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October 31st, 2011
02:41 PM ET

Opinion: O'Brien: Michael Arrington is right (about one thing)

Editor's note: Anchor and Special Correspondent Soledad O'Brien reports for CNN's documentary series, In America."Black in America: The New Promised Land: Silicon Valley" airs at 8 p.m., 11 p.m., and 2 a.m. ET on February 11 and February 12.

Michael Arrington thinks there should be more effort made to improve diversity in Silicon Valley. I agree. But that important message is being drowned out by a heated online debate.

In July, I interviewed Arrington for my upcoming documentary, "Black in America: The New Promised Land: Silicon Valley," which chronicles the journey of eight African-American tech entrepreneurs trying to succeed in Silicon Valley.

Arrington founded the influential blog TechCrunch, which since 2005 has covered the tech startup environment. He's also a venture capitalist, helping fund tech entrepreneurs. And he has written previously that he believes Silicon Valley is a meritocracy.

Last week, we held three advance screenings of portions of the documentary. Arrington's comments, featured in those screenings - which very few have seen, including Arrington - sparked some criticism on social media.

Read Soledad O'Brien's commentary

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Filed under: Documentaries • Ethnicity • Race • Technology • What we think
Engage: Kids of undocumented workers sue over tuition; U.S. neighborhoods diversify
Dia de los Muertos or Day of the Dead celebrations will begin November 1.
October 31st, 2011
11:41 AM ET

Engage: Kids of undocumented workers sue over tuition; U.S. neighborhoods diversify

Engage with news and opinions from around the web about under-reported, untold stories from undercovered communities.

In Florida, students born to illegal immigrants sue over tuition
“A class-action lawsuit has been filed in Miami by Florida residents being charged out-of-state tuition rates to attend state colleges and universities. The students are American citizens — children who were born in the U.S. to illegal immigrants — and they say Florida's regulations violate their constitutional rights.” - National Public Radio

Census:  As all-white enclaves vanish, U.S. neighborhoods defined by diversity
"Around the region and across the country, the archetypal all-white neighborhood is vanishing with remarkable speed. In many places, the phenomenon is not being driven by African Americans moving to the suburbs. Instead, it is primarily the result of the nation’s soaring number of Hispanics and Asians , many of whom are immigrants. The result has been the emergence of neighborhoods, from San Diego to Denver to Miami, that are more diverse than at any time in American history." - The Washington Post

Dia de los Muertos holiday remembers the living
"The pre-Hispanic, Mayan and Aztec roots of the Day of the Dead, or Dia de los Muertos, date back at least 3,000 years. Traditionally associated with Mexico, its celebration has also found its way around the world, often blending in local cultural influences with the ancient traditions." - MSNBC FULL POST

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Filed under: Engage
October 28th, 2011
06:50 PM ET

'The Mountaintop': MLK's last day, as seen on Broadway

"The Mountaintop," a Broadway play by Katori Hall,  considers the last day of Martin Luther King Jr.'s life - April 3,1968. But Hall had never set foot inside his room at the Lorraine Motel in Memphis, where King was killed until she stepped in with CNN's Soledad O'Brien. The hotel room where King stayed was maintained as a shrine to the civil rights leader.

Hall's reaction: "It's too small to contain his dreams."

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Filed under: Black in America • History
October 28th, 2011
12:28 PM ET

'I don't know a single black entrepreneur'

By Laurie Segall, CNNMoney

NEW YORK (CNNMoney) - Weeks ahead of the premier of a CNN documentary focusing on diversity in the tech industry, the charged issue is already generating sparks. A heated debate broke out on Twitter Wednesday night after a preview screening of "Black in America 4."

Blogger-turned-investor Michael Arrington ignited a controversy with his comments about the visibility of minority-led companies. In the documentary, which airs November 13, Arrington talked about his difficulties finding African-American entrepreneurs to launch their ventures at his TechCrunch Disrupt conference - and suggested he would accept almost any black entrepreneur, regardless of merit.

"There's a guy, actually, his last company just launched at our event, and he's African-American. When he asked to launch - actually, I think it was the other way around. I think I begged him," Arrington told CNN's Soledad O'Brien.

Read the full story

Engage: Black farmers' $1.25 billion settlement, Harold and Kumar's world
John Boyd heads the National Black Farmers Association. A judge approved a $1.25 billion settlement for minority farmers.
October 28th, 2011
11:32 AM ET

Engage: Black farmers' $1.25 billion settlement, Harold and Kumar's world

Engage with news and opinions from around the web about under-reported, untold stories from undercovered communities.

