Soledad O'Brien takes one of America's most challenging conversations on the road as her ongoing Black in America series brings the explosive issue of police brutality to college campuses.
Black in America 2015 gathers academics and experts, students, and community members of all races and politics to discuss their personal stories of how policing impacts their lives. The award-winning journalist and philanthropist presents a detailed examination of the facts behind community policing, racial profiling, controversial crime reduction tactics, and arrest quotas. And, we see the shocking videos that show how a war between civil rights and crime reduction is unfurling on America's streets.
The multi-city tour gives audiences - from Miami to Houston to Massachusetts - an inside look at the latest installment of O'Brien's Black in America documentary series: Black & Blue. The gripping hour aired on CNN just as protests erupted on American streets. The story begins with shocking exclusive footage of Eric Garner choked to death in NY, then uses graphic videos and incisive interviews to show how the lives of young men are fractured by aggressive policing. One is a Latino man who is beaten by police when he stops to watch them make a random arrest - even as cameras roll. The other, a young man feeling the emotional pain of being stopped and frisked by officers 100 times for no apparent reason. The documentary film also shares the perspective of black NYPD officers who believe the "stop and frisk" tactic fights crime and keeps their communities safe.
Soledad will open up the floor to the college community, socio-political and luminary panelists including St. Louis, Missouri’s 21st Ward Alderman Antonio French, Economist, Author and Political Commentator Dr. Julianne Maleaux, political and civic leader, as well as former Chief Executive Officer of the NAACP, Benjamin Jealous, politically and socially conscious rapper, author and producer Chuck D of Public Enemy, socio-political comedian W. Kamau Bell, and more. To close the evening, guests will be granted a meet and greet opportunity.
"Black in America is about Americans talking about the uncomfortable issue of race, about opening the floor to new perspectives, problems and the powerful experiences of regular people. This is a forum for the conversation America is ready to have -- why do so many black Americans fear the very people that are supposed to protect them?" -- Soledad O'Brien