UPDATE: “This Is A Conversation You’re Clearly Uncomfortable With:” Soledad O’Brien Responds To Criticism Of Her “Black In America” Series
Soledad O’Brien recently discussed modern journalism, social media, and her Black In America series at Harvard’s Institute of Politics with Callie Crossley, a Boston-area journalist with WGBH and producer of the documentary series Eye On The Prize, and had some very straightforward and colorful things to say about responding to criticism of her popular series.
“It was only white people who ever said that… If only we could see beyond race,” O’Brien says at one point in the video. “OK, white person, this is a conversation you’re clearly uncomfortable with,” O’Brien continues in her hypothetical conversation. LOL.
In the video, Soledad O’Brien also discusses some of the conditions of modern journalism, such as the impact of social media, which has its pros and cons, as demonstrated in the aftermath of the Boston Marathon bombing. The discussion is part of The IOP’s John F. Kennedy Jr. Forum. You can watch the whole one-hour conversation online here.
You’ll recall that O’Brien was named Distinguished Visiting Fellow for 2013-2014 at Harvard’s Graduate School of Education, in part to talk about just these issues. What’s interesting — and refreshing — is the candor with which she speaks about them.
UPDATE: With that in mind, O’Brien is taking her response a step further and says that a series called “White In America” is in the works. TVNewser quotes her saying, “As a journalist, my job is to probe the uncomfortable topics to drive conversation. I’m happy to see that’s still happening as a result of ‘Black In America,’ and I look forward to continuing that conversation as we continue to tell the stories of who we are. We’re not just working on BIA, but also developing a ‘White in America.’ Stay tuned for that one.”
She also takes a jab at the blogosphere for what she says are ” taking the conversation out of context and ginning up headlines” by calling out her previous comments.
Will you watch “White In America?”
Check out the clip below.