Tuesday, July 22, 2008

CNN Presents: Black in America - July 2008

CNN Presents: Black in America

Back in April 2008, CNN started the Black in America presentations with an in depth review of the assassination of Martin Luther King, Jr. Over the course of two nights in July 2008, Soledad O'Brien hosts an in depth and groundbreaking documentary on what it means to be Black in America.

From CNN.com:
(CNN Student News) -- Forty years after the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., CNN launches a sweeping on-air and digital initiative, CNN Presents: Black in America. These documentaries, "The Black Woman and Family" and "The Black Man," focus on fresh analysis from new voices about the real lives behind the stereotypes, statistics and identity politics that frequently frame the national dialogue about Black America.

Black in America: The Black Woman & Family
Wednesday, July 23, 9 p.m. ET
Program overview: Soledad O'Brien explores the varied experiences of black women and families and investigates the reasons behind the disturbing statistics on single parenthood, disparities between black and white students in schools, and the devastating toll of HIV/AIDS. O'Brien reports on the progress of black women in the workplace and the status of the black middle class.

Black in America: The Black Man
Thursday, July 24, 9 p.m. ET.
Program overview: Soledad O'Brien evaluates the state of black men in America and explores the controversial topics of black men and fatherhood; disparities between blacks and whites in educational, career and financial achievement; and factors leading to the dramatic rates of black male incarceration. The documentary also examines the achievements of black men and the importance of the positive influences of black fathers.

Before and after viewing these programs, use the overview questions and discussion activity that follow to facilitate a discussion with your pre-teen and teenaged children.

Before viewing:
  • What is your impression of black culture in American society?
  • What accomplishments have blacks made in America since Martin Luther King Jr.'s assassination?
  • What challenges do you think exist for black men and women in American society today?
  • Has Barack Obama's candidacy impacted your view of black men and women in America? Explain.
  • Do you think that your family's history has affected your life? If so, how?

    After viewing:
  • What factors for success did you observe in the documentary? Are these factors present in your life?
  • Did any of the individuals in the program grow up in an environment similar to yours? Explain.
  • In your opinion, are there any aspects of black society that could have been added to the program? If so, what are they?
  • Did anything in the documentary surprise you? If so, what?
  • Has anything in this program affected your view of blacks in America? Explain.

    plez sez: CNN usually does a very good job with these types of documentaries, with a good job, i mean a balanced story which captures the nuances of the subject matter. i am anxious to see their treatment of this subject, because there are so many nuances to Black folk, i am more than a bit curious as to how they will capture them all in two two-hour presentations.

    as groundbreaking and noteworthy that this project appears, plezWorld hopes that the people who would benefit the most from viewing it (non-Black folk) will actually take the time to watch it. any public school education will leave you with the knowledge of what it is like to be non-Black in America, but there are scarce opportunities to have the light shown on the Black experience, except during the brief lessons on slavery and the Civil Rights Movement. and throw in the criminal element that stars on the nightly news all over the country, it would be too easy to have a distorted view of what it is like to be a Black person in America.

    NOTE: The reason why I blog is to give readers an opportunity to hear and respond to various points of view. Unfortunately, some points of view are so abhorrent and vile that I refuse to let plezWorld be a forum for them. No more comments will be allowed on this subject, due to the cowardly and racist diatribes of a few.