Black in America 2 coming July 2009


Loyalty to Loyalty
Really? I wonder what the part 2 could be about?

Coming in July 2009, Soledad O'Brien reports on the innovative and unexpected ways people are transforming the black experience by confronting the most difficult issues facing their community.

video link: Black in America - Stories on Family, Education and Employment - Civil Rights, Racial Discrimination and Violence -

Online review of a screening of the piece.
There was more of a generational divide than a racial one at last night’s advance screening of CNN’s Black in America 2. With a hearing room full of involved Washington, D.C. residents, a 30-minute snippet of the documentary seemed to have fallen into the background as councilmen and residents spoke out about their concerns within the black community.

“This is not a PR piece about black people,” said Tuesday night’s moderator Chris Lawrence, a CNN correspondent.

There was not one empty chair in the fourth floor Wilson Building hearing room, nor one person inattentive as the panelists tried their best to address the questions raised from the film.

The clip of the documentary, which will air on July 22, walked the audience through the lives and the stories of four African Americans who showed a side of the community that was marginalized in the documentary’s initial installment.

CNN’s Soledad O’Brien spoke with John Rice, a corporate executive, who is training young black people with skills outside of the classroom that will get them to high-rise Manhattan offices similar to the one he works in; Tyler Perry, the actor, playwright and producer who became the first African American to own his own studio in 2008; Cicely Tyson, the legendary actress who opened doors for other black entertainers nearly 50 years ago; and Steve Perry, a principal at a Hartford, Conn. high school whose graduates all go on to four-year colleges.

“If we had 15 Tyler Perry’s, what difference would it make on the institutions of failure or on the unemployment lines,” said Marion Berry, former D.C. mayor and current city councilman.

Berry served as a surprise panelist and mentioned what the audience agreed to, with faint moans and head nods, as the cause of the racial disparities in this country.

“What about the institutions of failures? What about the fact that black males are nearly extinct from going to jail,” he said.

The panel consisted of three city councilmen – Berry, Council Chairman Vincent C. Gray and Councilman Harry Thomas, who spearheaded this screening – Justine Love, Director of Community and Public Affairs at WPGC, Allen L. Sessoms, President of the University of the District of Columbia, Colbert I. King, columnist at the Washington Post; and Lorraine C. Miller, President of the D.C. chapter of the NAACP.

“With all do respect, I don’t think any of you on the panel are under the age of 30,” said Ashley Marshall, a 2009 Howard University graduate who was in attendance. Marshall asked the panel how they intended to close the apparent age gap between her generation and theirs after much of the discussions centered on trying to figure out where young African Americans are headed.

Berry responded to her question by simply saying that the black community cannot afford the divide. Love, of WPGC, said that she shows young people tough love but is concerned about the young generation as a whole.

“There is a lack of work ethic,” she said of African Americans under the age of 30. “There are many of them who think they know everything. They don’t know jack. We need to be on them.”

“They didn’t have anyone up there to defend our generation,” said Marshall, a former Hilltop employee who currently works in the Mayor’s office. Marshall hopes that Black in America 2 depicts the lives of the black middle class that is “a little more common”.

Columnist King took the other side and said, “Our obligation is to get to know these kids…you might learn something about them.”

Before leaving the screening, Berry fought with the moderator to make sure he got his final point across.

“You are what you think. We [have to] figure out how to get these young people to think differently.” He noted that young people exposed to drug dealers, mothers cursing at fathers, drunks, nasty videos, rap artists and basketball players are to blame. “Young people are what they see.”

“How many adults have stopped to say any encouraging words to a young person on the street,” asked Justina Jackson, a 20-year-old D.C. native who currently interns for Councilman Thomas. “From what I’ve seen, I don’t think they do it.”

Jackson, like Marshall, was critical of the lack of balance between the generations and the evident age divide that Barry said cannot be afforded. They were just two of a hand-full of attendees under the age of 25.

The audience did not seem to be bothered by the event running over the scheduled two hours, as the conversation continued to drift away from possible solutions to the country’s racial issues and from the documentary itself. Resembling a city council hearing, the panel discussion focused on the issues in Washington and what the council has been doing in attempts to fix them.

The council shared that it recently allotted $16 million toward a pre-kindergarten program for all D.C. children; earlier that day passed the Youth Promise Act, is in the midst of another year of the Junior City Council program and has continued to hold youth-only screenings at the Wilson Building for over 20 consecutive months.

While council members listed their achievements, a newly elected Ward 8 ANC Commissioner asked why a new recreation center in her SE neighborhood is only open to the youth two days out of the week and for two hours at a time. Another audience member criticized the council for not paying attention to the issues that the community wants them to address – like the school system and the spreading of HIV.

“Compared to the video we saw, it didn’t stimulate the conversation,” said recently crowned Miss D.C., Shirley Rivens Smith, a ANC Commissioner for Ward 5.

“It was mediocre. I would give it a D,” said Bey Bright, a D.C. resident.

Ruth E. Marshall, President of the D.C. Federation of Civic Associations, remembered a brief comment toward the end of the panel discussion that questioned everyone’s definition of success.

“When they talked about young people, they have to talk about what success is,” she said. “It’s the little successes that don’t get talked about.”

If all that young people see is success defined by owning a business and having a lot of money then they will get discouraged, she explained.

“It was a forum that we could have gotten a lot out of, but didn’t,” Marshall said.The Hilltop - ?Black in America 2? Screening Deemed Mediocre

Yankee Doodle

Weakness fuh Sweetness
Part two will be about Obama. :duck

" I'm not lying when I told my child he or she could be President. We can be more than athletes, rappers and poor trash."

The end.

See...I just saved you a few hours of your life.


Loyalty to Loyalty
Part two will be about Obama. :duck

" I'm not lying when I told my child he or she could be President. We can be more than athletes, rappers and poor trash."

The end.

See...I just saved you a few hours of your life.

They better come better than the first one :good:
They showed the bad side... now they gonna do the feelgood chuckin'njivin side

Yankee Doodle

Weakness fuh Sweetness
So how many re-takes have been done since we have a black president now. Will all of the things they were planning to discuss still apply? I wonder if their outlook has changed since the filming of the first series :scratch