Soledad O’Brien Talks Diversity in the Tech World
Soledad O’Brien examines the lack of diversity in the technology industry in her latest documentary series “Black in America.”
“The New Promised Land – Silicon Valley” features eight black strangers who move into a house in Silicon Valley and live together while TV cameras records what goes on during their nine-week stay. It is the fourth installment of her “Black in America” series which aims to highlight the great lack of black entrepreneurs and innovators in the world of technology development.
“This is so not 'The Real World.' It's so not 'Big Brother,' described 45-year-old O’Brien. "There are no hot tubs and booze and arguments.”
The eight young entrepreneurs in the house were relocated from their East coast roots to develop the products of the NewME Accelerator program and were given access to big name Silicon Valley investors and executives.
The documentary has already caused a stir with its controversial comments, such as one by TechCrunch founder Michael Arrington. He mentioned that he doesn’t know “a single black entrepreneur” and said “It’s a white and Asian world here. It just is.”
O’Brien believes Arrington’s remark is not racist but said “He’s just speaking the truth as he sees it,” reported The San Jose Mercury News.
The interesting turning point in the film is when the group realizes the power and necessity of teamwork in order to succeed. “There was a real sense that, if you succeed, it can help others succeed (in the future). It was interesting to see that unfold on camera” said O’Brien, The San Jose Mercury News reports.
“The New Promised Land” airs on CNN on November 13 at 8 p.m. ET/PT.