Black In America 1: The Black Man

Through the personal stories of graduates of the 1968 class of Little Rock Central High School and their sons and grandsons, Soledad O’Brien explores the state of Black men in America. Black In America 1: The Black Man dispels the myths and examines the disparities between blacks and whites in education, career, economic achievement, and, most strikingly, incarceration.

 

Black In America 2: The Black Woman and Family

An exploration of the varied experiences of black women and families, this installment of Black In America investigates the disturbing statistics of single parenthood, racial disparities between students, and the devastating toll of STDs/HIV/AIDS. Soledad also reports on the progress of Black women in the workplace and the status of the Black middle class.

 

Black In America 2: Today’s Pioneers

Soledad O’Brien reports on community organizers across the country who are achieving progress and creating improvements at a local level. From a Chicago barbershop where African-American men are encouraged to seek routine medical check-ups; to Tyler Perry, an actor, director and playwright, whose life’s journey has led him from homelessness to achieving his dreams and creating opportunities for others; to the Black Marriage Day project which works with couples in 300 cities to help develop strong, healthy families; Black In America 2: Today's Pioneers explores people working in ways large and small to make a difference.

 

Black In America 2: Tomorrow’s Leaders

Soledad O’Brien focuses on solutions aimed at developing African-American leaders of tomorrow and creating opportunities for this next generation of youth leadership. Black In America 2: Tomorrow's Leaders profiles programs such as John Rice’s Management Leadership for Tomorrow, a program that has been instrumental in establishing black professionals in positions of influence in America’s largest companies; Malaak Compton-Rock’s Journey for Change, which offers teenagers from inner-city schools the opportunity to see the world and develop self-confidence; and Steve Perry, Ed.D.’s Capital Preparatory Magnet School, which creates opportunities for leadership and academic excellence by preparing black students for college using “tough love.”

 

Black In America 3: Almighty Debt

Statistics on unemployment, income, wealth, educational attainment, homeownership, and foreclosures all demonstrate that the African-American financial foundation is crumbling at rates that are comparatively worse than other demographics within the U.S. population. Told through the experiences of members of the First Baptist Church of Lincoln Gardens in New Jersey, the first 90-minutes of this special explores how an institution central to African-American communities for generations is helping its 7,000 parishioners survive the worst financial crisis since the Great Depression.

 

Black in America 4: Silicon Valley

The show follows the progress of eight strangers after they were selected to live together for nine weeks in a unique, technology-focused "accelerator" developed to help African-American digital entrepreneurs secure funding to establish their businesses.

 

Black In America 5:  Who Is Black In America?

Soledad O’Brien explores interpretations of race and identity for African Americans. The 2010 U.S. Census reported that 15 percent of new marriages are interracial and that one in seven American newborns are of mixed race, yet racial identity is often complicated by perspectives of community acceptance. O’Brien follows the journeys of two high school seniors as they explore their own senses of racial identity, expressing their feelings through a spoken word workshop in Philadelphia. Additionally, Drexel University professor Yaba Blay, spoken word artist Perry “Vision” DiVirgilio, anti-racism activist and author Tim Wise, and writer, speaker, and image activist Michaela Angela Davis discuss their reflections on categorizing people by race and racial identity.

 

Black in America 6: Great Expectations

Soledad O’Brien reports from the front lines of the education achievement gap. The documentary explores why so many black children are failing in reading and math at dramatic levels compared to their white counterparts. O’Brien follows at-risk students along with their parents and educators to gain first-hand perspective on the troubling statistics. When seven-year-old Lavon Longstreet meets O’Brien, he is nearly two years behind his grade level in reading and math. His experience is not uncommon in Minneapolis, where only three in ten of all black children meet the Minnesota Department of Education’s standards for their grade level compared to eight in ten of all white children. 

 

Black in America 7: Black & Blue

In this installment of her Black in America series, award-winning journalist Soledad O’Brien uses graphic videos and incisive interviews to show how the lives of young men are fractured by aggressive policing. Her documentary film, BLACK & BLUE, takes the viewer into the lives of men frisked without cause, some as many as 100 times, and the police officers who insist they're just doing their jobs.

 

Black In America: Eyewitness to Murder - The King Assassination

Soledad O'Brien retraces the steps of the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr., James Earl Ray, the FBI, and Memphis police surrounding the events of April 4, 1968. The documentary explores alternative scenarios of who may have been responsible for King's death.

 

MLK: Words That Changed a Nation

Hand written sermons from historic days. Pencil edits of statements from jail. A worn scrap of paper found the day he died. The Woodruff Library for Morehouse college in Atlanta Georgia provides Soledad O'Brien exclusive access to these and thousands of other documents from the papers of Rev Martin Luther King Jr. O'Brien takes the viewer through this collection, exploring King's philosophy, goals, and even his fears as he and those around him created a revolution. 

 

Latino In America: The Garcias

Through stories of Garcias from all walks of life, Soledad O'Brien examines the rich diversity, struggles, and triumphs of these Latinos in America.

