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Tavis Smiley to Host Exclusive Joint Interview w/ the Only 2 African Americans in the U.S. Senate, Representing Opposing Parties

Tavis Smiley to Host Exclusive Joint Interview w/ the Only 2 African Americans in the U.S. Senate, Representing Opposing Parties

“Tavis Smiley” on PBS, returning for its 12th season today, Monday, January 12, will feature a 2-part, exclusive joint interview during its premiere week with the only two African Americans in the U.S. Senate – New Jersey Democrat Cory Booker, and South Carolina Republican Tim Scott.

Conducted at the studios of WHUT at Howard University in Washington, D.C., the conversation touches on a wide range of subjects. Among other topics, Senator Scott breaks down his four-part Opportunity Agenda — the SKILLS Act (the SEA Jobs Act, the CHOICE Act, and the LEAP Act). Senator Booker talks at length about our broken criminal justice system and the urgent need for reform. Both reflect on their similarities and differences and their genuine interest in understanding and collaborating with one another.

Cory Booker and Tim Scott are the first African Americans since Reconstruction to serve simultaneously in the Senate. While they represent opposing political parties, Smiley said the joint interview is “an example of the kind of bipartisanship you don’t often see in Washington.” 

“Their ability to speak thoughtfully and civilly to one another despite their divergent points of view,” Smiley said, “should serve as a lesson to both Democrats and Republicans that conversations free of partisan sniping and vitriol are possible across the political aisle.”

The conversation with Senators Booker and Scott will air on PBS stations on Tuesday, Jan. 13 and Wednesday, Jan. 14. Check local listings for time and channel.

The opening show tonight, January 12, will feature a look at Haiti on the fifth anniversary of the 2010 earthquake that devastated the island nation, and a conversation with actress Marion Cotillard.

Others scheduled to appear on the show in the days ahead include: actor Patrick Stewart; filmmaker Laura Poitras (Citizenfour), the acclaimed documentary about NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden; actor Benedict CumberbatchKevin Costner; rapper Lupe Fiasco; and crime novelist Michael Connelly.

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