Former CNN Correspondent Soledad O’Brien Talks About Covering Race, Identity

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Award-winning journalist Soledad O'Brien will speak at Ohio University on Thursday as part of a multi-city speaking tour she started Tuesday. 

The event – called "Soledad O'Brien presents 'Black In America'" – will be held on the fourth floor of Baker Center in Athens on Thursday starting at 5 p.m. and will be free to the public.

O'Brien stepped away as a full-time reporter at CNN to start Starfish Media Group, her own media distribution company.

"I can focus on issues around identity and issues around untold stories in ways I couldn't before," O'Brien said. "Because I also was sent out to cover X or Y for CNN."

O'Brien said it was coverage of Hurricane Katrina that piqued her interests in conversations about race, class and identity.

"I always felt as a reporter you had this opportunity to bring your perspective and reflect on a lot of those untold stories," O'Brien said. "Not necessarily stories about race, but untold stories are often about race. Just the untold, fully fleshed-out personal story that everybody else was missing because they were chasing the headline.

"The headline only tells you part of the story. Who are the people we're talking about? That, to me, was the opportunity, and that's why I liked reporting about race and class and digging into those things, because rarely does anyone do it with any kind of substance."

O'Brien looks forward to continuing the conversation Thursday at OU.

"It's really about a conversation about the way America is going," O'Brien said. "I think that's interesting to everybody. I think a lot of people have conversations they want to be a part of. It's been our experience that people want to understand what's happening."