CNN Announces Sequel to "Black in America" Documentary

After the success and praise for their 2008 documentary Black in America, CNN announced plans to continue the probing series with a three-part television event to debut in July 2009.

That sequel will focus on successful innovators who are working to make improvements within African American communities and around the country.

Production has begun on the 2009 documentaries and was announced to coincide with a CNN rebroadcast of the 2008 series reported by anchor and special correspondent Soledad O’Brien.

Nearly 13 million cumulative viewers saw the original series, which included a co-production with Essence magazine and Eyewitness to Murder: The King Assassination.

“As the new president plans his first national address before both houses of Congress, CNN is already deeply engaged in reporting and providing analysis of how the new policies and leadership will specifically impact the lives of everyday African Americans – as only CNN can do,” said Jon Klein, president CNN/U.S.

After a special edition of Anderson Cooper 360ยบ on Feb. 26, following the re-broadcast of Black in America: The Black Man, Cooper and O’Brien discussed the impact of the new administration’s challenge to outdated racial paradigms, and how the new leadership and policies are being received by African Americans in particular.

They looked at “Journey for Change,” a program that engages economically disadvantaged youth, offering them opportunities to see the world, develop self-confidence and motivate them to pursue their goals.

O’Brien traveled to South Africa with Malaak Compton-Rock, humanitarian and wife of entertainer Chris Rock, and 30 young people from Brooklyn as part of a cultural exchange program. The goal of the exchange is to inspire the young participants to re-examine their life situations and engage in programs that benefit their home communities.

Cooper and O’Brien will also explore the successful strategies of Steve Perry, principal and founder of the Capital Preparatory Magnet School in Hartford, Conn. Perry, an author and counselor to prominent politicians, prepares young people for college with “tough love” aimed at students, their parents, and teachers.
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