*PBS’ “Tavis Smiley” will highlight its 12th season with a 2-part, exclusive joint interview with the only two African Americans in the U.S. Senate – New Jersey Democrat Cory Booker, and South Carolina Republican Tim Scott.
Host Tavis Smiley will chat with Senators Booker and Scott today (Jan. 13) and Wednesday (Jan. 14) at the WHUT studios at Howard University in Washington, D.C. Scott will break down his four-part Opportunity Agenda — the SKILLS Act (the SEA Jobs Act, the CHOICE Act, and the LEAP Act). Booker will talk at length about the broken criminal justice system and the urgent need for reform. Together, both politicians will reflect on their similarities and differences as well as their genuine interest in understanding and collaborating with one another.
Booker and Scott are noted for being the first African Americans since Reconstruction to serve simultaneously in the Senate. Despite representing opposing political parties, the joint interview for Smiley represents “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 should serve as a lesson to both Democrats and Republicans that conversations free of partisan sniping and vitriol are possible across the political aisle,” Smiley said.
The joint interview comes after “Tavis Smiley” kicked off its new season Monday with a look at Haiti on the fifth anniversary of the nation’s devastating 2010 earthquake, and a conversation with actress Marion Cotillard.
Upcoming shows during the new season will feature: actor Patrick Stewart; filmmaker Laura Poitras (“Citizenfour”, the acclaimed documentary about NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden); actor Benedict Cumberbatch; actor Kevin Costner; rapper Lupe Fiasco; and crime novelist Michael Connelly.