TV ONE PREMIERES "STAND" MAY 24 AT 9 PM ET, A DOCUMENTARY CHRONICLING THE EXTRAORDINARY ROAD TRIP OF TAVIS SMILEY AND 10 FRIENDS EXPLORING THE BLACK MALE EXPERIENCE
-- Dr. Cornel West, Dr. Michael Eric Dyson, BeBe Winans, Dr. Eddie Glaude, Dick Gregory, Wren T. Brown are among those joining Tavis Smiley on a unique journey through America's Heartland in Summer 2008 --
Silver Spring, MD -- On Sunday, May 24 from 9-11 PM, TV One premieres STAND, a compelling documentary chronicling an extraordinary road trip taken by broadcaster Tavis Smiley and 10 remarkable black male friends at a key moment in our nation's history. America was commemorating the 40th Anniversary of the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., against the backdrop of then-Senator Barack Obama emerging as the first African American to become the Democratic presidential nominee. As America approached the historic 2008 presidential election, the national dialogue and debate intensified about race relations, politics and the legacy of the civil rights movement.
On this journey is renowned philosopher, scholar, Princeton professor, author and civil rights activist Dr. Cornel West; his brother, songwriter and producer Cliff West; author, commentator, public intellectual and Georgetown University professor Dr. Michael Eric Dyson; Princeton Professor of Religion and African American Studies Dr. Eddie Glaude; Grammy Award-winning gospel and R&B artist BeBe Winans; actor and founding director of the Ebony Repertory Theatre Wren T. Brown; comedian and activist Dick Gregory; Raymond Ross, Smiley's longtime special assistant; and young Memphis student activists Daron Boyce and Robert Smith. Along the way, Smiley and friends explore the diversity and complexity of the Black male experience in America past, present and future.
STAND provides rare insight into a unique group of scholars, musicians, comedians and social critics as they gather for reflection of brotherhood while confronting their own roles and responsibilities as pioneers of social progress. The trip is filled with poignant moments as the group encounters people like music legend Sam Moore, of Sam and Dave, who shares little known stories of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and Ike and Tina Turner. The brothers also have several emotional exchanges as they visit landmarks like the Lorraine Motel, site of Dr. King's assassination, and Fisk University, where the parents of Cornel and Cliff West met.
"I see this movie as a window, if you will, a window into the world of Black men," Smiley says. "It's one thing to celebrate a Black man being president; it's another thing to help create conditions that allow other Black men to rise to the level of their own talent, ability and skill. This film features a range of Black men that we run into in church, over dinner, on the streets of Memphis and Nashville.
"There are times in the film when we debate, cry, laugh, hug and even hold hands and pray together. It's a genuine reflection of Black men and brotherhood which we rarely, if ever see in the media, and when people see the film, they really respond to that," Smiley adds.
"We are honored to premiere this fascinating documentary and help raise awareness of a truly moving film that we think should be viewed by young and old, black and white, men and women, alike," said TV One President and CEO Johnathan Rodgers. "The feeling of brotherhood that is captured, the level of discourse that is displayed, and the sense of history and how far we have come that permeates the trip makes this journey, like the summer itself, a unique moment in time."
STAND is produced by Sivat Productions. Director and Executive Producer is Tavis Smiley. Producer is Sasheen Artis. Supervising Producer is Adriane Hopper, and Editor is Stacy Goldate. Executive in charge of production for TV One is Robert Wesley Branch.
STAND will be available on DVD beginning May 25. The DVD can be ordered by visiting www.tvoneonline.com.
Nationwide Insurance will sponsor screenings of the film in 10 cities around the country.
Launched in January 2004, TV One (www.tvoneonline.com) serves more than 47.4 million households (Nielsen April 2009 estimate), offering a broad range of lifestyle and entertainment-oriented original programming, classic series, movies, fashion and music designed to entertain, inform and inspire a diverse audience of adult African American viewers. TV One's investors include Radio One [NASDAQ: ROIA and ROIAK; www.radio-one.com], the largest radio company that primarily targets African American and urban listeners; Comcast Corporation [NASDAQ: CMCSA and CMCSK; www.comcast.com], the leading cable television company in the country; The DirecTV Group; Constellation Ventures; Syndicated Communications; and Opportunity Capital Partners.