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Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Black in America 2

Our regular 'Out of the Box' feature is preempted today so we can give you the details on CNN's important documentary 'Black in America 2'. Look for 'Out of the Box' to post on Friday night this week.

all photos courtesy of CNN
CNN’s acclaimed Black in America series continues this week with extraordinary stories of successful community leaders who are improving the lives of African-Americans. Anchor and special correspondent Soledad O’Brien criss-crossed the U.S., and included reporting from Ghana and South Africa, as she uncovered the people and programs at the forefront of change – people inspiring volunteerism, programs that are improving access to quality health care and education, and leaders working to address financial disparities and develop strong families.For the documentaries, O’Brien reported from Brooklyn, where humanitarian Malaak Compton-Rock has created “Journey for Change,” an innovative program aimed at expanding the horizons, and improving the confidence of economically disadvantaged teens. O’Brien and Compton-Rock traveled to South Africa with over two dozen teens for two weeks of transformative volunteer service in shanty towns and AIDS orphanages.
O’Brien also had an extensive interview with media mogul Tyler Perry – and a rare tour of his sprawling film studios in Atlanta, GA. Perry rose from poverty to multi-million dollar success, and as the owner of a major motion picture studio, he talks with O’Brien about the importance of control and creative vision.Soledad interviewed former U.S. Secretary of State Colin Powell in Washington, D.C., about the importance of service, volunteerism and motivating young people.
And there is an inspirational story of a heroic oncologist who continues her research in Detroit and Ghana – despite the doctor’s fears about her own recent biopsy, and a principal from Hartford, CT, who founded a year-round magnet high school that sends all of its graduates to college.

Black in America 2: Tomorrow’s Leaders – Wednesday, July 22, 8 p.m.

For the debut evening of CNN’s Black in America 2, O’Brien focuses on people who are developing African-American leaders for tomorrow. John Rice’s “Management Leadership for Tomorrow” mentors talented African-American professionals to help them rise to positions of power and success in America’s companies. Compton-Rock’s “Journey for Change” program offers teens the opportunity to see the world and develop self-confidence, and principal Steve Perry’s Capital Preparatory Magnet School prepares African-American students for college.O’Brien interviewed musician John Legend in New York City about his humanitarian efforts. Legend has collaborated with Management Leaders for Tomorrow, an organization that works to increase minority presence in corporate leadership positions.
She also interviewed comedian/radio host/author Steve Harvey from his studio in Atlanta.

Black in America 2: Today’s Pioneers – Thursday, July 23, 8 p.m.
The second documentary in the two-night series profiles community organizers across the country who are creating progress at a local level. From an innovative Chicago health clinic that uses barbers to encourage African-American men to seek the medical care they need; to actor/director/playwright Tyler Perry, whose life’s journey has led him from homelessness to becoming a powerful filmmaker and television producer; to the founder of the “Black Marriage Day” project who works with couples in 300 cities to help develop strong, healthy families. This evening profiles people working in ways large and small to make a difference.Today’s Pioneers
Jameeca Barnes is a college student, whose parents’ marital problems have begun to affect her grades. Her parents are seeking marriage counseling from the Washington, D.C.-based Wedded Bliss Foundation, which aims to save black marriages.
James and Tina Barnes, a couple from Waldorf, Md., have been married for 21 years. On the brink of divorce, they seek marital counseling through Nisa Muhammad’s Wedded Bliss Foundation, which is dedicated to saving and strengthening black marriages.
Jayda Barnes, the youngest Barnes daughter, participates in a school modeling competition. Her parents, James and Tina Barnes, are contemplating a divorce but seek counseling with the Washington, D.C.-based Wedded Bliss Foundation to save their marriage. Everett Highbaugh is a case worker with Project Choice, a support group based in Oakland, Calif., aimed at easing the transition back into society for ex-convicts.
Andrew Josey works with Everett Highbaugh at Project Choice, a support group based in Oakland, Calif., aimed at easing the transition back into society for ex-convicts.
Nisa Muhammad has made it her mission to save black marriages. In 2006, Muhammad, once divorced herself, founded the Wedded Bliss Foundation, a Washington, D.C.-based program that promotes healthy marriages for African-American families through interactive classes and counseling.
Marcus Murray is the executive director of Project Brotherhood. Project Brotherhood is a Chicago-based program that provides free health care and social services to black men.
Lisa Newman, MD, is a surgeon specializing in breast cancer at the University of Michigan hospital. Dr. Newman travels to Ghana on a regular basis to research a cure for triple negative breast cancer, an aggressive form of the disease that’s twice as likely to affect African-American women as white women.
Tyler Perry, a New Orleans-native who once faced homelessness, is a successful African-American actor/director/playwright who owns a major film and television studio in Atlanta. Perry’s movies have grossed over $370 million to date.
Dawn Spencer is a patient of Dr. Newman, who also appears in the documentary for Newman’s work treating breast cancer in African-American women. Spencer, from Southfield, Mich., has aggressive triple negative breast cancer. Triple negative breast cancer affects African-American women at a higher rate than white women.
Chris Shurn, who was featured in 2008’s Black in America, was released from San Quentin State Prison after his conviction of crack and firearm possession in 2004. In Black in America 2, Shurn searched for a job and worked with Project Choice, a program that helps ex-convicts re-enter society. In June 2009, he was re-arrested and faces new charges.
Bonnie “Pete” Thomas, MD, is the medical director of Project Brotherhood, a Chicago clinic that provides free health care and social services for African-American men. Dr. Thomas spreads the word about his program through barbershops as part of his community outreach.

