Tavis Smiley and friends bring "Pass the Mic" Tour to Memphis - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Reported by Ben Watson

Tavis Smiley and friends bring "Pass the Mic" Tour to Memphis

Nationally recognized television host Tavis Smiley brought some of the nation's most powerful intellectuals, entertainers and activists to a Memphis church Sunday morning.

Guests such as Princeton professor Dr. Cornell West, activist Dick Gregory, and Grammy award winner B.B. Winans joined Smiley at Saint Andrew AME Church.

The visit concluded a week's worth of meetings in the Bluff City centered around bringing some of America's brightest minds together to discuss issues that affect African-Americans. Smiley and company visited several sites in Memphis, including the National Civil Rights Museum.

Sunday's event was part of the "Pass the Mic" Tour, which will eventually be made into a film, expected to be released next year. The film focuses on what happens when the best and brightest come together for frank and honest discussions. Portions of the group's visit to Saint Andrew will be included in the film.

"I so value my friends and the conversations that we have, that I thought it might be interesting to get a camera crew to follow us around, so the world can see what happens when the spirit and the intellect of 10 black men is put on display," said Smiley.

Smiley and others in the group said the tour will make a powerful statement about black men and success in America.

"And brilliant black men is not an anomaly," said Smiley. "Black men and brilliance are not like strangers who have yet to meet. So, how do you put that on display?"

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