Monday, February 12, 2007

CNN Brings Untold Stories to Light in ‘Uncovering America’ Initiative

CNN Pressroom - Yearlong Undertaking Launches Feb. 17 across All Platforms with Series of Reports about Black Americans

CNN kicks off a provocative series of reports on people and issues often ignored by mainstream media, when it launches its “Uncovering America” project later this month. The yearlong effort – encompassing newscasts, prime-time programs and documentaries on CNN/U.S. and Headline News, as well as extensive features on – will offer gripping in-depth reports on conflicts and controversies affecting minority groups including African-Americans, Hispanic Americans, Asian-Americans and gays.

“Uncovering America” launches on Saturday, Feb. 17, with “MLK: Words That Changed a Nation,” a CNN: Special Investigations Unit hour in which Soledad O’Brien is granted rare access to the collection of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s personal journals, speeches and other private writings – which shed new light on the people and the passions behind the Civil Rights movement. A special screening of the documentary on Tuesday, Feb. 13, at Morehouse College in Atlanta will include Kyra Phillips moderating a panel discussion about the civil rights movement.

The effort unfolds during the ensuing week with:

· A special five-part series on Anderson Cooper 360° titled “Incarcerated in America.” Produced by Peabody Award-winning filmmaker Shola Lynch, the series looks at the shocking impact of crime and punishment on inner-city communities. Anderson Cooper 360° airs each weekday from 10 p.m. to midnight (ET);

· A weeklong series from Monday, Feb. 19, through Friday, Feb. 23, on American Morning that includes reports about Michael Oher, a black football star at the University of Mississippi, who was raised by a white family; Chris Gardner, a father dedicated to stopping a cycle of deadbeat dads and the subject of the movie Pursuit of Happyness; the current and rising stars of politics and entertainment; and a look back at Pepsi Cola’s historic effort to break the color barrier with the hiring of black marketing and sales executives. American Morning airs each weekday from 6 a.m. to 9 a.m. (ET);

· An unprecedented full day of programming across CNN/U.S. on Wednesday, Feb. 21, built around the theme of “Out in the Open,” in which anchors, reporters, analysts and guests discuss the realities of the racial divide that Americans often discuss privately but rarely acknowledge publicly. Paula Zahn Now has been blazing a trail for the past several months with “Out in the Open” debates that have broadened the discussion of discrimination and intolerance in the United States while introducing audiences to an array of interesting new thinkers on this important and divisive subject;

· A full week of profiles of emerging black leaders on Paula Zahn Now, including one of Rep. Keith Ellison (D-Minn.), the first Muslim elected to Congress. Paula Zahn Now airs each weekday from 8 p.m. to 9 p.m.

· An ambitious journey down Atlanta’s Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard, in which CNN Newsroom anchor T. J. Holmes stops at a different locale along the thoroughfare, introducing viewers to a range of people who illustrate the state of the “dream” today – 43 years after King’s famous speech;

· CNN Newsroom Kyra Phillips’ and Don Lemon’s interviews with a series of newsmakers working in areas of racial understanding, including teen-aged filmmaker, Kiri Davis, who replicated the landmark 1950s psychology “Black/White doll test” applied to young children to demonstrate the harm of educational segregation. On Monday, Feb. 19, Lemon interviews Cleveland Cavaliers’ LeBron James about his philanthropic work and upcoming projects. The afternoon edition of CNN Newsroom airs each weekday from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. (ET).

· Special weekend editions on Saturday, Feb. 17, and Sunday, Feb. 18, of House Call with Dr. Sanjay Gupta, Open House and In the Money. House Call, which airs from 8:30 a.m. to 9 a.m. both days on CNN/U.S., offers segments ranging from obesity and AIDS in African-American communities to access to health care to bone marrow shortages among blacks. Open House, which airs on Saturday at 9:30 a.m. on CNN/U.S. and on both days at 5:30 p.m. on Headline News, explores the affect of Atlanta’s rapid growth on neighborhood racial gaps and profiles a woman who says she experienced discrimination in obtaining a mortgage and a Harlem-based architect Michael Henry Adams. In the Money, which airs on Saturday at 1 p.m. and Sunday at 3 p.m. on CNN/U.S., provides segments exploring diversity in the workplace and the correlation of skin tone, height and gender with salary.

· Special guests on Headline News and “Leaders in the Black Community” vignettes on Robin and Company. Robin and Company airs each weekday from 6 a.m. to 10 a.m. (ET);

Online, offers a wide-ranging look at the state of equality today with its special section, “Uncovering America: The Road to Equality,” available at “The Road to Equality” features video and written commentaries to examine the most pressing needs in addressing equality in this country as well as graphic elements to reveal the demographic divides across the nation. extends an invitation to users to send in their thoughts in video and text about equality, racism and related topics through CNN Exchange,’s destination for user-generated content. Submission forms are available at

The special section also provides a link to “MLK: Words that Changed a Nation,”’s interactive report exploring the once-private papers of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

Throughout the month, CNN Pipeline,’s premium live news video service, has invited a variety of guests and commentators to discuss issues related to black history. In addition to being streamed live on CNN Pipeline, these interviews also will be available on-demand at

To help CNN affiliates with their Black History Month coverage, CNN Newsource has produced 20 vignettes – one for each weekday – on subjects such as the birth of hip-hop and jazz, Jim Crow laws and the Buffalo Soldiers and people including James Brown, W.E.B. Du Bois, Althea Gibson, Coretta Scott King and Gen. Colin Powell.

CNN Worldwide, a division of Turner Broadcasting System, Inc., a Time Warner Company, is one of the world’s most respected and trusted sources for news and information. Its reach extends to nine cable and satellite television networks; one private place-based network; two radio networks; wireless devices around the world; four Web sites, including, the first major news and information Web site; CNN Pipeline,’s premium live news video service; CNN Newsource, the world’s most extensively syndicated news service; and partnerships for four television networks and one Web site.


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