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: Soledad O’Brien

SOMaria dela Soledad Teresa O’Brien

Soledad O’Brien is a forty- nine year old anchor of CNN in America and author of Latino in America. O’Brien’s parents were both immigrants. Her mother was from Cuba and her father was from Australia. Her father was three quarters Irish and one quarter Scottish descent. Her mother a Cuban from Havana was Afro-Cuban. O’Brien was the fifth of six children to graduate from Harvard University. O’Brien currently lives with her husband and four children in Manhattan.

O’Brien sees herself as a multiracial, first generation American. She believes her ethnic roots are relevant in bringing the news to Americans. She has been an advocate for the Latino community and hosted the documentary Black in America. O’Brien recounts an exchange she had with the civil rights leader Jesse Jackson in 2007 in her book, The Next Big Story. She reported that in 2007 she met privately with him while he was there to complain about the lack of publicity that CNN was giving to their black personalities. She interrupted him to remind him that she was the anchor American Morning.  She states he looked her in her eye and reached over and tapped a spot of her skin on her right hand. He shook his head and said “you don’t count.” O’Brien said she was angry and embarrassed. Her thoughts were if Reverend Jesse Jackson didn’t think I was black enough than am I?  She states that Jackson managed to make her ashamed of her skin color. After two week of stewing she stated that she knew he was wrong. She states I am a product of my own life and I know who I am. It reminded her that is how the race game is being played in our country, that we are so easily reduced to our skin tone. That someone as prominent as Rev. Jackson has a box to check for black and there is one for white. No one gets to be the in-between or they just don’t count. Later she called him and reminded him of what he had told her. He claimed he did not know she was black. He said he thought she was a dark skinned someone else. I am sure many multiracial Americans can identify with O’Brien.

–Makensie Shay McDaniel, Project RACE Teens President

Ten People You Didn’t Know Were “Black” and the Multiracial Advocacy

 

Interesting article called, “10 People You Probably Didn’t Know Were Black.” No surprises, although we would have named it, “10 People You Probably Didn’t Know Were Multiracial.”

http://people.howstuffworks.com/culture-traditions/genealogy/10-people-you-didnt-know-were-black.htm#page=6

 

 

 

Source: HowStuffWorks

Bye Bye, Soledad

How will we know who is black in America without Soledad to tell us on CNN? Stay tuned. 

Soledad O’Brien Out As CNN Host, Will Return To Documentaries

Soledad Obrien

Soledad O’Brien is leaving CNN mornings, but she’s staying with the network — sort of.

O’Brien told the New York Times that she is returning to the role she had before she became the host of “Starting Point” in 2011: a roving documentary reporter. The twist this time is that she is forming her own production company and will not be tied exclusively to CNN; she will be able to shop programs to other networks and air them on the Web as well.

O’Brien’s future as a regular face on the network was immediately put into doubt when CNN announced that Chris Cuomo would be its new morning host. O’Brien’s “Starting Point” had generated plenty of headlines, but was perpetually low-rated.

On Wednesday, Page Six reported that she was headed out the door.

“We had conversations in general about my role at CNN,” O’Brien told the Times. “What we ended up with was, they wanted to partner with me, and I wanted to partner with them.”

On Thursday, O’Brien appeared on “The Wendy Williams Show,” where she said she was looking forward to “doing stuff I like to do, which is hard-hitting journalism.”

Source: The Huffington Post | By  
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Soledad O’Brien Out at CNN?

Soledad O’Brien Out at CNN?


UPDATE: The morning show pairing of Cuomo and Burnett is confirmed, per DHD. No word yet on what that means for O’Brien.

But-but -but if CNN dumps Soledad O’Brien, who will tell me who’s black in America?
The story spreading like wildfire today is that ABC’s Chris Cuomo is moving over to CNN to co-host a morning show with Erin Burnett, who currently anchors a CNN primetime hour. This wouldn’t leave a whole lot of room for CNN’s current morning host, Soledad O’Brien, whose only claim to fame has been delivering record ratings — record LOW ratings — and slow-motion train wrecks like this.
O’Brien did not make an appearance on her own show this morning, and via Twitter, told those who inquired why, that she was off to a Martin Luther King celebration:
Chris Cuomo has only ever hit my radar in a positive way. His willingness to go against The Narrative last month in the heat of the media’s fevered push for gun control, impressed me to no end. The only hope CNN has to distinguish itself is to be a news outlet that thinks independently of The Narrative — to get off the Narrative Plantation and chart its own course in covering the news.
Erin Burnett has hit my radar in ways both good and bad, but not frequently. There’s no question, though, that she’s incredibly smart. That alone will improve “Starting Point.”
If I were given the reins of CNN, my first moves would’ve been to hire Jake Tapper, dump Soledad O’Brien, and give Wolf Blitzer a starring role as Lenny in a CNN Showcase Production of: “Of Mice and Men.”
Tell me again about the talking points, Barack.
So far CNN Chief Jeff Zucker’s two-for-three.
Follow John Nolte on Twitter @NolteNC
Source: Breitbart TV

So…so…Soledad!

