As the Matter of Fact team puts together the second presentation of the Listening Tour, Soledad O’Brien reflects on what it means to her to be an American.

O’Brien’s parents were both foreign born, and she says conversations about being an American were complex and often exclusionary. “Really, conversations about being an American, for me, started with this idea that ‘You’re probably really not one. That you’re not quite one. You’re not really exactly one of us. You don’t exactly belong here,'” she said. “So I think for a lot of people of color, or people whose parents are from other countries, the conversation about being American is one of not quite enough and exclusion, and not really ever being able to be included no matter what you try to do.”

Join us Thursday evening for the Matter of Fact Listening Tour, “To Be An American: Identity, Race and Justice.” The special program will stream beginning at 7 p.m. Eastern Standard Time on and other Hearst websites.

This presentation of the Listening Tour features a diverse lineup of guests from academia, literature and entertainment. They will share personal stories, essays and insights to bring greater understanding to the complex topic of race, identity and belonging. Matter of Fact contributors Jessica Gomez and Joie Chen will provide reports and interviews from around the country, while veteran journalist Ray Suarez will chronicle the history of Chinese Americans who helped build U.S. railroads but were denied citizenship.

Viewers will be challenged to address questions such as, ”What unites the United States, and what is it that truly makes America exceptional?”

The program will open with a citizenship pop quiz, which encourages viewers to think about what those not born in this country must learn in order to become Americans.

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