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Tavis Smiley

News & Politics Podcasts

"Tavis Smiley" is the flagship program for KBLA, America's newest progressive radio network and LA's first Black-owned talk station. Broadcast live across southern California on 1580AM and around the world on KBLA1580.com and TuneIn, this podcast presents the best of Tavis Smiley's conversations with activists, influencers, thought leaders, and cultural vanguards.


United States


"Tavis Smiley" is the flagship program for KBLA, America's newest progressive radio network and LA's first Black-owned talk station. Broadcast live across southern California on 1580AM and around the world on KBLA1580.com and TuneIn, this podcast presents the best of Tavis Smiley's conversations with activists, influencers, thought leaders, and cultural vanguards.








Lisane Basquiat and Jeanine Heriveaux on "Tavis Smiley"

Lisane Basquiat and Jeanine Heriveaux - the two women who are not only the esteemed curators of the "Jean-Michel Basquiat: King Pleasure" exhibition, but are also the sisters of the late renown Jean-Michel Basquiat - join Tavis for a conversation about the new exhibition, their journey as curators, their personal experiences with Jean-Michel Basquiat, and the profound impact he continues to have on the art world and beyond.


John Blake on "Tavis Smiley"

John Blake - award-winning journalist and an esteemed author- joins Tavis for a conversation about his new memoir "More Than I Imagined: What a Black Man Discovered About the White Mother He Never Knew" (May 2nd 2023).


Nekima Levy Armstrong on "Tavis Smiley"

Nekima Levy Armstrong - renowned civil rights attorney, champion for racial justice, and executive director of the Wayfinder Foundation - joins Tavis for a conversation to reflect on the significant impact of that pivotal moment and the ensuing movement that emerged from George Floyd's untimely death. They will also discuss the progress made (if any) in our collective journey towards a more just and equitable society over the past three years.


Kenny Leon, Norm Lewis & Eugene Lee on "Tavis Smiley"

Esteemed Tony and Obie Award-winning, Emmy-nominated director Kenny Leon, and noted actors Norm Lewis and Eugene Lee join Tavis in studio to shine a spotlight on the compelling masterpiece that is “A Soldier’s Play.”


Fred Guttenberg on "Tavis Smiley"

Fred Guttenberg - the gun violence activist who lost his beloved daughter Jaime in the 2018 Parkland school shooting - joins Tavis to unpack his new bestselling text “American Carnage: Shattering the Myths That Fuel Gun Violence.”


Ruben Navarrette on "Tavis Smiley"

Ruben Navarrette - the most widely read Latino columnist in the country, and the 16th most popular columnist in America according to Media Matters - joins Tavis to offer his perspective on the early 2024 presidential landscape and share his thoughts on the crucial issues that are poised to have a profound impact on voters' choices.


Rick Hanson, Ph.D., on "Tavis Smiley"

Rick Hanson, Ph.D., - psychologist, Senior Fellow at UC Berkeley’s Greater Good Science Center, and New York Times best-selling author - joins Tavis for a conversation on how we can counterbalance our brain's negativity bias and learn to “hardwire happiness”.


Keith Ellison on "Tavis Smiley"

Keith Ellison - the Attorney General of Minnesota - joins Tavis to share about his journey as a civil rights lawyer, to give his insights into the Chauvin trial, and to talk about his perspective on community-based policing while pushing for a more just society.


William A. (“Sandy”) Darity Jr. on "Tavis Smiley"

William A. (“Sandy”) Darity Jr. - Samuel DuBois Cook Professor of Public Policy, African and African American Studies, and Economics and the director of the Samuel DuBois Cook Center on Social Equity at Duke University - joins Tavis to unpack the implications of Rep. Bush’s legislation, racial inequality within the American tax system, and examine whether the staggering sum of $14 trillion would suffice to bridge the enduring economic disparities between Black and White Americans.


Roy Wood Jr. on "Tavis Smiley"

Roy Wood Jr. – Emmy nominated comedian, writer, producer, and recently the featured host of last month’s White House Correspondents’ dinner - joins Tavis for a conversation ahead of his upcoming "Happy To Be Here Live Tour" which kicks off on September 15th.


