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CNN NEWSROOM

New Orleans Black Union Symposium; Texas Double Dipping; Driver Dr. King

Aired February 23, 2008 - 12:00   ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.


FREDRICKA WHITFIELD, CNN NEWS ANCHOR: All right, much more straight ahead. There are political promises to make, rivals to zap and delegates to charm. The primary focus now moves to Texas and Ohio. Hillary Clinton promising job protection and universal healthcare while courting Ohio's auto workers.
Barack Obama is promoting his own healthcare plan today with visits to medical facilities in Columbus. Both Democrats are wooing a prize endorsement from the United Auto Workers Union.

On the Republican side, the executive editor of the "New York Times" says he is stunned at the overwhelming negative response to the paper's report suggesting a relationship between John McCain and his female lobbyist.

And Mike Huckabee, taking a campaign side trip. Watch for him tonight, as you heard earlier from T.J. and Betty, he'll be on "Saturday Night Live."

Hillary Clinton hopes to seize a campaign moment today, going where rival Barack Obama will not. Clinton is to speak at the State of the Black Union Symposium in New Orleans. Our Sean Callebs has it all covered. He joins us now.

SEAN CALLEBS, CNN NEWS CORRESPONDENT: Hi, Fredericka. If you look behind me, you can see some of the panel members here, a very distinguished collection, a really who's who among educators, political leaders and activists talking about a whole host of issues. They're talking about affordable housing, crime, employment opportunities, issues that effect people all across the country, but perhaps even more poignant, here in New Orleans, a city that continues to struggle 2.5 years after Katrina came through.

Now, what they're saying today, it's all about the cause, not about the presidential candidates. But there is a hint of controversy here this year, because one very popular presidential candidate is not here.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

(voice over): The convention center in New Orleans was the flash point for disaster in the aftermath of Katrina. Many of those in dire need were African-American. This weekend, the convention center will host the annual Focus on the State of the Black Union, an event led by talk show host, Tavis Smiley. TAVIS SMILEY, TALK SHOW HOST: And we owe it to them, those who survived, those who are still struggling to rebuild their lives, those who didn't make it. We owe it to them. We owe it to them to raise these issues now, louder than ever.

CALLEBS: Issues for African-Americans everywhere that in New Orleans are glaring problems, crime, lack of affordable housing, entire communities that still lack hospitals or emergency care, even a fresh coat of paint means something to a school where 97 percent of the students qualify for a free lunch program. How and whether New Orleans should be rebuilt is still being debated?

(on camera): Is it pathetic that 2-1/2 years after the storm, we're still trying to make that argument?

(voice over): State representative, Juan Lafonta, is head of the Legislative Black Caucus. He's raised eyebrows by supporting Hillary Clinton, not Barack Obama. Lafonta says, Clinton has been there when the region needed help.

REP JUAN LAFONTA (D), NEW ORLEANS: I don't support people just because they're black, I support people because they are qualified they are committed to my issues that effect my constituency.

CALLEBS: Hillary Clinton will be at the State of the Black Union. Barack Obama won't. In a letter to Smiley, Obama wrote he will be campaigning in Texas and Ohio, "talking directly with voters about causes that are athe the heart of my campaign and the State of the Black Union."

SMILEY: I think that it's a missed opportunity on Mr. Obama's part. Now, I'm not interested in demonizing him for his choice, but I do disagree with it.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

CALLEBS: And we should also point out, in that letter, Obama offered to send his wife, Michelle here to serve at his proxy; however, organizer, Tavis Smiley, turned down that offer saying that the people here really wanted to hear from the candidates not their surrogates on this day.

I want to point out, Fredricka, very (INAUDIBLE) telling point too, people talked about being here and what is going on across the country saying, it is really hard to believe that 2.5 years later, people are still struggling to rebuild here, yet, an African-American candidate, as they put it here today, is only a stone's throw away from being in the White House -- Fredricka.

WHITFIELD: All right, Sean Callebs in New Orleans, thanks so much.

So, when Texas Democrats go to the polls March 4, they will have a chance to vote twice. You heard me right. Our senior political analyst, Bill Schneider, explains the state's double dipping primary. BILL SCHNEIDER, CNN SR POLITICAL ANALYST: Tex-Mex restaurants have these things called combination plates where you get a little of this and a little of that, the same way Democrats pick delegates in Texas.

PAUL BURKA, TEXAS MONTHLY: We have 126 by election, 67 by caucus, and 35 more are what they call PLEOs, which are party leaders and elected officials.

