What I Know For Sure

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Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group, Jan 8, 2008 - Biography & Autobiography - 272 pages
3 Reviews
From the man who catapulted the Covenant with Black America to number one on the New York Times bestseller list comes a searing memoir of poverty, ambition, pain and atonment.

Tavis Smiley grew up in a family of thirteen in rural Indian, where money was scarce and the sight of other black faces even scarcer. Always an outsider because of his race, economic background, and Pentecostal religious beliefs, he was sustained by his family’s love. But one day his world was shattered when his father brutally beat him, sending him to the hospital and then into foster care for a period of time. In What I Know for Sure, Smiley recounts how he overcame his painful history and became one of America’s most popular media figures.

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What I know for sure: my story of growing up in America

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Host of his eponymous show on PBS, Smiley (Keeping the Faith: Stories of Love, Courage, Healing, and Hope from Black America ) here collaborates with biographer Ritz (Divided Soul: The Life of Marvin ... Read full review

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After seeing Tavis on DWTS this year, I decided to check out the guy I remembered from High School. I purchased What I Know For Sure in eBook version and re-read the parts about
Maconaquah High School. Overall, the book is a light read but interesting none the less. I learned things about Tavis' life that I did not know. I will say that he should have left the facts to stand for themselves instead of making himself sound more disadvantaged. I remember Tavis being one of the cool kids. He may not have had a car, but most of us didn't. I myself was a base kid. We had groups but they didn't revolve around race and the farmer kids certainly did not all wear overalls. Officer's kids did not wear Izods; my parents wouldn't buy them. Tavis blended in with everyone else and had nice clothes. He was on the speech team but not the only black person as stated in his book. There was also Margaret Pettiford and Rod White. Within each group of Jocks, Cool Kids, Freaks, Base Kids and locals were all races. Tavis was not the Sophomore Class President, John Clark was. My point is that I am happy to have known Tavis and am happy for his successes but he didn't have to exaggerate to make his successes appear more powerful.  


Gulfport to Bunker Hill
The Bully and the Lesson
In My Fathers House
A Rage That Reaches to Heaven
America Has Defaulted
High School Hierarchy
Conflict of Sufferings
Brave New World
l1dlIl1 Ila_vor
Urban Angels Revisited
Chillin in the Deep Freeze
A Good
Big Mama
Forces of Light

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About the author (2008)

Tavis Smiley is the host of PBS's The Tavis Smiley Show. He also appears as a regular commentator on Tom Joyner's top-rated ABC radio show. He is the author of such bestsellers as Hard Left, Doing What's Right, How to Make Black America Better, and Keeping the Faith.David Ritz has written biographies of, among others, Ray Charles, Marvin Gaye, Aretha Franklin, and B. B. King. His latest book, Messengers: Portraits of African American Ministers, was published in 2006.

From the Trade Paperback edition.

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