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BET’s "MEET THE FAITH" Tackles the Issues of Race, Skin Color and What It Means to Be Black in America


Senator Barack Obama and CNN Correspondent Soledad O’Brien Add to the Age-Old Debate of Light Skin vs. Dark Skin Blacks on Sunday, December 9 at 12:00 p.m. ET/PT

BET takes a look at what it means to be a “Black” person in 21st century America. Are there different levels of blackness, does the “one-drop” rule still apply, does having light skin guarantee an easier life? These questions and more are debated this Sunday, December 9 at 12:00 p.m. ET/PT, on MEET THE FAITH with host Dr. Ian Smith.

BET explores the life of bi-racial author David Matthews, who “passed” as white for 20 years of his life. His story is a lifelong struggle with his racial identity that briefly led him into drugs and crime and eventually to “coming out” as a black man and is chronicled in the book, Ace of Spades. In addition, BET News provides exclusive footage of Senator Barack Obama commenting on race and being attacked for his level of “blackness.” “Nobody questioned my ’blackness’ before I announced I was running for President,” says the Illinois Senator.

Guest panelists Larry Whitmore, writer/producer and creator of “The Bernie Mac Show,” Elizabeth Atkins, author of the books White Chocolate and Dark Secret, and Bintell Powell, author of the book Betrayed discuss what it means to be black and if light-skinned blacks have an easier life. Later, CNN Correspondent Soledad O’Brien sits down with Dr. Ian Smith to discuss growing up multiracial and challenges she has encountered in her career. O’Brien also reveals how her childhood affects the way she raises her children now.

MEET THE FAITH is produced by BET.

For up-to-the-minute information, footage and photos about the special, please visit Review tapes are available upon request.

About BET Networks

BET Networks, a division of Viacom Inc. (NYSE: VIA, VIA.B), is the nation’s leading provider of quality entertainment, music, news and public affairs television programming for the African-American audience. The primary BET channel reaches more than 87 million households according to Nielsen Media Research, and can be seen in the U.S., Canada and the Caribbean. BET is the dominant African-American consumer brand with a diverse group of business extensions:, a leading internet destination for Black entertainment, music, culture, and news; BET Digital Networks - BET J, BET Gospel and BET Hip Hop, attractive alternatives for cutting-edge entertainment tastes; BET Event Productions, a full-scale event management and production company; BET Home Entertainment, a collection of BET-branded offerings for the home environment including DVDs and video-on-demand; BET Mobile, a service venture into the lucrative world of ringtones, games and video content for wireless devices; and BET International, an extension of BET network programming for global distribution.


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