Tavis Smiley used to be the darling of black America. Once upon a time his keen critical commentary, ubiquitous media presence and undeniable charm brought delight to the hearts and minds of many black Americans. But things changed when Obama announced his candidacy for president.
Unlike W.E.B. DuBois and other black intellectuals of the past, black intellectuals are not leaders in the way we once might have claimed. This leaves people like Professors Melissa Harris-Perry and Cornel West in unique and often viciously conflicting positions.
From where I sit -- with more than three decades of experience working to make public policies more fair and inclusive of all people -- the past year has seen tremendous investment in the African-American community.