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Doing What's Right: How to Fight for What You Believe--and Make a Difference.

Doing What's Right: How to Fight for What You Believe--and Make a Difference

by Tavis Smiley Doubleday, January 2000, $17.95 ISBN 0-385-49930-2

Tavis Smiley, host of "BET Tonight," has made a career as a self-proclaimed advocate for doing what's right. In a vast number of experiences where Smiley frequently battles the concept of good versus evil, Smiley shows how he decided early in life to take an interest in how to do the right thing to make a difference in people's lives.

Fortunately for many of us, his ideas for supporting a cause are revealed in his latest book, Doing What's Right. Although Smiley spends a lot of time illustrating the sins of being politically passive, this tedium brings a specific message. To assert one's advocacy takes a very special kind of faith and strength, and those who need it most are the least likely to receive the training and mentorship needed. According to many political pundits, advocacy takes on an education process that helps understand the rewards, or lack thereof. Simply put, everyone can't be an advocate, and Smiley correctly explains that advocacy is not for everybody.

However, Doing What's Right does represent an earnest discourse on responsibility, civic engagement, and to some extent public policy. It offers insightful information about how to approach a cause and work to a resolution of that cause. "We must get involved," Smiley insists. "(Politically), it is the right thing to do."

While fighting for what you believe is a central theme throughout the book, its delivery is practical, sometimes entertaining and to the point.

Appropriately, Doing What's Right shares hard-learned lessons from telling us how to avoid the dangers of advocacy to dealing with what Smiley calls "the three Ps of passion, pragmatism, and possibilities."

"We can make a difference, if we get involved," urges Smiley. "It is necessary that we explore the challenges that America faces in building a just and prosperous society."

Rudimentary in part, but straightforward to the end, Doing What's Right suggests that individuals can be better people if they would just take the time to help their fellow man.

Fred Lindsey is an assistant professor of Cultural Studies at John F. Kennedy University in Orinda, CA.
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Copyright 2000, Gale Group. All rights reserved. Gale Group is a Thomson Corporation Company.

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Title Annotation:Review
Author:Lindsey, Fred
Publication:Black Issues Book Review
Article Type:Book Review
Date:Jul 1, 2000
Words:370
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