Soledad O’Brien tackles the issue of African American debt in her latest documentary on black culture, ‘Almighty Debt: A Black In America Special,’ which airs on Thursday, October 21 at 9pm on CNN. At a time when black wealth is rapidly deteriorating, the award-winning journalist explores the financial problems of her subjects through the black church as a supporting institution. O’Brien follows the lives of two couples and a teen who attend services and programs at the First Baptist Church of Lincoln Gardens, located in New Jersey, chronicling their trials in the troubled financial waters the church helps them to navigate. The leader of this 7,000-strong congregation, Rev. Dr. DeForest Soaries, preaches to his flock that ‘debt is the new slavery’ while fighting this modern day bondage by providing a host of personal finance services.

Through his church, Pastor Soaries ministers to the financial needs of his spiritual aspirants with as much care as he gives to their souls. Pastor Soaries is fierce in his efforts to turn back the tide of African American debt, which he thinks is worse than racism today. ‘Almighty Debt: A Black In America Special’ makes this case while touching the heart with the personal stories of the people in his church, living the struggle that has become Pastor Soaries’ mission.

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