Soledad O’Brien believes America has changed radically in terms of race during her lifetime and she's devoted her most recent project to documenting that change.
O'Brien’s daughter reacted to Obama’s election as President with great concern. But, only because as a six-year old at the time, she simply couldn’t fathom the idea that Obama was the first black person to hold his position. This, O’Brien says, was a great indication to her that the racial climate she grew up in was a thing of the past.
“She said, ‘But the FIRST?’, like I was completely lying to her and had misleading her for months…‘Well, how many girls have been President?” And I said, “No girls. There have been no girl presidents.' She couldn’t believe it,” O'Brien said in an interview with HuffPost LatinoVoices.
O’Brien defines herself as “a bi-racial black girl from Long Island” that is ethnically Latina. Her father is Australian and her mother is Afro-Cuban. O'Brien's ethnic and racial background have always been important to her. She even refused to change her name when a local news station told her that “Soul-Dad” was too hard to pronounce. Instead, O’Brien changed jobs. She eventually went on to be a CNN news anchor and is now the host of “In America”, a documentary series on the same network.
During Hispanic Heritage Month this year, O’Brien is airing her newest documentary, “Latino in America 2: In Her Corner.” The story centers around a young female boxer, Marlen Esperanza, and her journey to the 2012 Olympics.
“As a Mexican-American, there’s a really good chance that she’ll be representing the United States, the very first time that boxing for women is allowed. There’s a really good chance a Latina is going to bring home the medal. What will that mean not just for her community, but for the nation as a whole?” O'Brien asked.
"Latino in America 2: In Her Corner" airs on CNN on Sunday, Sept. 25 at 8:00 p.m. ET/PT.