Tariq Nasheed on "Tavis Smiley"

Tariq Nasheed - Best-selling author, documentary filmmaker and activist - Tavis for a conversation about his latest venture: The Hidden History Museum. This groundbreaking establishment aims to shed light on untold Black history, long omitted from public discourse. As Juneteenth approaches, the museum is preparing to celebrate the occasion with a public evening event on Saturday, June 17. Nasheed joins Tavis to share more about the event and to talk about the significance of this museum.


Jim Brown Tribute on "Tavis Smiley"

Jim Brown Tribute - widely regarded as pro football’s greatest running back who ended his career early to pursue acting and civil rights activism, died on Friday at the age of 87, his family announced. Tavis is joined by ESPN’s Stephen A. Smith, KCAL’s Jim Hill and KBLA’s Ray Richardson to discuss the impact and legacy of Jim Brown on and off the field. Shortly thereafter renowned civil rights lawyer Connie Rice will join Tavis to pay tribute and reflect on their own personal relationships with the legend.


David Corn on "Tavis Smiley"

David Corn - Mother Jones' Washington bureau chief, on-air analyst for MSNBC and New York Times bestselling author of several books including his most recent "American Psychosis: A Historical Investigation of How the Republican Party Went Crazy" - joins Tavis to unpack several of the top trending political headlines including South Carolina Sen. Tim Scott’s presidential bid, what to make of George Santos, and shares his thoughts on how media outlets continue to enable extreme politics and inflame divisions.


Dr. Cheryl Wood on "Tavis Smiley"

Dr. Cheryl Wood - esteemed International Keynote Speaker, Best-Selling Author and Founder & CEO of Global Speakers University - joins Tavis to share her own personal story of unwavering determination, and offers valuable insights on embracing bold risks, conquering our deepest fears, and triumphing over obstacles to manifest the lives we truly deserve.


Dr. Ebony McGee on "Tavis Smiley"

Dr. Ebony McGee - a professor of diversity and STEM education at Vanderbilt University's Peabody College - joins Tavis to explore the intricate connections between imposter syndrome and the uphill battles experienced by marginalized individuals in the world of STEM (Science, technology, engineering, and mathematics).


Kali Holloway on "Tavis Smiley"

Kali Holloway - a columnist for The Nation and the former director of the Make It Right Project - She joins Tavis to explore the striking contradictions between Justice Clarence Thomas' public statements and his personal conduct. They will examine the allegations of hypocrisy surrounding his stances on several issues including welfare, civil rights enforcement, excessive force, and the death penalty.


Garrett McQueen on "Tavis Smiley"

Garrett McQueen - a multi-talented performer, radio producer & host, lecturer, and Director of Artist Equity for the American Composers Orchestra (ACO) - he's known as a "classical agitator," and he joins Tavis to discuss the transformative power of inclusivity in classical music and unpack the dynamic connections that lie at the intersection of classical music and social change.


Eric Braeden on "Tavis Smiley"

Eric Braeden - Internationally-acclaimed award-winning film and television actor best known for his role as Victor Newman on "The Young and the Restless" (a role he’s played for over 40 years) - joins Tavis for a career conversation - following Braeden’s recent cancer diagnosis.


Amanda Seales on "Tavis Smiley"

Amanda Seales - Actress, producer, writer, syndicated radio host, comedian, multi-media magnate, and social justice advocate Amanda Seales joins Tavis for a conversation about her "Smart Funny & Black" event this Thursday at The Novo here in LA, and to share her thoughts on some of the latest trending news and culture stories.


Smokey Robinson on "Tavis Smiley"

Smokey Robinson – the legendary singer, songwriter, and producer, who has left a lasting mark on the music industry and has become synonymous with soulful melodies and timeless hits. He joins Tavis for a career conversation and to talk about his first collection of new songs in 14 years on the seductive new album “Gasms” - and why at 83 he still feels ‘sexual’.