So…so…Soledad!
Soledad O’Brien is up to her old one-drop rule rhetoric once again. She was interviewed for an Internet publication called Clutch. If you really want to read it, the link to the full story is:
http://www.clutchmagonline.com/2012/12/catching-up-with-black-in-americas-soledad-obrien/
My problems with the article begin with a personal story of the writer, Zettler Clay—a black male—who tells us how he took his cousins, ages four, six, and eight, to Toy’s “R” Us after promising them they could get what they wanted. They came upon two dolls, a white one and what the writer calls a “melanated” doll, which is apparently darker than white.
Mr. Clay “strongly suggested” the darker doll, but the kid said no dice, she wanted the white one. The writer gave in, but then suffered some deep trauma for having allowed what he calls “the notion of colorism—the lighter the skin, the better the “doll.” So he turned to Soledad O’Brien, the queen of dark is better than light. You can read “Shame on CNN” on this blog at http://projectrace.blogspot.com/2012/12/shame-on-cnn.html
Soledad says, “It’s [sic] nothing wrong with seeing color, It becomes a problem when people limit and define you by it.” Oh, but it’s OK as long as you are defined as black. Ms. O’Brien, is multiracial, and self-identifies differently depending on the situation said recently that her mother told her not to let anyone tell her she’s not Black. For this interview she changed it a bit and said her mother told her not to let anyone tell her she’s not Black or Latino.
The writer goes on for a while about his feelings about “colorism,” and then Ms. O’Brien says the following:
“I think White in America would be fascinating,” she said. “Many cultures come to this country Italian, Irish, they’re not considered white. Jews, there [sic] not considered white. There’s this whole process of assimilation that Black people have not done, and for obvious reasons. So I think White in America would be a really interesting question.”
Huh? I think she is confused about race, ethnicity, culture, nationality and religion. CNN has already unleashed her on multiracials, which makes me really skeptical of what she would say about whites.
Then Mr. Clay asks Ms. O’Brien what she was hoping to accomplish with her last “Black in America” show and this was her response:
“We decided to be very honest and shed a strong light on some of the issues that were important and relevant. With a news documentary you can do that. This isn’t about spinning or PR. It’s about embracing tough situations, sometimes telling hopeful stories, sometimes telling sad stories. But really ultimately trying to do a very honest job in the stories that we are telling.” A VERY HONEST job? Oh please. They very honestly took a young woman who was proud to be biracial and turned her into identifying as black. Some really bad things come to mind about what they did, but VERY HONEST isn’t one of them.
It goes on and on. I really could not care less about how Soledad feels about race; however, but she is a public figure and influences young people by virtue of her being on TV. In other words, she has been given a platform to report honestly and with journalistic integrity. Instead, she is using that platform to invoke her personal racial identification. Very honestly, we don’t need someone splashed all over our televisions talking about how multiracial people should identify only as black—or is that “solely” as black? 
Source: Clutch/Susan Graham

SHAME ON CNN


SHAME ON CNN: A commentary by Susan Graham.

CNN aired a show hosted by Soledad O’Brien Sunday called “Who is Black in America?” I have been disgusted with the public misunderstanding of multiracial people on so called news shows in the past, but this one wins the prize for the absolute worst. 

First, let’s not forget that Soledad O’Brien is an entertainer and not an authority on the news. Her game is simple: ratings. She does not believe that people get to choosetheir own identities. But neither she nor anyone else should ever question someone’s racial self-identification. 

O’Brien’s mother is black and her father is white; her mother told her not to let anyone tell her she’s not black. So she self identifies as only black, denying half of her identity. She has that right and that opportunity. I feel that everyone should clearly have the right and opportunity to choose to be multiracial, too. But she has clearly brought her identity into her job this time.

This CNN special tells the story of several multiracial people who identify only as black, and are coerced into identifying as black to be on the national news. Some “experts” are thrown in who simply are getting free publicity for their books or are holding on to their academic jobs by writing and talking about the advantages of self-identifying as black if you happen to be unfortunate enough to have been born to parents of different races. 

