The Next Commentator

July 2, 2008

All kinds of things are happening this year–it’s not easy to keep up. I listen to three radio programs on the morning drive: NPR, Mike & Mike on ESPN, and the Tom Joyner Morning Show. (Ironically, it was from ESPN that I first got the news about 9/11: “I know this is supposed to be a sports show, but there’s something happening in New York…”)

Anyway, TJMS is going through an important transition right now. Tavis Smiley, an influential if controversial media figure who grew up in Indiana and graduated from I.U., has just left his position as political and social analyst. So they are looking for his successor and apparently using an American Idol-type format to find the next commentator on the state of Black America. The first “contestant” this week was Eddie S. Glaude, Jr., a named-chair professor of religion and African American studies at Princeton University and a protege of Cornel West.

This process strikes me as an unusual opportunity to catch an intriguing and multifaceted glimpse into African American thought during a milestone year.

This entry was posted by: Nancy

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