Latino In America: Courting Their Vote

Soledad O’Brien reports on Democrats and Republicans reaching out to the swing-voter demographic of Latinos. The documentary focuses on the pivotal state of Nevada, a state that has voted for 24 of the last 25 U.S. presidents and is home to the fastest growing Latino population in the nation.

Latino in America: In her Corner

Soledad O'Brien follows Marlen Esparza's journey to the 2012 Olympics - the first games to allow women to compete in boxing. Esparza is smart enough to get full academic scholarships to top colleges, but she postpones university because she and her working-class, Mexican-American family share a dream that she will be among the first female boxers to represent the U.S. in the Olympics.

 

Education In America: Don’t Fail Me

The documentary follows three high school students in Arizona, Tennessee, and New Jersey as they prepare for the first nationwide student robotics competition of applied math and science. All three students are among the elite in their schools, but that's where their similarities end. One attends a top-tier school in an affluent community and takes on all of the advanced high school coursework he can handle in hopes of gaining admission to the nation's best colleges. Another excels in his classes and college admission tests, earning him recruiting letters from schools he hadn't even considered, but struggles to find courses that challenge him in a sports-crazed Tennessee community that doesn't seem to value a rigorous school curriculum. The third student, the daughter of Mexican immigrants, dreams of attending Stanford University, but she isn't sure her inner-city school offers the classes she needs to take to get in.

 
 

Children of the Storm

Soledad O’Brien teams up with filmmaker Spike Lee to profile 11 New Orleans teenagers, capturing what their lives have been like since the devastating storm. Filmed almost entirely by teens using handheld digital video cameras, Children of the Storm focuses on the personal journeys of Deshawn Dabney, Brandon Franklin, Amanda Hill and Shantia Reneau.

 

Women of Ground Zero

Among the celebrated heroes of September 11th were the often forgotten female rescue workers who raced to the Twin Towers in the wake of the attack. Soledad O’Brien tells the stories of female law enforcement officers, fire fighters, EMS workers and others who spent their lives defying macho stereotypes as they fought for access to jobs that require them to risk their lives for others. The documentary profiles these unsung heroes and reports the survivors' present-day health struggles, continuing mourning, and determination to be prepared for the next attack.

 

Unwelcome: The Muslims Next Door

This special examines a city in Tennessee that is torn apart by fear and suspicion as residents fight to block the construction of a large Islamic center. From New York to California, the events of September 11, 2001 sparked fear of radical Islam, terrorism, and "Sharia law," fueling opposition to mosque projects and launching a national debate around religious freedom protections.

 

Gary & Tony Have a Baby

This documentary follows Gary Spino and Tony Brown in their struggle to start a family. A gay couple in America, Gary and Tony face remarkable challenges and overcome immense obstacles to have their own baby.

 

Rescued

While some 380,000 Haitian children live as orphans, this documentary focuses on one in particular: Cendy Jeune. Cendy, a wary child, is not unfriendly, but guarded. She speaks little, enjoys playing, and is learning to read, a luxury many Haitian children are not afforded. By zooming in on Cendy's story, Soledad O'Brien brings a face to the staggering statistics surrounding children in Haiti.

 

Atlanta Child Murders

Soledad O'Brien interviews convicted killer, Wayne Williams, and examines new evidence relating to the infamous Atlanta child murders that occurred from 1979 to 1981.

 

The Minds of the DC Snipers

This documentary uncovers the story of two men, John Allen Muhammad and Lee Boyd Malvo. Soledad O'Brien reveals how they came to know each other and began their reign of terror. The documentary features exclusive video of Muhammad taken in prison.

 

New Orleans Rising

Comprised of moving interviews with longtime Pontchartrain Park residents about their struggles to rebuild their beloved home, New Orleans Rising focuses on actor, Wendell Pierce, who assumed leadership of the Community Development Corporation. The documentary also highlights the neighborhood's history as a middle-class African-American community that was founded during segregation in the 1950s.

 

Pictures Don’t Lie

Soledad O'Brien examines the hazy legacy of Ernest Withers, a legendary photographer who helped advance the civil rights movement with his stunningly intimate black-and-white images. Withers was everywhere: in Dr. King's hotel room for strategy sessions, in the courtroom of the Emmett Till lynching murder trial, behind-the-scenes at the Memphis sanitation strike before Dr. King was assassinated. Now, after his death, the reputation of the man dubbed "the original civil rights photographer" is in question amid claims that Withers led a double life as a paid FBI "racial informant." Caught in the middle of the firestorm are the children of Ernest Withers, who are disputing the charges and fighting to open the namesake museum that will display his historic images.

 

The Women Who Would be Queen

The Women Who Would Be Queen examines the full history of the relationship between the future heads of the UK's Royal Family. Additionally, Soledad O'Brien shines a light on Kate Middleton's life in the shadow of Princess Diana.

 

Battle for Blair Mountain

At the Spruce One mine in Sharples, West Virginia, Soledad O'Brien reports on the fight over mountaintop removal,  a method of coal mining that environmental groups insist violate the Clean Water Act. This fierce debate is representative of the dichotomy between economic and environmental tension that exists all over the country, especially in coal mining states.