Tag Archives: Soledad Obrien

Soledad O’Brien on Starbucks and Race

“I think for Starbucks there was something — well, brave isn’t quite the right word — but there was something aggressively interested in challenging people to have a conversation who were not the kind of people who generally have these conversations,” said former CNN anchor Soledad O’Brien.

In an interview with The Washington Post, O’Brien talked about what she learned about Americans’ attitudes about race on her tour, what life as a person of color has taught her, and how people might best go about launching conversations about race in their daily lives. 
Read the Q&A on the Inspired Life blog here:  Soledad O’Brien on Starbucks: On the issue of race, ‘It’s okay to ask and it’s okay to answer’

Why did CNN Black in America feature Tim Wise as the expert on race?

Last night Tim Wise was the featured expert on CNN Black in America, some wondered aloud and on Twitter why was he chosen for this role? Was there a a black qualified speciilist in the field of colorism/race available. Read the linked story and share your thoughts.



CNN Soledad O’Brien-Beyond Trayvon Tonight 8PM Eastern

CNN Soledad O’Brien Puts the Smackdown on Jodi Cantor

Loved it. Soledad O’Brien interviewed the author of The Obamas, Jodi Cantor and she took no prisoners. Watch the clip and tell me what you think.


CNN: Pictures Don’t Lie-Takes a look at Ernest Withers

Tomorrow night CNN will air Pictures Don’t Lie at 8PM. During the Civil Rights era Ernest Withers chronicled the activities through his photography. He had access to all the key players and he move easily throughout their meetings. They trusted him, but last year it was revealed that he was an FBI informant. His family disputes this claim and many survivors of the movement find it hard to believe that he could have been a “snitch.” Tomorrow night Soledad O’Brien takes a look at the Ernest Withers story and I will be watching.

Is CNN Soledad O’Brien Black Enough?

Why is this question still a part of the conversation? Is our blackness determined by our skin color or our rcaial mix. Who do we regard as black enough? This is one of the questions that Soledad O’Brien delves into in her new book The Next Big Story.  She chronicles some of the important events that have shaped her life. O’Brien is multi-racial and she goes into detail about how comments by Jesse Jackson offended her. O’Brien recounts how Jackson was complaining about the lack of black anchors at CNN. When she said what about me? Jackson responded, “You don’t count,” he says. I wasn’t sure what that meant. I don’t count — what? I’m not black? I’m not black enough? Or my show doesn’t count? O’Brien went on to say “I was both angry and embarrassed, which rarely happens at the same time for me. Jesse Jackson managed to make me ashamed of my skin color which even white people had never been able to do. Not the kids in the hallways at Smithtown or the guys who wouldn’t date me in high school. I remember the marchers behind me at the trial about the black youth/kid who beat the Latino baby. The folks that chanted “biracial whore for the white man’s media,” even they didn’t even make feel this way. I would just laugh. Biracial, sure, whore, not exactly, white man’s media, totally! Whatever. But Reverend Jesse Jackson says, “I don’t count?” O’Brien recounted “I am immediately upset and annoyed and the even more annoyed that I am upset and pissed off. If Reverend Jesse Jackson didn’t think I was black enough, then what was I? My parents had so banged racial identity into my head that the thoughts of racial doubt never crossed my mind. I’d suffered an Afro through the heat of elementary school. I’d certainly never felt white. I thought my version of black was as valid as anybody else’s. I was a product of my parents (black woman, white man) my town (mostly white), multiracial to be sure, but not black? I felt like the foundation I’d built my life on was being denied, as if someone was telling me my parents aren’t my parents. “You know those people you’ve been calling mom and dad — they aren’t really your parents. What?” The arbiter of blackness had weighed in. I had been measured and found wanting.” The question is not if O’Brien is black enough that is a no brainer, but how is she perceived within the community. Is Jesse Jackson just caught up in a time warp or does he actually have a point. Is it easier for the majority to accept the biracial like President Obama, Tiger Woods and Soledad O’Brien? Tell me what you think.

CNN Almighty Debt Restates the Problem, but offers few solutions

Last night I watched the CNN Special Almighty Debt. This is the latest of their Black in America series, but what was immediately apparent is debt is not a racial issue it is an economic issue. It is an issue that crosses the racial divide. One of the couple’s profiled in the piece had not paid their mortgage in 26 months and they were attempting to renegotiate the terms of their mortgage.  Their mortgage payment was $4000 per month. They had been a two income household and she lost her job, and that is when the house of cards fell apart. They had all the trappings of wealth, but nothing to back up the façade. They talked of faith and belief in God, but it was as if God was their Genie and he was going to make everything alright. I was impressed with Pastor DeForest Soaries whose church was profiled in the special. He is committed to teaching his congregants debt reduction principles. It was also interesting to see that the couple with the mortgage issues had not attended the debt reduction program, but she promised to attend once she got through this situation. The irony is maybe if they had attended they might not have gotten in so deep. The takeaway from the special is that times are hard, jobs are hard to find, it is hard to finance a college education and lastly blacks are hardly the only ones in this situation.

CNN Almighty Debt airs tonight at 9PM

Don’t forget to watch CNN’s latest installment of Black in America. Tonight’s installment is The Almighty Debt. This series will explore churches that are helping their members deal with debt and will feature a townhall discussion with Bishop TD Jakes and Pastor Soaries. One of the questions they will be answering is should pastors provide financial advice? The church has never been shy about asking for money but few have ever sought to empower members with the tools necessary to help members manage their finances. The black church has been under instense scrutiny in light of the Eddie Long scandal. People are questioning whether ministers are being good stewards of the members contributions. I look forward to hearing a very lively and informative discussion tonight, and I encourage everyone to watch.


CNN Special: Almighty Debt

On Thursday October 21st at 9PM CNN will air it’s latest installment of Black in America. This one will deal with debt. I can remember in my younger more foolish days I lived a life financed by debt. I never really looked at the totality of my debt. I just felt I  was doing fine if I could meet my minimums, but when I finally looked at it in it’s entirety I knew I had to change or I would be in debt the rest of my life.   I look forward to the special because it will showcase some churches that are addressing the debt issue from the pulpit, and back in the day that simply was not done. So I  encourage you to watch as I will be watching and posting about this very important program.

CNN Black in America 2 Did Not Disappoint

Last year I watched Black in America and I came away asking the question “is being black really that bad?” The special painted our existance as being virtually hopeless. So tonight I approached this next installment with more than a little skeptisim. The first portion profiled children from Brooklyn who were taken to South Africa to see how people lived that had less than they did and their reaction to this journey was powerful. we saw children truly blossom as they learned to serve versus being served. You really saw some true character development. We also black children at a high school in Conneticut that sends 100% of their graduates to 4 year institutes, and lastly we saw children of the privlileged learning how to network. It was great to let the majority see there is real diversity within the race and not every child in the community aspires to be a rapper or go to the NBA. There were children profiled that do have these aspirations and that is alright, but they do not represent all the children and that is what made this show truly special. I commend CNN for devoting this kind of time to this issue. for 3 hours tonight CNN talked to all of America about black people and it is refreshing that the conversation showcased different groups within the race. Some will say it simply is not enough but I will say it is another step in the right direction and I appreciate the effort.