Our TV Shows

Got a Tip?

Call TMZ at (888) 847-9869 or Click Here

Tavis Smiley

Cornelius SAVED Black Culture

2/1/2012 4:50 PM PST BY TMZ STAFF

video platform video management video solutions video player
Talk show host Tavis Smiley believes "Soul Train" creator Don Cornelius was responsible for saving black culture in the 70s and 80s -- telling TMZ, the late producer was "our cultural ambassador" in that era.

Tavis tells us, "Don Cornelius was our cultural ambassador when black music, when black dance, when black fashion were under-appreciated in this country."

Tavis adds, "I think that Don Cornelius' real contributions were never really appreciated ... Sometimes, it takes something tragic like this to really appreciate the contributions one has made ... I hate to see it happen like this ... He will be missed."

If you don't recognize the other guy in the clip -- shame on you -- it's famed activist and philosopher Dr. Cornel West ... who adds, "I just pray for his family. I love Brother Don Cornelius."


No Avatar


... second word = please.

991 days ago


under-appreciated music
under-appreciated dance
under-appreciated fashion
All you had to say was he was "black" and we could have filled in the "I'm a victim" blanks.

991 days ago


Sooooo jerking around like an idiot belongs to the black culture? I thought so. Just Saying... He will NOT be missed by everyone that's for sure. That show was a JOKE!!!

991 days ago


I am shocked and saddened by this well as he'd done in life, you'd think someone would've been there to turn it around before he picked up the gun! maybe they were.All I know is I loved loved loved Soul Train, and Don C. and everytime the news runs his clip of "peace,love and soul"...a chill goes up my spine and I feel tears of sadness for this soulful man...RIP sir.

991 days ago


I am a whiteboy who was in high school during the early 70's. I watched Soul Train on Saturday mornings. Cornelius was WAY before his time. Anyone but a fool could see this guy was something special.

991 days ago


He didn't save it. He segregated it separately away from everyone else and convinced blacks it was good for them to be cultural isolationists who spit in the face of diversity because racism only applies to whites wanting white-only TV shows and the same standard does not apply to blacks so it's ok

991 days ago


yes, soul train ranks right up there w the march on washington.

991 days ago


RIP to a great man. The one per cent sounding off, you don't speak for me.

991 days ago

Who Knew    

How can a man who married a white women have saved black culture? How do black women feel about that?

991 days ago


Tavis and West are not all that great.These 2 are phonies,especially Tavis.

991 days ago


I wouldn't put it quite the way Tavis did, but Soul Train presented black music, fashion and culture in a manner that made it incredibly attractive and cool to a white audience. More important to me all these years of social decay later, he KEPT IT CLASSY!

991 days ago


I agree with Tavis Smiley when he says "Soul Train" creator Don Cornelius was responsible for saving black culture. And that, of course, is the problem. Black culture isn't worth saving. It appeals to the lowest common denominator, and undermines the quality of life most seek in the West. Just look at the noise they call music today, their attitude toward law and order, the destruction of our educational system, their lack of respect and interest in the classics, their low respect for human life, and any other number of measure of what an advanced culture is.

What Don Cornelius did was initiate the downfall of American civilization, which has resulted in the administration we now have in the White House, and the severe and growing problems among the races!

991 days ago

Robert Kelly    

" saving black culture " ..Give me a break! Lets not exaggerate what he did! He was a host on a TV show....thats it. It didnt empower the race, it didnt provide jobs, and it sure didnt SAVE the Culture! Tavis YOU are ignorant.

991 days ago


why do black people always have to tell us what color skin they have

991 days ago


Under-appreciated!! Do you remember the fashions of the day? The brothers be wearing clown suits! Ask anyone of an age if they would go back to that three ring circus and they'll hang their heads in embarrassment...cept smiley! Oh if today's behavior and style is an indication of the culture being rescued, it was rescued by the zombies in Michael Jackson's Thriller. You people dress funny!

991 days ago
Previous 15 Comments | 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | Most Recent | Next 15 Comments

Around The Web