Black farmers $1.25 billion discrimination settlement approved
“A federal judge on Thursday approved a $1.25 billion settlement in a decades-old discrimination case by black farmers, clearing the way for them to seek compensation from the U.S. Department of Agriculture for being left out of farm aid programs.” - Reuters

Cash incentives and cultural bias fuel South Dakota foster system
“In South Dakota, Native American children make up only 15% of the child population, yet they make up more than half the children in foster care. An NPR News investigation has found that the state is removing 700 native children every year, sometimes in questionable circumstances. According to a review of state records, it is also largely failing to place native children with their relatives or tribes.” - National Public Radio FULL POST

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October 27th, 2011
01:56 PM ET

Transgender boy wants to be a Girl Scout

Seven-year-old Bobby Montoya dresses like a girl, feels like a girl and wants to be a Girl Scout. A local troop leader said he couldn't - he has "boy parts." But the Colorado Girl Scout organization said that's a mistake, and Bobby is welcome to join. The organization has gotten more requests from families of transgender kids, officials told CNN affiliate KUSA.

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Filed under: Age • Gender • How we look
5 myths about Generation X
According to a new report, most of the 84 million Americans ages 30 to 50 are "active, balanced and happy."
October 27th, 2011
11:46 AM ET

5 myths about Generation X

By Alene Dawson, Special to CNN

(CNN) - A generation once labeled "slackers," detached and melancholic has grown up to find out that reality doesn't bite as much it seemed when they were younger.

To the contrary, most of the 84 million Americans ages 30 to 50 are "active, balanced and happy," according to the authors of "The Generation X Report," a research report from the University of Michigan's Longitudinal Study of American Youth.

The release is the first in a series of quarterly reports based on questionnaires, interviews and tests from 4,000 Gen X respondents who have participated in the study since 1987. The study defines Gen X as those born between 1961 and 1981, though others sources tag Gen X as those born starting in 1964.

Read the full story

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Filed under: Age • Who we are
Engage: Rubio fending off criticism; Asian American population boom
Sen. Marco Rubio is fighting off allegations he embellished his family history to boost his political career.
October 27th, 2011
11:38 AM ET

Engage: Rubio fending off criticism; Asian American population boom

Engage with news and opinions from around the web about under-reported, untold stories from undercovered communities.

Marco Rubio faces criticism from Latinos outside Miami
“In Miami’s Little Havana, the Cuban exile community has rallied to the defense of its favorite son, Sen. Marco Rubio, as he fights off allegations he embellished his family history to boost his meteoric political career. But well beyond Calle Ocho, the freshman Florida Republican still faces a bigger challenge selling himself to the broader Hispanic electorate." - Politico

Black voters still support president  
"
Despite a school of thought in Washington that Mr. Obama’s support among blacks has weakened because of the poor economy and a sense of unmet expectations, interviews and public opinion surveys show that his standing remains remarkably strong among African-Americans." - The New York Times

FULL POST

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'We're a culture, not a costume'
October 26th, 2011
02:42 PM ET

Poll: Will your Halloween costume stereotype someone else?

Halloween is coming and students at Ohio University are speaking up against costumes that stereotype different races and ethnicities. The campaign, launched by the university’s Students Teaching Against Racism in Society, shows several young men and women holding posters of people in costumes - an Arab suicide bomber, a Latino with an oversized sombrero and stuffed donkey, a Japanese geisha.

The posters' headline: "We're a culture, not a costume."

"The best way to get rid of stereotypes and racism is to have a discussion and raise awareness, which is what we want to do with this campaign," Sarah Williams, president of the student organization told CNN.

FULL POST

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Filed under: Ethnicity • Polls • Race
Engage: IBM's first female CEO, recognition for first black Marines
Virginia Rometty, right, will become IBM's first female CEO in 2012, succeeding Samuel Palmisano, left.
October 26th, 2011
11:28 AM ET

Engage: IBM's first female CEO, recognition for first black Marines

Engage with news and opinions from around the web about under-reported, untold stories from undercovered communities.

First female CEO for IBM
“International Business Machines Corp.'s Virginia 'Ginni' Rometty has grown throughout her career by taking on challenges she's never faced before. Now she'll tackle something no one has ever done. Rometty, 54, will become the first female chief executive officer in IBM's 100-year history. –Bloomberg Businessweek

Telemundo adds English into a mostly Spanish lineup
"The new approach, reflecting the changing dynamics of Hispanics across the country, can be seen in the network debut of the Cuban-born television personality Cristina Saralegui as the host of a Sunday variety show, and in a crop of new telenovelas intended to reflect the sensibilities of acculturated Hispanics.” - The New York Times

FULL POST

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