So CNN has heard you and they are like, double-dog daring you, the JJP community, to preview Soledad O’Brien’s new Black in America: Almighty Debt Special. That’s brave cuz y’all know we’ve had some serious beef with CNN over Black in America and Son of Black in America II: The Shining in the past (like here, here, here, here & here).

In short, here’s your chance to get a look-see ahead of time and tell us what you think. Maybe we can help CNN avert disaster this time. I get the sense that Soledad means well. And she’s trying hard in her way to be helpful. Well, they’re throwing down the gauntlet now. Sounds like they want to get our hateration upfront — maybe they can edit BEFORE some mess goes on the air. I’ve already requested my copy, though now I wonder if giving CNN my home address was such a good idea <jk>…

Here’s the scoop:

CNN is offering screening kits of their upcoming Black In America Special: Almighty Debt to individuals and groups interested in holding their own screenings and sharing their experiences with CNN.

Be it a student organization, religious group, family function or small gathering, CNN wants you to share this special with your world and let us know what you think.

Simply email your name and mailing address to to request a screening kit today.

Almighty Debt: A Black in America Special (AIRS OCT. 21 on CNN), told through the 7,000-member First Baptist Church of Lincoln Gardens, New Jersey, explores how an institution central to African-American communities for generations is helping them survive the worst financial crisis since the Depression. Every leading indicator – unemployment, income, wealth, educational attainment, homeownership and foreclosures – demonstrates that the African-American financial foundation is crumbling. CNN anchor and special correspondent Soledad O’Brien introduces viewers to Rev. Dr. DeForest ‘Buster’ Soaries who believes ‘debt is the new slavery’ and follows him as he attempts to fight debt from his pulpit. The church’s community development corporation struggles to help desperate homeowners save their homes from foreclosure. The youth ministry assists students into college and with financial aid applications. But can this church ensure better futures as a younger generation starts down the path of financial debt? Will they succeed? Viewers see inside one church as the pastor and his members worship together, and struggle to meet new challenges… And changes.

Be sure to follow @BlackAmericaCNN @soledad_obrien on Twitter and visit for more info.

Now that all sounds good, but here’s some beef from the get-go. Rev. Dr. DeForest Soaries is a Republican and a former Bush supporter who did this:

In July of 2004, Soaries wrote a letter to United States Secretary of Homeland Security Tom Ridge in which he indicated that he was concerned that there was no mechanism in place for the postponement of federal elections in the event of terrorism or other emergencies. One sentence of the letter, taken out of context, read, “… the federal government has no agency that has the statutory authority to cancel and reschedule a federal election.” This raised an uproar among those who felt that this was an attempt by the Bush administration to postpone the 2004 U.S. Presidential election.

which means he is just not representative of the majority of black folk who are all about having elections and who vote 90-95% Democratic. Was DeSoaries a supporter of Obama over McCain? I wonder. I’m down with economic freedom. But Soaries’ past poor political judgment makes him a weak example of black economic leadership in my opinion.There are so many black preachers talkin’ bout prosperity and how to get there — why choose Soaries?

Let us know in the Open Threads when your copy has arrived and we’ll set up a special virtual viewing party to review & discuss as a fam.

Peace, Jill

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