SCHNEIDER: The 37 page menu, officially called: "The Texas Delegate Selection Plan," explains how it works. First, there is a primary, the results determined by state senate district. Simple? Not so much.

BURKA: Senatorial districts do not all have the same number of delegates chosen. The ones with big Democratic turnout get up to eight and the small ones can be as low as two.

SCHNEIDER: Hillary Clinton is expected to do well in low turnout Latino districts. Those districts elect fewer delegates than high turnout African-American districts where Barack Obama is likely to be strong. But the primary is only the first step.

BILL CLINTON (D), FORMER U.S. PRESIDENT: Texas is the only place in American where you can vote twice in the same election without going to jail.

SCHNEIDER: On primary night, voters are supposed to go to precinct caucuses where they can vote again to select more delegates.

BURKE: You vote in the primary, but then you have to have the motivation to go back at 7:15 to the site of the primary where your precinct election was held and vote for your candidate and it may be a long evening...

SCHNEIDER: Who runs the caucuses? The guide say if no precinct captain shows up, it's whoever gets there first. Imagine, Clinton and Obama voters rushing to grab control. It's enough to give you the same thing you could get from a combination plate, heartburn.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

And, one more thing, Section 1, Part B, Paragraph 3, item A of the "Texas Delegate Selection Plan" says, "participation in Texas's delegate selection process is open to all voters that wish to participate as Democrats." Now, that includes Independents, who tend to like Obama and Republicans who may want to vote to stop Hillary Clinton -- Fredricka.

WHITFIELD: OK, there could be some surprises. Meantime, you touched on your piece on the Latino vote. So, let's talk about the overall picture. How important is the Latino vote in that state, Texas?

SCHNEIDER: Well, Hillary Clinton has been depending on the Latino vote which delivered for her big-time in California on Super Tuesday, about 63 percent of Latinos voted for Senator Clinton. And she is depending on them, here in Texas. She has strong ties to the Texas Latino community. She's been here many times. She called attention to it in the debate.

They don't really know Barack Obama. And Barack Obama used the debate to try to make inroads to that community to be competitive, because they don't know much about him. So, it may be more competive than it looks, right now.

WHITFIELD: So, this really could be the endgame for one candidate or perhaps it would offer the green light to keep going?

SCHNEIDER: Well, if Hillary Clinton wins Texas and Ohio, then her husband says she's going to be the nominee. But, if she loses either of those states, then even people in her own campaign say they don't know how she's going to be able to do it. So, we'll see what happens here in Texas. It could end the process or maybe it'll just go on.

WHITFIELD: That's right, anything could happen. Thanks so much, Bill Schneider.

And we, of course, give you your own chance to see the candidates live. It is CNN BALLOT BOWL coming your way again this weekend, tune in today at 2:00 Eastern Time.

And then tonight, the "Democratic Debate," your chance to see what you missed or maybe you loved it so much you have got to see it again, Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton on the issues from Austin, Texas. You can see our special debate replay at 8:00 p.m. Eastern.

And now, to some pretty nasty weather. The northeast, slammed. Check out New York City. Yeah, that's the big city, there. Residents coping with up to nine inches of snow, it turned roads and sidewalks into slush, as you see right there, and more than 1,000 flights, well, they were cancelled yesterday.

And roads are also pretty treacherous in Pennsylvania. What started out as a snowstorm turned into sleet and freezing rain, a real mess. Lots of airline delays there, as well.

And in Boston, no luck for passengers, cramming a train to get through that snow. The train derailed forcing them to find another way home.

And then this afternoon, we've got at least two earthquakes to report. Reynolds Wolf is in the Weather Center. And one of them in the south Atlantic. Not a place we typically hear about an earthquake.

REYNOLDS WOLF, CNN METEOROLOGIST: Indeed, this is a pretty volatile area that we have. It is right near two big plates. It's a seduction (ph) zone where you have the South American plate and the Arctic plate, they come together and it's just an area of instability.

Let's go right to the graphics, if we can, and as we do so, we're going to leave North America, it looks very familiar there. We're going to cross down in parts of the extreme southern half of the Atlantic Ocean. We're talking way down. Keep in mind, at this part of the world, this time of the year, this is summertime, and right here, in the Sandwich Islands. You can just see, this is where the epicenter of the quake, it was a 6.8 that just struck within, I'd say, about an hour or so ago.

Just to put things into perspective, the big earthquake, the one that caused the tsunami back in December 26 of 2004, was a 9.1, the second one was a 9.3. This one happened to be a 6.8, so certainly not quite as strong, but still, tsunami warnings do exist for parts of the south Sandwich Islands.