There is a sub-story line to the show about how performing slam poetry can make a multiracial person black, what they “really” should be. They are mentored by a “spoken word poet” who helps them realize if they are multiracial, as he is, they can identify as black, as he does. They proudly succeed with one woman who says being able to be black is “a weight off my shoulders—a milestone.”

This show is, in my opinion, the most misguided show in the CNN “race” series to date. It’s a propaganda piece for every multiracial person to identify only as black; they should not even have a choice. Ms. O’Brien even tries to completely nullify multiracial advocacy by stating that you may only choose one race on the US Census. That statement has been absolutely untrue since the 2000 US Census. 

I was almost physically ill when a teacher was showcased for teaching young children about the brown paper bag test used at the height of racism in this nation to distinguish whether a person was light enough to enjoy all those advantages of white people, whatever they might be. For example a teacher—usually white—could hold a brown paper bag up to a student’s skin and separate the class into those lighter and those darker than the bag—a kind of segregation in itself. Those with lighter skin received something better than those with darker skin. The teacher said, “The more shocking the lesson, the better.” Is this really the way to teach anti-racism to a seven year old? No. It’s a way to make white people the enemy, which is really what this show concluded in its own media kind of way.  

The show fully embraces the one-drop rule—if you have one drop of “black blood,” you are monoracially black—and as evidence, one young woman is urged by Ms. O’Brien to stop identifying as biracial and become black. How in the world is this a balanced documentary?! It should not be titled “Who is Black in America,” but rather “You, too, should be Black in America!”

Only one white father on this very biased show says that his daughters should have the option of being biracial. 

There are plenty of people who will publicly—on the Internet anyway—applaud Ms. O’Brien for whatever reason and it will give them a chance to spout more hate against the multiracial movement, Project RACE, and me. I’m used to it after 23 years of fighting for the rights of multiracial people who wish to embrace their entire heritage. What is more recent is the new hatred against white people who are being blamed for what happened so many years ago and who fostered the civil rights movement. 

A certain radio talk show host is a prime example. This was her recent statement during one of her shows: “Historically white people have had the resources to help and opinions of people of color were NEVER taken into account…yes ideas were stolen but opinions were not counted.” NEVER is a pretty powerful word, especially when capitalized. It’s also a racist comment. I believe that “people of color” can be just as racist as anyone else. One of her devoted fans answered, “White people should go teach white people [about racism] cuz they don’t seem to be listening to me.” Why would anyone of any color(s) listen to this guy?

I wonder how people would feel if Project RACE stated it is imperative that only multiracial people teach about racism, or that the black population has sole responsibility to erase racism.  Every one of every race, ethnicity, culture, nationality, and religion has a responsibility to fight racism—not just whites. 

It reminds me of when I was a teenager and met and befriended a foreign exchange student from Germany. Being Jewish, my parents were openly hostile toward him. Huh? He did not do horrible things that Germans did to Jews and that occurred before he was even born. He was not responsible for wrongs any more than I, as a white woman, was responsible in any way for slavery or racism.  

There seems to be some kind of backlash going on to hold all white people accountable for racism and to believe that they should be held responsible for what ALL white people have done forever. I believe that ALL people choose their own identity and we should all be concerned about passing down racist ideas to our future generations. 

In fact, I have been taking the heat lately from some anti-multiracial bloggers. They single me out as a white woman who has actually gotten things done in communities, states, federally, and in the educational and healthcare systems for multiracial people and then attack me just for being white. One of their main issues is that since race is a “social and not biological construct,” we should stop trying to get more medical research done to find out if multiracial people really do have certain health risks that other groups do not; in essence, we are put down for trying to help save lives. 

It has finally occurred to me that if race really is not a biological construct in the eyes of those anti-multiracial racists, I should be willing to meet them halfway. I was born in Detroit—yes, Detroit, the city, not the suburbs—to a white man and white woman, was raised by a black woman, was married to a black man for 24 years and had two multiracial children, so I am more socially multiracial than white. I “get it” enough to finally declare my identity as multiracial: biologically white and socially black. That should make them happy. As for CNN and Soledad O’Brien, they can bask in the fact that they probably did turn some viewers against multiracial people and white people in a one hour program designed to elevate ratings.

Susan Graham is the executive director and co-founder of Project RACE (Reclassify All Children Equally). The views in this commentary are her own and not those of ALL of the membership of the organization.