It’s Famous Friday!

Soledad O’Brien

Soledad O’Brien is an influential broadcast journalist and executive producer who just so happens to be multiracial. Born in St. James, New York, O’Brien grew up with her Cuban mother and Australian father. Interracial marriage wasn’t legal in Maryland at the time her parents wanted to be together but this didn’t stop them. They drove to Washington D.C. for the ceremony because the law was less strict there. Soledad was the fifth of six children who all graduated from Harvard University. Growing up her parents were never afraid to water down their relationship or who they were in public. They were proud of the love they had and taught it to their children every day.

O’Brien married Bradford Raymond in 1995.She was pregnant with her first child when she received her degree from Harvard University in 2000. She went on to have 4 children; two daughters and twin sons.

O’Brien started her career as an associate producer for WBZ-TV then joined NBC News in 1991. O’Brien was a co-anchor at NBC News with David Bloom. She presented stories on important events such as the 1990s school shootings in Oregon and Colorado and John F. Kennedy Jr’s plane crash. In 2003, O’Brien got a job at CNN where she reported programs that aired live from New York City.

O’Brien was always interested in giving a voice to minority groups in America. In 2009 O’Brien created a documentary called “Latino in America.” It brought light to the hard lives of the Latino community and how they faced each day in America. This documentary was the stepping stone to her CNN special “Black in America” which aired in July of 2007. This program highlighted the successes and struggles that black men and women have faced 40 years after the tragic death of Martin Luther King Jr.

Soledad O’Brien continues her work today helping others have a voice and a story through the media outlets she organizes.

 

Alexis Cook, Project RACE Teens Co-President

 

Source: Diane Cohen/New York DailyNews

 

 

Famous Friday!

Famous Friday: Suzanne Malveaux

Suzanne Malveaux main
We watch a lot of CNN in our house and one of our favorite journalists is Suzanne Malveaux. Suzanne is an award-winning TV journalist who has been a national correspondent, covering politics, news and culture for CNN since 2002, the year I was born. She anchored the CNN program Around The World and CNN Newsroom; served as a White House correspondent, and much more.

Malveaux graduated from Harvard with an A.B. in sociology, just like my sister, former Project RACE Teens President Kayci Baldwin. Suzanne went on to earn a master’s degree in broadcasting from the Columbia. She is a member of the National Association of Black Journalists and served as a panelist questioning the candidates in the Democratic presidential primary debate in South Carolina sponsored by CNN and the Congressional Black Caucus Institute in January 2008. She has interviewed presidents George H. W. Bush, Bill Clinton, George W. Bush and Barack Obama. She has also gotten to cover some really fascinating stories around the world. For example, she traveled to South Africa to interview the family of Nelson Mandela. She has also broken some big news, such as the retirement of Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O’Connor. Pretty awesome opportunities.

She has also been recognized as “One of America’s Most Powerful Players Under 40″ by Black Enterprise, Ebony’s ”Outstanding Women in Marketing & Communications”, The Root.com 100’s “Most Influential Young African Americans”, and Essence Magazine’s “2009 Journalist of the Year”. In 2005, Malveaux returned to New Orleans to report on the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. Her team earned a Peabody Award for that reporting.

Suzanne was born in Lansing, Michigan but grew up in New Orleans and Maryland. Her father, Dr. Floyd Joseph Malveaux, is Louisiana Creole, and her mother, the former Myrna Maria Ruiz, is a retired schoolteacher of Latin heritage. Suzanne has three siblings, including an identical twin named Suzette who also attended Harvard. All of the siblings have very successful careers. She also has a young adopted three year old daughter. Malveaux is committed to promoting awareness and research for ALS (Lou Gehrig’s disease), which is very personal as her mother, Myrna, suffers from the debilitating disease. She enjoys participating in marathons and triathlons and is very active on Twitter. I enjoy following her and recommend you follow too! 

— Karson Baldwin, Co-President Project RACE Teens

photo cred: liverampup.com