CNN’s “Black In America”

Posted on July 11, 2008


More information can obviously be found at the CNN website.

The special seems to have four unique components: “The Black Woman and Family,” “The Black Man,” “The King Assassination,” and the “HBCU Tour.” (Historically Black Colleges and Universities).

In this first installment of CNN’s Black in America series, “Eyewitness to Murder: The King Assassination.” Soledad O’Brien investigates how James Earl Ray, an armed robber and escaped convict, had already spent an uncommon year on the run just a month before his path collided with Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. in Memphis, Tennessee.

In the “The Black Man,” Soledad O’Brien evaluates the state of black men in America and explores the controversial topics of black men and fatherhood; disparities between blacks and whites in educational, career and financial achievement; and factors leading to the dramatic rates of black male incarceration. The documentary also examines the achievements of black men and the importance of the positive influences of black fathers.

Black in America continues with “The Black Woman & Family.” Soledad O’Brien explores the varied experiences of black women and families and investigates the disturbing statistics of single parenthood, racial disparities between students and the devastating toll of HIV/AIDS. O’Brien reports on the progress of black women in the workplace and the status of the black middle class.

CNN then tours the campuses of Historically Black Colleges and Universities.


I’m greatly anticipating this production, and I will hopefully soon watch the entire “Eyes on the Prize” documentary as well. There is an irony with this issue as most would hope it would eventually dissipate into the distance of history as equality takes its place. However, after decades of it in American history, and thousands of years of humanity, racism continues to loom its ugly head. My last two posts on “Multiethnic Ministry – Race & Reason in the Church (Part 1, and Part 2), highlight that reality in the Church at least. And this new production by CNN gives credance to the reality of racism and its effects.

In the spirit of Stephen Colbert, famous for saying, “I don’t see race — I believe I’m white because…(policemen call me “sir”) (“I can’t do that with my hair”), I’d like to first watch the program, and then take a common phraseology that is used by racial minorities in their fight for justice — “Race is Myth,” and ask some questions about that phrase, what it means and implies, what is the reality of race in the context of humanity, and what are we all to do about it.

I’ll see you after the 23rd of July.

Posted in: Culture, Race