The Harrisburg Black Law Students Association (BLSA) of Widener University School of Law hosted a special viewing of Soledad O’Brien’s CNN documentary “Almighty Debt” on Wednesday, October 20, 2010. This episode is the third in CNN’s “Black in America” series.
On October 21, 2010 CNN will début this latest in-depth documentary. This particular documentary follows the life of congregation members and head pastor Rev. Dr. DeForest Soaries from First Baptist Church of Lincoln Gardens, New Jersey. A married couple losing their home, a teenage high school graduate trying to fund for his college education, and a fifty-eight year-old laid off former Vice President now seeking employment all have one thing in common – debt. Rev. DeForest Soaries believes “debt is the new slavery.” This presents intriguing and critical issues concerning the disparate impact that the financial crisis has had on the black community and what this means for broader the legal issues particularly regarding predatory lending, chronically high unemployment and poverty.
After the screening, Assistant Professor Tonya Evans facilitated a dialogue on the significance of debt in communities of color. This discussion featured viable solutions and community responses to the debt crisis in Black America.