Philip Klinkner with Tavis Smiley
Philip Klinkner with Tavis Smiley

Tavis Smiley, the eponymous late night talk show host, interviewed Philip Klinkner, the James S. Sherman Professor of Government, for a segment on civil rights in America to be broadcast on PBS. The program is scheduled to air locally on WCNY at 12 a.m. on Wednesday, April 1, and again at 12:30 a.m. on Thursday, April 2.

Klinkner is the co-author of "The Unsteady March: The Rise and Decline of Racial Equality in America" (University of Chicago), a book that examines changes in race relations in American politics and history and the inconsistencies in the nation's commitment to racial equality. The co-authors disprove the idea that the United States has been on a "steady march" toward the end of racial discrimination. Rather, progress has been made only in brief periods, under special conditions, and it has always been followed by periods of stagnation and retrenchment. The book received the 2000 Horace Mann Bond Book Award from Harvard University’s Afro-American Studies Department and W.E.B DuBois Institute.

The award-winning Tavis Smiley show, according to its website, is “a unique hybrid of news, issues and entertainment featuring interviews with politicians entertainers, athletes, authors and other newsmakers.”

In addition to his role as a broadcaster and host, Smiley is an author, publisher, advocate and philanthropist. He “has written 16 books including his memoir, What I know for Sure: My Story of Growing Up in America, which became a New York Times best-seller. He edited Covenant with Black America which became the first nonfiction book by a Black-owned publisher to reach #1 on The New York Times best-seller list.”

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