How I Got Over: Soledad O’Brien on Race, Politics and the Media

Posted in Communications/Media Studies, Interviews, Media Archive, Politics/Public Policy, United States, Videos on 2017-08-04 02:25Z by Steven

How I Got Over: Soledad O’Brien on Race, Politics and the Media

The Greene Space

Soledad O’Brien

During the 2016 election, award-winning journalist and writer Soledad O’Brien charged cable news and media companies of profiting off hate speech normalized by then-candidate Donald Trump’s campaign. What made for good TV ratings did not make for good journalism.

WNYC editor Rebecca Carroll hosts an unconventional conversation with O’Brien about her new political magazine show “Matter of Fact” and how black and brown journalists and media makers can deliver balanced coverage with President Trump in the White House for the next four years.

View the entire conversation (01:21:57) here.

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Essence Fest: How Prince helped Misty Copeland discover artistic freedom

Posted in Articles, Arts, Interviews, Media Archive, United States, Women on 2016-07-04 20:41Z by Steven

Essence Fest: How Prince helped Misty Copeland discover artistic freedom

The New Orleans Times-Picayune

Chelsea Brasted, Lifestyle and Culture Reporter

Misty Copeland recounted her own Prince tribute Saturday (July 2) during an Essence Fest weekend full of them. But for the first African American woman to be named principal dancer at the American Ballet Theater, the music star was a friend before she’d ever even seen him in concert.

“I’d never seen him perform live,” Copeland said during an interview with Soledad O’Brien on the festival’s Empowerment Experience stage. Copeland was emotional as she continued her story, adding, “I approached this relationship as this really hilarious quiet guy that became my friend, then I stepped onstage with him for the first time and I was like, OK, I get it now. Like, wow.”…

Read the entire article here.

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Soledad O’Brien on #OscarsSoWhite: Why Did It Take So Long to Have This Discussion?

Posted in Articles, Communications/Media Studies, Media Archive, United States on 2016-02-16 00:34Z by Steven

Soledad O’Brien on #OscarsSoWhite: Why Did It Take So Long to Have This Discussion?

The Hollywood Reporter

Soledad O’Brien, Founder and CEO
Starfish Media Group

Soledad O’Brien
Getty Images

In my experience, diversity doesn’t just “happen.” It has to be very intentional. People have to have a genuine desire to make a change.

It’s hard to tell what’s going to happen this time around. There are some bright signs, including the fledgling efforts of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. And, most importantly, there is an active, honest conversation going on…

…I was raised by a white dad and black mom for whom dating and marriage were legally impossible in Baltimore in 1958 — so they drove to D.C. to get married, then lived in a fairly hostile environment toward mixed-race couples. That sense of isolation never stopped them, and it’s certainly helped me to deal with some very typical racism in my career: being dismissed as the “affirmative action” hire, being left out of opportunities. I’m not complaining. It’s the way it is and it was up to me to try to excel anyway. And, later, as a reporter I found it interesting to interview people who felt that way and try to understand their perspective. But that doesn’t mean the frustration didn’t build, and in my case, as that of many others, it eventually forces you to speak out. It also encourages you to do what you can to make it better.

In my case, I now run a production company called Starfish Media Group that strives to tell the untold stories of people of diverse backgrounds….

Read the entire article here.

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Soledad O’Brien Returns to SBU with Her Black in America Tour

Posted in Live Events, Media Archive, Politics/Public Policy, United States on 2015-02-16 19:47Z by Steven

Soledad O’Brien Returns to SBU with Her Black in America Tour

Stony Brook University Happenings: The online newsletter for Stony Brook University
Stony Brook, New York

Award-winning journalist and former CNN news anchor Soledad O’Brien brings her Black in America tour to Stony Brook University in an interactive event that includes a panel discussion of the key issues facing minority communities today. She will be on campus Monday, February 16, at 6 pm on the Main Stage at Staller Center, joined by panelists author Joan Morgan, former NBA basketball player Etan Thomas and New York City community member Luis Paulino.

“I’m excited to be back on the Stony Brook campus,” said O’Brien. “My dad was a founding professor, and I literally grew up on that campus. It’s been a thrill to go back over the years be meet with journalism students. Can’t wait to be back!”

Her father, Edward E. O’Brien was a professor in the Department of Mechanical Engineering at Stony Brook University, where he taught fluid mechanics.

O’Brien was the originator of the highly successful Black in America and Latino in America documentary series for CNN. In 2013, she launched Starfish Media Group, dedicated to uncovering and producing empowering stories about issues of race, class, wealth, poverty and opportunity. Her honors include two Emmy Awards for 2012 election coverage and the special report “Kids on Race.”

To learn more about the tour, visit

This event is free and open to the public. For more information, contact Conferences & Special Events at (631) 632-6320 or

For more information, click here.

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Mixed-Race Celebrities on Race, in their Own Words

Posted in Articles, Arts, Asian Diaspora, Barack Obama, Caribbean/Latin America, Identity Development/Psychology, Media Archive, Social Science, United Kingdom, United States, Women on 2011-02-17 05:33Z by Steven

Mixed-Race Celebrities on Race, in their Own Words

Time Magazine: Healthland

Meredith Melnick, Reporter and Producer

Who Are You?

If biracial and multiracial celebrities have anything in common, it is that they are often asked to explain themselves. That may sound familiar to any person of mixed ancestry for whom questions like “What are you?” and the slightly more delicate “Where are your parents from?” are the norm.

“Historically, racism is equated with segregation, separating people,” says Marcia Alesan Dawkins, a visiting scholar at the Center for the Study of Race and Ethnicity in America at Brown University. “In turn, we think racial progress is racial mixing. But the problem is, [that progress is] still based on appearance.”

People who embody racial diversity can’t be expected to explain the concept to everybody else, but their thoughts on the matter are often illuminating. As Dawkins said, “It’s still important to bring issues of multiracial identity to the public’s attention.”…

Read the entire article here.

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