CNN anchor and special correspondent Soledad O’Brien’s latest Black in America special Almighty Debt is premiering Thursday, October 21st at 9p ET & PT. I had borderline been ignoring this until the publicity department of CNN sent me a reminder and clips in case I wanted to post on it. A part of me is leaning towards irritated that the debt show has to be a Black in America special. There are no other races in debt? Unemployed? Underemployed? And based on the last two Black in America specials - will this one offer solutions or just a lot of "woe is me, what is I gonna do, we so sad" stories? I hope not. Anyway, these debt stories are centered around the role that the Black Church plays.
A brief synopsis:
Every leading indicator – unemployment, income, wealth, educational attainment, homeownership and foreclosures – demonstrates that the African-American financial foundation is crumbling at rates that are comparatively worse than other segments of the U.S. population. Reported by anchor and special correspondent Soledad O’Brien, and told through experiences of members of the First Baptist Church of Lincoln Gardens in New Jersey, this special explores how one church is helping its 7,000 parishioners survive the worst financial crisis since the Great Depression. Rev. Dr. DeForest Soaries believes ‘debt is the new slavery’.
His church’s community development corporation struggles to help desperate homeowners save their homes from foreclosure. The youth ministry helps a high school student struggling to get into college, but also towards student loan debt. Another church member is a former Vice President at a large insurance brokerage firm who was laid off four days before his 58th birthday. Today he is competing with a sea of younger men and women to find employment. See inside one church as the pastor and his members worship together, and struggle to meet new challenges. Following the documentary, a dynamic town hall discussion moderated by O’Brien will feature Rev. Soaries, the Chief Pastor of The Potter's House Rev. T.D. Jakes, clinical social worker and public relations executive Terrie Williams, syndicated columnist Michelle Singletary and political pollster Cornell Belcher.
Who is going to watch? What do we think about debt as "slavery"? How has the economic downturn affected you?