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December 11th, 2012
01:41 PM ET

Youths explore colorism, black identity in poetry

Editor's note: In today’s United States, is being black determined by the color of your skin, by your family, by what society says or by something else? Soledad O’Brien reports “Who Is Black in America?” on CNN at 8 p.m. ET/PT on Sunday.

(CNN) - "Who is Black in America?" explores how color affects identity. In this video, slam poets Kai Davis, Hiwot Adilow and Telia Allmond from the Philadelphia Youth Poetry Movement perform a poem, "Team Lightskin," about their experiences growing up as light-skinned black women.

December 11th, 2012
11:49 AM ET

Can women drive the future of the car industry?

By Felicia Taylor and Catriona Davies, CNN

(CNN) - When Grace Lieblein started her career in a car assembly plant at the age of 18, she was a rare woman in a man's world.

Today, 34 years on, she is president and managing director of General Motors, Brazil, and trying to persuade more young women to reach the top in the car industry.

Lieblein says she has "gas in my veins." She studied engineering at what was then General Motors Institute, now Kettering University, in Flint, Michigan, and has worked for the company ever since.

Before moving to Brazil, she was chief engineer for vehicles such as the Buick Enclave and Chevy Traverse, and then president and managing director of General Motors in Mexico.

"My feeling was always, I'm going to get in and I'm going to do the best job that I can and I will build my credibility from there," she said.

"With that attitude I was able to win over some skeptics, and for those who maybe didn't change their mind, I figured that's their problem. That is not my problem."

Despite the progress, Lieblein is still working in a male-dominated environment.

Women made up just under 21% of employees in car manufacturing in the United States, and 16% of executives and senior management, according to a 2010 Equal Opportunity Employment Commission report.

FULL STORY

Filed under: Who we are • Women
Singer Jenni Rivera
December 11th, 2012
08:05 AM ET

Jenni Rivera is mourned, but still inspires

By Cindy Y. Rodriguez, CNN
 
(CNN) - Jenni Rivera is being mourned as the Diva of Banda, after the musical superstar died Sunday in a plane crash in Mexico.

She built a recording and performing career, several businesses and a devoted following - and her life was as full of the ups and the downs as any of the characters she sang about.

She was born 43 years ago in Long Beach, California, to Mexican parents Rosa and Pedro Rivera who named her Jenny Dolores Rivera Saavedra.

In an interview with CNN en Español in 2010, Rivera spoke about how she once sold cans for scrap metal and hawked music records at her family's stand at a Los Angeles flea market.

When she was just 15 and a high school student she became a mother herself, giving birth to her first child, Janney "Chiquis" Marin Rivera in 1985. She then had two more children - Jacqueline Marín Rivera and Michael Marín Rivera - with her then-husband, José Trinidad Marín.

Rivera spoke about how Marín physically abused her because while she wanted to attend college, he wanted her to quit school and be at home "cooking and cleaning." She said she grew up with four brothers so she knew how to fight back.

They divorced in 1992 when Rivera found out Marín molested their daughter, Janney, and Rivera's younger sister, Rosie. Marín was convicted in 2006 and sentenced to 30 years in prison.

Divorced and on welfare with three children, Rivera worked in real estate and took a second job at her father's record label, Cintas Acuario, which led to her passion and career in Regional/Banda/Norteño music.

FULL STORY
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Filed under: History • Latino in America • Who we are