Cicely Tyson launched her acting career during the Civil Rights era. Tyson walks with CNN anchor and special correspondent Soledad O’Brien through her Harlem neighborhood, where she is interviewed by O’Brien about facing challenges of segregation and racial barriers while breaking into the film industry.
Frank Wilson has been left immobile after a heart attack. Without health insurance, he benefits from Project Brotherhood, a program that provides services such as free health care and social services to African-American men in Chicago.

To read more about Black in America 2 just follow the link. ~Phebe

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Anonymous said...

After viewing BIA2, I was a bit disappointed with certain aspects of the presentation in part one.
Beginning with Chris Rock's wife, who journeyed to Africa with school children that she selected from an inpoverished neighborhood in NYC, where her husband grew up.
While her intentions may be altruistic in nature, I got the impression that this was more a piece about what Mrs. Rock does in her spare time as opposed to actually focusing on how it benefited the children she chose.
It also wasn't surprising to find that the female students came away from the experience and showed a more positive attitude toward learning than did their male counter parts. More Afro-American students who graduate high school and go on to college ARE FEMALE. That is a statistical fact. Nothing new here.
We were then introduced to a principal who ran a magnet school associated with a college, but never once did he acknowledge how his school was funded, but claimed one hundred percent of the students went on to college even if they were lacking in the fundamentals of both reading and writing. Amazing. This same principal was shown picking up the students in the morning to bring them to school. Isn't there a liabilty factor here if he has an accident? Having taught public school for many years, it is impossible for me to believe that this actually occurs without incident or warning. Might I also add, that faculty members were NEVER INTERVIEWED. Why?
The only part that was worth any attention, was the professional Afro-American woman in DC who funded a ball or a coming out event for those young Afro-American people who excelled. She was criticized, but at least it was believable.
Hopefully, part 2, will offer actual insite into the Afro-American experience like that of the well documented first.

Anonymous said...

Excellent work from Soledad .CNN
needs to do more programs like this
and get away from the politicalization
of the news. More original reporting
is what CNN needs to invest in. said...

Hi there!

I have to say that it was a complete waste of time... what did they present that blacks don't already know??

If Soledad is trying to create a Black People 101 seminar for white viewers then she is doing a mediocre job. If she is attempting to show her investigative reporting skills, she ought to consider being a full-time stay at home mom instead...


Not getting a touch up and being on camera was a nice touch... *LOL*

And her "ghetto pose" in the photo with Malaak was a bit too much of an attempt to seem "down".... {yawn}

Try harder, Soledad... please.

Thanks for discussing the special report, though!

Peace, blessings and DUNAMIS!

Anonymous said...

The second half of BIA 2 was far more engaging than the first part, if only because it emphasized adult experiences. Of special interest for all races was Soledad's interview with Dr.Newman, who discovered she too, had breast cancer. Her dedication to finding a cure for the triple negative type that is twice as likely to strike Afro-American women, was especially sincere and compelling. All races of women can certainly understand how under funded research vs. cure is, for this dreaded disease and sympathize.
We were also introduced to marriage counseling in the Afro-American community and the couple chosen touched not only Soledad, but this viewer as well. They were truly soulmates in every sense of the word.
I could have done without Tyler Perry's rise to fame and fortune, from a childhood of hard knocks. Enough of this. We need to see concrete people of substance like Dr.Newman who are not celebrities, but who are really trying to make a difference.
According to the ratings, BIA 2 did not do as well as the first...and possibly for two good reasons, one its the summer, and secondly, it just wasn't as good.

billthebarber said...

black in america was like a book prof.gates would write,and what i mean is that,it seems like soledad picks who she wants on the people know we got black celebrities,doctors judges,police/firemen and people who always claim they was part of civil rights movement.but what is being black in america soledad i ask you.ask gates, that was being black in america,pulled over by police for nothing ask rodney king,shot by police for nothing ask sean bell or oscar grant and why would pres. obama say something about gates and not oscar grant who was already face down when the subway police shot him in the head.that not being black in america that picking certain blacks who are important to the white in america was edutainment not education because it was about certain blacks not to help blacks in america

lebaron said...

I enjoyed the BIA2 program. I was impressed by the Kids that realize that they are in the struggle for a better life and those are the Kids that we as Afro-Americans should spotlight and help out. Now, the guy from Oakland that worked with Prisoners' that are released back into our Neighborhoods was very caring and hard working. He wears his compassion on his sleeve. Everette Highbaugh, Dr. Newman and the other personalities are the type Citizens we need in this Community, City, State and Country. They are my idol!!