The following is an excerpt from “Latino in America” by Soledad O’Brien with Rose Marie Arce. Published by arrangement with Celebra, a member of Penguin Group (USA), Inc. Copyright (c) Soledad O’Brien, 2009.

CNN’s Soledad O’Brien explores the richness of the Latino experience — and her own — in “Latino in America.”

When you have a name like María de la Soledad Teresa O’Brien, you have a lot of explaining to do. My mother is black and also Latina, more specifically Cuban. She is a devout Catholic who credits the Virgin Mary with any success she’s had in this country. But it was my father, a man who spoke no Spanish, who chose the name María de la Soledad to honor the Blessed Virgin Mary of Solitude (“solitude” in Spanish is soledad).  To read the full story click here.

7 thoughts on “Soledad O’Brien explores Latino experience, mixed-race heritage”
  1. Soledad O’Brien is such a phony. In April 2008, Reverend Jeremiah Wright gave a speech in Detroit to the NAACP.  One of the things that  he said in this speech was that black and white children learn with different parts of their brain, and then gave an “unflattering imitation of the way white pastors speak.”  Peoples comments were that he gave a racial speech. Soledad  O’Brien, on CNN, was quoted as saying, in a gushing manner, that the speech was a “home run” and “really funny.” When questioned about the things he said in the speech, she would say things like, what he really meant was …..or what he wanted to say was… Once again she’s covering the truth and being racist.  Just as with the Henry Gates incident.  In an appearance on Anderson Cooper, the night or so before CNN’s “The Moment of Truth” she appeared enraged that it was a racial profile against Gates. She said that she got calls from her FRIENDS saying it was all about Gates being black.  She went on that show with the purpose, at all costs, to destroy the credibility of the white police officer and throw him under the bus.  When Cooper was talking she wanted to make the point that Gates said “Thank You” to the police officers.  By mentioning that, she was purposely misrepresenting the truth by playing down Gates’ belligerence and racial remarks, which she didn’t even mention.  Even Gates’ attorney and friend, said to the media that he used very strong language. Colon Powell and President Obama both said he should take blame in the incident.  I have seen this in many occasions with her, where she doesn’t speak the truth and hides the true facts.  Another time on Anderson Cooper, Cooper said to O’Brien that Senator John McCain hasn’t brought race into the campaign, like he said he wouldn’t.  You would think her response would have been something like, that’s great because he shouldn’t.  Instead she strongly insinuated that he would, even in the last week of the campaign. Also, her questioning style, in interviews  is completely different with a white person than it is with a black person.  Like in her interview with Henry Gates in “The Moment of Truth”  She just went along with his lies. I have seen several comments on various websites about her racism.  There are many other examples I could give of her racial bias, dishonesty and hypocrisy. She seems to consider herself to be black. She mentioned in an interview that her parents made it clear to her “you’re black” and that’s all there is to it.
    She’s all about being #1, she wants the world to revolve around her. She comes first, before her family. She wants to be a celebrity figure and a star. In interviews she says she works 6 days a week, mostly out of town, and on some holidays. She goes to gala events, concerts, lots of entertainment events, as a single woman, leaving her husband and kids behind.
    I think Soledad O’Brien is a very poor journalist. What ever happened to the days of CNN with Bernard Shaw and Judy Woodruff? They were honorable journalists. You could believe what they said.

  2. what????? A true Mexicano or latino that is 1st generation is not black……My family has surpassed 1st generations, including myself.. my mom surpassed many and came to this country when she was 8 years old married a latino and is very successful and there name is not Obrien or Parker… is a true latino name with no mixture…She is Flawed and actually an embarassment to Latino’s…….Eva Longoria is all she could bring up….a 9th generation….that is not something to write about……and she married a black man…real accomplishment…hahahah…what a disgrace…..not a true example again of a true latino surpassing those on the mayflower….go back to your native country Obrien….You are not helping here in the USA..Larry bring true latino’s to your show and let them speak out on true accomplishments…and the American Dream.

  3. I’am a true Mexican, who came here from Mexico when I was only 6 years old. I have went to school for 10 years and have a doctors degree. When i read this book it Sucks!!!.. I can’t believe this is all you can write about Latino in America. All i see this book is a quick way to title a book and make quick cash. First off your not a true Latino… , Soledad O’brien is not a Latino Name.. A true Latino is will have Ramirez, Garcia, lopez, de leon,..Moreover true Aztec or Myan is not half African America. Comon’ whats going on here. Im not racist but please don;t call yourself something where you are not!!!! What’s going on with your book. I will not recommend it and Moreover am Regretfull for seeing this publish.. your book should of been titled A ” Latino and African MiX” who are successful in America

  4. Soledad is going through a very profitable and exploitive identity crisis. However, you cannot discredit her latino roots, as her mother is Cuban. The last names comes from her father, who is of Irish and Scottish decent. So technically, she’s not African American black, she is hispanic black. There is vast difference between these two. Her need to identify herself with African Americans is just wrong, since she cannot personally relate to the struggles they have experienced. I also don’t agree with her assumption that latinos in general are “brown”. I am Cuban American and very white. In fact, there are no “brown” people in my family. There are many black/brown Cubans and hispanics, however not all of them are. My last point is if she wants to represent the Latin community, specfically embrace her Cuban heritage, she should learn the language. The “latino” culture varies from nationality to nationality, but language is the common factor we all have and probably the one thing that unites our ethnicity. Nothing is more upsetting to me that someone exploiting themselves and a community/culture, and is not even able to communicate with their “own” people in their “own” language. If she were so proud of being a Latino, I recommend she order Rosetta Stone and learn some Spanish first! Perhaps that will give hre more credibility.

  5. I have one question I wish a Latino could answer for me WHY DO YOU THINK ILLEGAL IMMIGRATION IS OK? A detailed response would be appreciated. Thank you.

  6. Half of the Latinos in America consider themselves “White” or “Caucasion. There is also a high intermarriage rate between Anglos and Hispanics.
    In fact, including White Hispanics and Anglo-Hispanics, people who consider themselves White or Caucasion will be a majority in America in the future.
    Hispanics are not a race.
    Latin Americans are diverse.

  7. This was a very foolish blog. Let’s keep it 100. Latinos or hispanic is a mut race. Very few of you are of pure european blood. So stop trying to ride that coat tail. In fact European spaniards think you are beneath them. So I don’t care how light your skin is. You are not a pure caucasion. And why would you want to be. The blood didn’t get there from love. Those europeans who came over on those boats raped your native american and african foremothers. killed your forefather mercily. but you don’t want to claim that bloodline and the only time your proud of the native blood is when your screaming we were here before you white people. You can’t have it both ways. You want to say your white untill you are brought back into reality. Not!

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