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(This is in response to the Jewish  Chronicles recent article entitled  "Purpose of town hall defeated with Farrakhan appearance")

For years I've talked openly about having a series of town hall meetings aimed at the African American community across the country. The goal is to reunite the African American community, create an interest in volunteering inside the African American community and strengthen the African American family both biological and communal.
Last November 12th at the beautiful August Wilson Center, that dream was realized with the first  in a four part series of conversation's entitled "The Disappearing  Black Community, and How Can We Get it Back."
At that meeting, an illustrious panel headlined by outspoken civil rights activist, and comedian Dick Gregory, looked at the problems in the African American  community and outlined how we got to where we are today.
On March 11th, in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, we will go inside the black community, to look at our responsibilities for some of those social problems, like an increasingly escalating high school dropout rate coupled with a high teenage pregnancy rate.    
To undertake this challenging  responsibility I've invited leaders and experts in the fields of community development, and political achievement. I asked the founder of the Million Man March, The Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan, along with Assistant Minority Leader in the U.S. House of Representatives Congressman  James Clyburn (D-SC), and Melanie Campbell, President and CEO of the National Coalition on Black Civic Participation to participate in this event.
All agree that this conversation about our community is long overdue and they are excited  to be a part  of the discussion and want  to help provide solutions to the problems plaguing our community. Simply, the discussion is aimed at Black People only.  
This is why I was somewhat perplexed and later outraged at the suggestion from the Jewish Chronicle that our efforts to talk to people we feel are relevant to our community, is an offense against the Jewish community.
For years I have enjoyed a relationship with the Jewish community and cannot understand why a community who has suffered discrimination as my community  has would suggest that we should not have the ability to meet and discuss with anyone we want to regarding the black community.
This town hall meeting, is not about the Jewish community, Egypt, the current problems in Afghanistan or anything else, except,  its sole purpose is to discuss the state of the black community in 2011.
I resent those outside forces that are trying to highjack this town hall meeting by making their concerns the center of our discussion. This is not a meeting to discuss anti-Semitism. Their suggestion for us to not have Minister Farrakhan at the table for this important discussion, reminds me of what white slave owners use to do to their black slaves, and that is to tell the slaves how to meet, what to talk about and who to talk to.
I am offended by those outside forces contacting me to suggest I cancel my guest, notably, the Honorable Minister Farrakhan because of issues they may have with him. 
At no time during the planning of the first town hall meeting did the Jewish Chronicle or any other Christian organization contact me to talk about the importance of these meetings within our community.
I am willing to sit down with members of the Jewish Chronicle, the Christian Association of Southwestern Pennsylvania or any other group interested in making our community better and I welcome the opportunity to do so after the town hall meeting on March 11th.
Again I am setting the record straight, Minister Farrakhan is coming to town along with some of our other distinguished guests to focus solely on how we can rebuild and unite the African American community.
I feel strongly that no one can dictate to the African American community who they can have as a guest around my black family table. -The Bev Smith Show.  
Bev Smith -Syndicated Talk Show Host, The Queen of Late Night Talk,
American Urban Radio Networks     
Nation of Islam Leader Headlines Bev Smith Live Town Hall Meeting in Pittsburgh, March 11th.
PITTSBURGH, PA—February 17, 2011—The Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan will headline a live town hall
meeting and broadcast of The Bev Smith Show entitled “The Disappearing Black Community and How We Can Get
It Back.” The live broadcast will take place at the August Wilson Center for African American Culture in Pittsburgh,
Pa. on Friday, March 11, 2011 from 7 to 10 pm. Doors open at 5:30 pm. The August Wilson Center is located at
980 Liberty Avenue, in Downtown Pittsburghʼs Cultural District.
In addition to Minister Farrakhan, Assistant Minority Leader in the U.S. House of Representatives Congressman
James Clyburn (D-SC), and Melanie Campbell, President and CEO of the National Coalition on Black Civic
Participation will also appear on the nationally syndicated show.
Produced and presented again through a partnership with the American Urban Radio Networks and the August Wilson Center, this is the second in a series of four live broadcasts examining specific issues plaguing in the Black community and offering answers on how to heal it. The first in the series, held last November, featured comedian/activist Dick Gregory and journalist George Curry, among others.
“In the first town hall meeting we talked about how the Black community disappeared” said show host Bev Smith. “In the second weʼll talk about where and how we begin to rebuild it.”
The event is free and open to the public, however free tickets must be picked up in advance at The Center.
There is a limit of two tickets per person. The Center will be closed to the public on Friday, March 11— tickets will not be
available the day of the event. Children under 13 will not be admitted.
The town hall meeting will take place in The Centerʼs 486-seat theater and will broadcast live on Ms. Smithʼs nearly
30 affiliate stations nationwide including, WWRL, New York, WVON, Chicago, WOL, Washington DC, WURD in
Philadelphia, WAOK, Atlanta and WGBN, Pittsburgh.
About American Urban Radio Networks
American Urban Radio Networks (AURN) is the only African American owned radio network company in the United
States. It is the largest network reaching Urban America with more than 20 million listeners each week. Through
three programming networks and its marketing division, American Urban Radio Networks reaches more African-
Americans than any other medium in America and produces more programming than all other broadcasting
companies combined. American Urban Radio Networks broadcasts 200 weekly news, entertainment, sports and
information programs to more than 300 radio stations nationwide. It is the only Black broadcaster with a bureau in
the White House. AURN has offices and bureaus in New York, Pittsburgh, Atlanta, Chicago, Detroit, Los Angeles
and Washington, D.C.
About the August Wilson Center for African American Culture
Named for Pulitzer Prize and Tony Award-winning playwright and Hill District native August Wilson, the August
Wilson Center for African American Culture engages regional and national audiences in its mission of preserving,
presenting, interpreting, celebrating and shaping the art, culture and history of African Americans in Western
Pennsylvania and people of African descent throughout the world.
Located in Downtown Pittsburghʼs Cultural District, the multidisciplinary August Wilson Center is reflective of all
aspects of African American culture. The Centerʼs striking, two-story, green building houses seven exhibition
galleries, a 486-seat theater for performances in all disciplines, a cultivation center, a café and gift shop, and
multipurpose spaces for community programs and events. The Center is among a select few African American
cultural institutions presenting visual and performing arts, the humanities and educational programs in a state-ofthe-
art venue.
The August Wilson Center – At The Center Of It All!
More information is available on The Centerʼs website at AugustWilsonCenter.org and by calling 412.258.2700



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