Thankfully, the island chain you see, just to the west of the epicenter, these are uninhabited islands, certainly some good news, there. Back over to South Georgia, you can see that South Georgia on Georgia Island. But if pull away a bit more, you can see the Falklands and, of course, the extreme southern part of South American. So certainly, an area we want to watch out for, again, a 6.8 quake.

(WEATHER REPORT)

WHITFIELD: All right, Reynolds, thanks so much.

WOLF: You bet.

WHITFIELD: Meantime, big relief, here. Two air force pilots eject safely moments before a B-2 Stealth bomber crashed this morning on the island of Guam in the western Pacific. This is the first time one of these billion dollar planes has actually crashed. It happened shortly after takeoff from Andersen Air Force base, there. Officials say no munitions were onboard. One of the pilots is hospitalized in good condition. The other is released. Last hour we talk by phone with CNN military analyst and retired Air Force major general, to Don Sheppard about the plane.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

MAJ GEN DON SHEPPARD, U.S. AIR FORCE, RETIRED: First of all, the airplane is getting old. It came out in the late 1980s with the first airplanes. It is approaching 30 years old as a fleet, out there. We were originally going to buy, an Air Force, 132 of the airplanes, that was approved by Congress. Later, because of the budget restrictions and the Cold War coming to an end, the fleet was downsized and we now got 21 of the B-2s. and so, that ends up in the big price tag of $1.2 billion is the cost that's being floated around, right now. This is five percent of your total B-2 fleet that went down in one crash, here, so it's a big deal.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

WHITFIELD: President bush putting more pressure on congress to pass a new terrorist surveillance law. It has been a week now since the old one expired. The president accuses Democrats of blocking the legislation so lawyers can sue phone companies that helped the government eavesdrop. (BEGIN AUDIO CLIP)

GEORGE W BUSH, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: When Congress reconvenience on Monday, members of the House have a choice to make. They can empower the trial bar or they can empower the intelligence community. They can help class action trial lawyers sue for billions a dollars or they can help our intelligence officials protect millions of lives. They can put our national security in the hands of plaintiff's lawyers or they can entrust it to the men and women of our government who work day and night to keep us safe.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

WHITFIELD: Democrats dismissed the president's criticisms and they blame congressional Republicans for any problems for refusing to extend the old law.

Well, 40 years after driving Dr. King, one man is revealing another side of the civil rights leader.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The human side, the fun side of Dr. King and also about this young white boy that found his own dream.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

WHITFIELD: A view of history from behind the wheel, straight ahead in the CNN NEWSROOM.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

WHITFIELD: Honoring a civil rights icon. Memorial services are being held today in Atlanta for the Reverend James Orange. Orange worked closely with Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. His arrest in 1965 was considered to be one of the catalysts for the historic Selma to Montgomery march. Orange died a week ago in Atlanta, he was 65.

And among those paying respect to Reverend Orange, today, another man who worked clously with Dr. King, Tom Houck. You may have never heard his name or even seen his face before. Well, more than 40 years after his close encounters with Dr. King, he's now sharing intimate details.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE (singing): All the way from Selma town.

WHITFIELD (voice over): They are foot soldiers with footprints in America history, indelible and deep. You know most of their names and faces, the men who marched in the civil rights movement alongside Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.: Jesse Jackson, Ralph Abernathy, Hosea Williams.

There were others, mostly in the shadows, sometimes literally in the driver's seat.

TOM HOUCK, KING'S DRIVER: I'm Tom Houck, and I was Martin Luther King, Jr.'s driver.

WHITFIELD: You probably do not recognize him, but part of his story will sound familiar.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: What are you doing?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I'm trying to drive you to the store.

WHITFIELD (on camera): Do you kind of think it's funny there are funny little parallels between your role with the King family and "Driving Miss Daisy," the movie?

HOUCK: We'll I'm not Houck of that Houck, I'm Tom Houck.

WHITFIELD (VOICE OVER): Tom Houck was just 18 at the time, 40 years later...

HOUCK: It still gives me goose bumps. Every day I still think about it and the fact that I was able to be that close to a man that has changed the world.

WHITFIELD: And changed this Massachusetts native. At an early age, he was both a witness and a participant in the civil rights movement, tagging along with the brother to picket Woolworth's in support of those in the South doing the same thing.

HOUCK: That was my first demonstration at age 12?

WHITFIELD (on camera): And did it feel right?

HOUCK: And, I liked carrying that sign.

WHITFIELD (voice over): That same year, his mother died. Houck moved South with an aunt. He left high school, lured by everything Dr. King's dream promised. In Atlanta, he joined the southern Christian leadership conference, the SCLC, which Dr. King founded.

