Tag Archives: Black In America

Miss(ed) Representations, Parts Two and Three: Black in America 4 and Miss Representation

By Sexual Correspondent Andrea (AJ) Plaid

I really, really wanted to like CNN’s Black in America 4: The New Promised Land: Silicon Valley (which premiered last night) as well as Miss Representation, a documentary currently airing on OWN. Both, however, left me feeling the same way, which looks something like this:

A couple of synopses before I state why I felt this way:

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Race + Tech: Michael Arrington Can’t Ctrl-Alt-Delete His Foot From His Mouth

By Arturo R. García

There’s been something ugly brewing in Silicon Valley, and now it’s starting to seep to the surface, following preview screenings for Soledad O’Brien’s latest CNN special.

The clip up top is an excerpt from her interview with TechCrunch founder Michael Arrington. The interview was taped in July, and is slated to air during the Nov. 13 episode of her Black In America documentary series focusing on the eight black entrepreneurs taking part in the NewMe Accelerator program.

In a commercial for the show, Arrington describes Silicon Valley as “a white and Asian world,” and in the interview, he goes so far as to tell O’Brien that he doesn’t know any black entrepreneurs.

Except that he really did. And Arrington’s been digging himself – and seemingly the tech industry around him – into a deeper hole ever since.
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Going For Broke: The Racialicious Review of Black In America: Almighty Debt

By Arturo R. García

Soledad O’Brien and Almighty Debt come closest to the program’s stated goal toward the end, when she asks Pastor DeForest “Buster” Soaries if he “pulled strings” to help one of his parishoners, Fred Philp, get into college, leading to this exchange:

Soaries: I picked up the phone to make sure that nothing got lost in the sauce and that Fred didn’t fall between the cracks.
O’Brien: What’s that mean, “lost in the sauce”?
Soaries: well, Fred was not your classic college applicant, and he was not heavily sought after in colleges. He had academic challenges, financial challenges, and I didn’t want to trust his high school counselors to be his primary advocates. And so when I heard that Fred was having some difficulty with the college of his choice, I thought it probably would help if I let the president know that Fred is with me.

Unfortunately, aside from that sequence and a couple of other statements later in the show, the issue is ignored. The irony of her church-oriented report is, the devil isn’t in the details – it’s in the lack thereof.

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