Friday, June 05, 2009

I hope they do you better than they did us!!!

Original article written by R. Thomas Umstead for Multichannel News

Following last year’s successful Black In America documentary series, CNN will turn its cameras on America's Latino community with the two-part documentary series Latino In America premiering in October.

CNN, which will also revisit the African-American community in July with Black In America 2, hopes to use the In America franchise to draw more attention to the struggles and triumphs of diverse communities, according to Mark Nelson, vice president and senior executive producer for CNN Productions.

“The In America brand strand gives us the opportunity to look at groups of people in America that have been misreported or in some cases neglected [by the media],” Nelson said.
Latino In America, hosted by CNN personality and Black In America host Soledad O’Brien, will focus on the growing U.S. Hispanic population and the pertinent issues that face the community.
“We found out with Black In America that many people who watched were not only black but Hispanic as well,” Nelson said. “This is the fastest-growing minority group in America today, but we don’t understand how really diverse this group is. The show focuses on how Latinos are changing America and how America is changing Latinos.”

The first part of the series will explore the lives of people across the country who share the surname “Garcia,” the eighth most popular family name in America. The second part focuses on how four different communities are meeting the challenges of disparities, immigration and discrimination in terms of language, education, citizenship, and cultural identity.
Celebrities such as Edward James Olmos, Eva Longoria Parker, Jesse Garcia and Lupe Ontiveros will also be featured in the documentary.

Nelson said CNN will create a Spanish-language version of Latino In America, although it’s unclear when and where that version will be aired.

On the Black In America 2 front, Nelson said the network will look to continue the dialogue started with last year’s inaugural Black In America series, which drew 13 million viewers. The first Black In America 2 segment, “Today’s Pioneers,” will debut July 22, with the second part, “Tomorrow’s Leaders,” airing the following evening.

“What we heard was that viewers wanted more solutions,” Nelson said. “We’ve got an economy that is sick, and it usually affects the have-nots more than the haves. But in spite of the economy, there are remarkable things that are happening out there; there are people who are taking it upon themselves to make changes, and we want to show how that’s happening.”
A third special, CNN & Essence: Reclaiming the Dream, will be tied to the African-American women’s magazine’s July Essence Music Festival in New Orleans.

As part of the Black In America 2 rollout, Nelson said CNN will launch a dedicated Web site for the franchise in June.

Nelson added that the In America franchise may also be expanded in the future to focus on other multicultural communities.

“We’re in the business of weighing the important issues of our time and the fascinating people and stories that impact those issues — that includes other cultural and ethnic groups,” said Nelson.


Max Reddick said...

I am glad someone saw the problems inherent in Black in America. The series got rave reviews, but I am puzzled as to why. Not only that, I am puzzled as to why more blacks did not speak out against it. In my opinion, it portrayed black America as disfunctional at best. I'm curious as to how they will portray the Hispanics.

the uppity negro said...

Well, Soledad can be black and Latino.

How convenient


What type of outcry did you expect from the black community? Who did you expect to say something. I figured the black political blogosphere was a decent enough pulse of the average black working middle class person and I felt that many of us rightly found the plethora of errors that it was.

uglyblackjohn said...

IMO - We need to start younger.
Instead of a social remediation, we need to have more of our young becoming better prepared to compete on a more broad playing field.
Most of the people watching the telecasts already have a lifestyle that is pretty close to or exceeding that of Euro-Americans.

Citizen Ojo said...

Max - I saw it but I couldn't believe it. I was in shock the whole time. The Citizen Family was wondering why they needed someone to do poetry to introduce the segments. I'm tired of always seeing black folks singing and dancing. Just give it to me straight.

Uppity - Soledad's blackness must be way down deep.

UglyBlackJohn - The key word now is GLOBAL. Learning spanish was yesterdays news. Chinese, Korean that's whats up next...

Anonymous said...

The problem was Soledad, but the middle class negroes had a come to jesus meeting with her, so lets see have happens this time around!

Shadow And Act said...

Wow, I didn't realize the series was so successful that a sequel is in the works. Certainly not in my circles. I didn't watch it. Maybe CNN's intentions were/are noble, but I think this kind of exoticism of any group of people, as an unusual monolithic "other," might actually have the opposite of the intended effect. The title alone is inherently problematic; it implies some singular, prevalent "blackness."