As an author and reporter for over two decades, CNN journalist Soledad O’Brien has made her career in reporting on all things diverse - African Americans, Muslims, Gays, Hispanics, and numerous other aspects that compose American culture. As an author and reporter for over two decades, she has employed a practice of simply trying to getting answers to questions, no matter how challenging they may be to ask.
The stories that she chooses to depict in her interviews and documentaries can sometimes be gritty, informative, fascinating – and teachable. “I guess I’m just trying to show stories that I think sometimes no one takes a moment to put under the microscope,” she said. “Finding these nuggets of stories and bringing them to life to our larger population is fascinating and relevant.”
As a woman who is of Black, Hispanic, and Irish descent, O’Brien has chosen to make her heritage part of her life and work, and, even if she could, could never choose to conform to one box.
"I think if you choose a box you end up leaving other people out of a box,” she said. “I think part of the idiocy of a box is that nobody really is in a box. So what we try to do is show that boxes have tremendous limitations."
Before she spoke last night at University of Missouri - St. Louis, St. Louis Public Radio’s Erin Williams talked with the veteran journalist about uncovering stories that have yet to be told, how her inability to be put into a box has worked to her journalistic advantage, and, how Black history is, essentially, American history.