columnist of his generation.
    -- Tavis Smiley

    #Insightful #Generations #Columnists

  • Take your focus off how others see you. Cease being obsessed with the need to impress your friends and your foes. Keep your concern on the vision you see in the mirror. Don’t allow the approval of others to obstruct your view of you.
    -- Tavis Smiley

    #Mirrors #Views #Focus

  • This whole notion of a post racial America was nonsense from the very beginning. It was a bad idea, a bad notion, a bad formulation when it was first raised.
    -- Tavis Smiley

    #Ideas #America #Firsts

  • Capitalism is like a child: if you want the child to grow up free and productive, somebody's got to look over the shoulder of that child.
    -- Tavis Smiley

    #Growing Up #Children #Want

  • We give you the facts. I told you information is power - knowledge is power. We can't be in an ideological battle to redeem the soul of this country if we don't have the facts.
    -- Tavis Smiley

    #Country #Giving #Soul

  • When you work for something, you appreciate it more. So what are y'all going to do with all the opportunities you inherited that you didn't have to work for?
    -- Tavis Smiley

    #Opportunity #Appreciate

  • My role on television is one of helping people reexamine the assumptions that they hold. I regard Dr. King. You would never hear me get up and speak without in some way, shape or form, referencing, Dr. King.
    -- Tavis Smiley

    #Kings #People #Drs

  • How do you grow up in the shadow of a guy - I want to talk about the movie in a second - but how do you grow up in the shadow of a guy who really is a legend in his own time?
    -- Tavis Smiley

    #Growing Up #Guy #Shadow

  • History is replete with examples of moments in time when we talk about deficit reduction and try to advance on it around the world, that is, where it leads to job losses, not job creation.
    -- Tavis Smiley

    #Jobs #Loss #Trying

  • I still think in this country, and this might surprise you, the one thing that George Bush said as president that I do agree with, I love that phrase, 'the soft bigotry of low expectations.
    -- Tavis Smiley

    #Country #Thinking #Expectations

  • That is still the case in this country for too many students, the soft bigotry of low expectations. If you don't expect them to learn, if you don't expect them to succeed - then it becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy.
    -- Tavis Smiley

    #Country #Self #Expectations

  • Jamestown changed the world in many ways, but perhaps it shaped our nation most profoundly the day Africans arrived. I can't think of a more relevant place to talk about the issues facing our community today than the place where African culture became American culture.
    -- Tavis Smiley

    #Thinking #Issues #Community

  • My personal assessment is that Dr. King is the greatest American we have ever produced. I can argue for Lincoln, I can argue for FDR, but for my money, King is the greatest American we have ever produced. His only weapon was love. He transforms a nation, transforms the world with one weapon and that of course being again the weapon of love. So that for me, King is the quintessential example of everything that I could ever want to be in my lifetime.
    -- Tavis Smiley

    #Kings #Assessment #Drs

  • This is not a skill problem, this is a will problem. Does America have the will to make education a priority? We know the things that work. Why don't we scale up those things that do work.
    -- Tavis Smiley

    #Skills #America #Priorities

  • Live just because or live your life for a cause
    -- Tavis Smiley

    #Live Your Life #Causes

  • When it comes to the president, we have to respect him, we have to protect him, and we have to correct him. And in my career, since he'd been on the national stage at least, I've had - I've always respected the president.
    -- Tavis Smiley

    #Careers #President #Stage

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