Jay Smooth

Video & Multimedia Producer | Race Forward

In 1997 Jay founded one of the first hip-hop websites at hiphopmusic.com, where he pioneered the form now known as hip-hop blogging. The site became best known for spearheading a massive public protest against New York's Hot 97, which forced the radio station to fire several staffers and donate $1,000,000 to disaster relief after they repeatedly aired racist content mocking victims of 2004's tsunami.


Most recently Jay Smooth has won widespread acclaim for his commentaries on politics and culture at Illdoctrine.com. The site’s unique mix of humor and incisive analysis has garnered millions of views and been frequently featured by NPR, Current TV and MSNBC, where Rachel Maddow hailed him as a “genius.” Ill Doctrine videos including “How to Tell Someone They Sound Racist” have become part of the curriculum in many schools and universities, and Smooth’s recent TEDx talk at Hampshire College has already become one of the most widely viewed talks on the TEDx website.

Presentations from Facing Race 2014

Moving the Race Conversation Forward

From Ferguson to Paula Deen, this session will identify and describe some of the key ways media-driven conversations in the United States unproductively approach issues of race and racism. Panelists will present research and analysis of recent media coverage, describe some of the major impediments to productive racial discourse, and provide recommendations on how to reframe the public conversation on race using lessons from several recent interventions and initiatives that are breaking down significant barriers toward racial justice.

Speakers: Rinku Sen, Jay Smooth, Sally Kohn, Alexis McGill-Johnson