Soledad O’Brien’s “Matter of Fact Listening Tour” dissects American identity


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A year after the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, and almost a year after protests against police brutality erupted across the country, it is increasingly difficult to understand where America is going from. here. Rolling up his sleeves to bring together brilliant minds, all in search of an answer, is renowned journalist and documentary filmmaker Soledad O’Brien.

This spring, she is once again on a crusade against ignorance with another episode of her “Matter of Fact Listening Tour”. The series, an extension of his weekly half-hour talk show, Matter of Fact with Soledad O’Brien, creates permanent forums to explore race and injustice in America, with a strict rule against sugar. The second special, “To Be an American: Identity, Race and Justice,” will air Thursday, March 18 from 7 pm EST.


More than ever, says O’Brien, the need to examine who and How? ‘Or’ What identifying ourselves as Americans is paramount to the survival of the nation. As the country recovers from the pandemic’s disparate impact on black and brown communities; the fallout from the Capitol riot in January; and the relentless protests around racial fairness and police brutality, “these circumstances – combined with questions about who should vote, who should cross the border, who should spend their day in court – point to the need to reassess who we are as Americans and what holds our nation together, ”says O’Brien.

soledad o'brien interviewing Shaka King for the de facto listening tour

Soledad O’Brien interviewing Shaka King for the Fact-finding tour.

Courtesy of Matter of Fact

The show, which will air live on, will open with a sort of pop quiz: a “citizenship test,” which will quiz viewers about their knowledge of the United States and give them a taste of what immigrants have to learn. obtain naturalization. The idea is to examine what really unites us as a people – “an elegant legal document written in the 18th century,” as O’Brien puts it, or something larger and more contemporary.


This episode of the listening tour will also include a number of interviews, performances and essays from prestigious guests, including:

  • Ilyasah Shabazz, educator, activist, author and daughter of civil rights leader Malcolm X
  • Nikki clown, Executive Director of the Center for Native American Youth at the Aspen Institute
  • King Shaka, director of the Oscar nominee Judas and the Black Messiah
  • Gina Brillon, a Bronx-born comedian and NBC’s winner Defend diversity contest
  • Nikole Hannah-Jones, the Pulitzer Prize-winning designer of New York Timesthe special report of the 1619 project, among others.
    ilyasah shabazz with soledad o'brien

    Ilyasah Shabazz with Soledad O’Brien during the Fact-finding tour.

    Austap Wolfgang

    O’Brien has revealed that conversations with King and Hannah-Jones are particularly enlightening. “[King’s] his commitment to telling stories and bringing historical figures to life in an authentic way, and his direct and thoughtful way of evaluating ideas – it was really fun / encouraging, ”O’Brien said of his experience as a report and creation of this program. ” Nikole Hannah-Jones – a friend, someone I admire – someone who resists attacks on her … She has so much to tell us. “

    Viewers can stream this special show live on the Matter of Fact website, YouTube and Facebook Live channels, or by bookmarking this page and watching the show above. The pre-show begins at 6:30 p.m. EST, with the full segment starting at 7 p.m. EST on Thursday, March 18.

    Watch a preview here:

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