CNN Initiative To Focus On Black America

CNN will examine the current state of Black America as part of a four-month on-air and digital initiative dubbed CNN Presents: Black in America.

The initiative will include three, two-hour documentaries anchored by CNN special correspondent Soledad O’Brien focusing on “fresh analysis from new voices about the real lives behind the stereotypes, statistics and identity politics that frequently frame the national dialog about Black America,’ said the network.

The initiative is slated to April 3 with Eyewitness To Murder: The King Assassination, recognizing the 40-year anniversary of civil rights leader Martin Luther King Jr.’s death.

Along with the specials, the project will feature a weekly series of reports that will investigate topics, including parenthood and marital rates among black adults; high rates of HIV/AIDS among African-Americans; achievement gaps in education, careers; and disparities in life expectancy rates between African Americans and the general population.

Later this month, will launch a Web portal entitled Black in America that will feature excerpts from the programming and exclusive interviews with eyewitnesses to history. The section also will include timelines, maps and multimedia stories that highlight the ripple effects the King assassination had on the United States, said the network.

Among the other scheduled shows:  Black in America: The Black Man, (June 18); and Black in America: The Black Woman & Family (June 19).

‘As we developed this series, it was critical to go beyond what viewers believe and already know to introduce them to the real people behind the headlines that we report every day on our assignments,’ O’Brien said.

R. Thomas Umstead

R. Thomas Umstead serves as senior content producer, programming for Multichannel News, Broadcasting + Cable and Next TV. During his more than 30-year career as a print and online journalist, Umstead has written articles on a variety of subjects ranging from TV technology, marketing and sports production to content distribution and development. He has provided expert commentary on television issues and trends for such TV, print, radio and streaming outlets as Fox News, CNBC, the Today show, USA Today, The New York Times and National Public Radio. Umstead has also filmed, produced and edited more than 100 original video interviews, profiles and news reports featuring key cable television executives as well as entertainers and celebrity personalities.