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CNN Announces 2009 Black in America Sequel


Anderson Cooper and Soledad O’Brien Anchor Live Special Following Replay of Original Series on Feb. 26

With an historic presidential administration already initiating a nationwide dialogue on race, CNN continues its enterprising look at the state of Black America. Building upon its acclaimed 2008documentary Black in America, CNN announced today plans to continue the probing series with a three-part television event in 2009 that will focus on successful innovators who are working to make improvements within African American communities and around the country. As production begins on the 2009 initiative, CNN will rebroadcast two nights of the extremely successful 2008 series reported by anchor and special correspondentSoledad O’Brien.

Black in America: The Black Woman & Family will air on Wednesday, Feb. 25 at 8 p.m. Black in America: The Black Man will air on Thursday, Feb. 26 at 8 p.m. All times Eastern. Both documentaries have a running time of two hours. 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.

A special edition of Anderson Cooper 360º will air on Thursday, Feb. 26 at 10 p.m. Eastern, following the re-broadcast of Black in America: The Black Man. Anchors Anderson Cooper and O’Brien will discuss the impact of the new administration’s challenge to outdated racial paradigms, and how the new leadership and policies are being received by African Americans in particular.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 will also examine local people and programs around the country that have already been driving community change, educational and economic opportunities.

Cooper and O’Brien will look closely 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.

Black in America: Today’s Pioneers andBlack in America: Tomorrow’s Leaders will debut in July 2009. In addition, a special co-production withEssence magazine, featuring leaders and community organizers, will be filmed in New Orleans at the Essence Music Festival in July and broadcast on CNN in August.

About Black in America
The Black Woman & Family explores the first-time reunion of the white and Black branches of the Rand family in Houston, Tex., and profiles women and families meeting the challenges of single parenthood, HIV/AIDS, and examines the status of the African American middle class.

The Black Man profiles men living lives as responsible fathers and community leaders – and others living lives of challenges that highlight their critical roles in African American families and communities.

Black in America is produced by CNN Productions. Jeffery Reid and Bud Bultman are managing editors for the series. Jody Gottlieb is the executive director for CNN Productions; Mark Nelson is the vice president and senior executive producer. Black in America was filmed in high definition.

CNN Worldwide, a division of Turner Broadcasting System, Inc., a Time Warner Company, is the most trusted source for news and information. Its reach extends to nine cable and satellite television networks; one private place-based network; two radio networks; wireless devices around the world; CNN Digital Network, the No. 1 network of news Web sites in the United States; CNN Newsource, the world’s most extensively syndicated news service; and strategic international partnerships within both television and the digital media.


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