HOUCK: I was a foot soldier and I saw myself as a person that was a hell of a good organizer.

WHITFIELD (voice over): So, clearly, something happened when you became involved you know, your roots are deeply into this movement, now. Somehow you have caught the attention of Dr. King.

HOUCK: Well, he asked if there was a person on the staff that could help with the writing, helping answer mail. I raised my hand and I said -- Dr. King looked at me and he said, "now, Tom, I hear you not even finished high school. How can you possibly answer mail?" I said I was editor of my high school newspaper.

WHITFIELD: Then, one day...

HOUCK: And he asked me if I would like to have lunch with the family. This was a Sunday lunch after church. And I said -- I said to myself -- I mean I was in awe. Then, the kids wanted me to play with them, go outside and play football with them. Dr. King had to go out somewhere. And by the time he came back from where he went, Coretta has asked me if I had my driver's license and said, would you mind taking the kids to school tomorrow morning.

WHITFIELD: This was also the start of a great relationship with the kids. What did they call you?

HOUCK: Well, Martin and Dexter called me Uncle Tom. It was his kid (INAUDIBLE) that would say, "Oh, don't call him Uncle Tom."

WHITFIELD: Did they giggle about it? Did they kind of know the double entendre, there?

HOUCK: Yolanda did. Bunny was too young.

I'm hoping this new computer will translate and I'm able to get -- I won't lose anything in the process.

WHITFIELD (voice over): Tom Houck, gregarious, politically savvy and proud of his roots in the 60s is now writing his memoir.

HOUCK: Marty and Dexter asked me to go out in the front yard to throw the football, pinching a pass, I fell graciously to the ground. The boy's laughter was loud, but I was now their play friend.

WHITFIELD (on camera): What are you hoping yours will reveal that others haven't?

HOUCK: The human side, the fun side of Dr. King. Also, about this young white boy that found his own dream through Dr. King.

WHITFIELD (voice over): And Dr. King's love of music and conversation.

HOUCK: He enjoy music. I mean, Dr. King would -- you know, Dr. King used to like groups like the O'Jays, Gladys Night and the Pips. You know what I mean.

WHITFIELD (on camera): Which you would play in the car?

HOUCK: We would play in the car. We would listen to WAOK radio in Atlanta and this is before FM turned up.

WHITFIELD (voice over): It's a tribute to a pivotal man, his movement, family, his powerful reach and impact.

HOUCK: I was amazed at the easy going manner of Dr. King and his family.

WHITFIELD (on camera): Well, this has to be a huge challenge, this catalog of memories, to condense it now in the form of a book. Why now after all this time you've decided to put it in book form?

HOUCK: Well, for so many years, people would come to me and ask me, all of the people with the movement thought its was a great idea. Everybody said to me, you know, this is really phenomenal. So, we came up with the title, "Driving Dr. King: Chasing the Dreams." WHITFIELD (voice over): It's clear Dr. King is in his fabric Houck's daily life. Four decades after being the personal driver of Dr. King and his family, Houck's home address, on Martin Luther King, Jr. Drive.

HAUCK: You know can tell you, when I decided to write this book how happy I was to find a loft over here.

WHITFIELD: As we look at the traffic that goes by, you know, we're listening to it, I can't help but wonder what it was like for you when you were behind the wheel of the car driving Dr. King. What kind of looks did you get from folks?

HOUCK: I did get strange looks. Here, I'd be driving four black kids or two black kids or their friends, and of course, you would get looks in Atlanta in those days. I think I was strong enough to handle it.

WHITFIELD: People called you the n-word, but a hybrid of it?

HOUCK: Right. White nigger.

WHITFIELD (voice over): While writing about the past, Houck says he is excited about witnessing a new milestone in American culture and politics.

HOUCK: It's going to be historic, one way or the other for the Democrats, this year. A woman or a black man. Do you think for a moment, gosh, I wish Dr. King got a chance to see that?

HOUCK: Yes, I do, and Mrs. King. I think both of them would be very proud.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

WHITFIELD: And so, I know you've got lots of questions to ask Tom Houck. You have an opportunity, e-mail your questions to weekends@cnn.com and Houck will actually join us here at CNN tomorrow evening, 6:00 p.m. Eastern to answer all of your questions.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

WHITFIELD: A memorial for workers who lost their lives in a sugar refinery blast. An area in grief this afternoon, as it prepares for a memorial service. That service set to begin within the hour. The death toll from the February 7 blast, 10, eight were killed in the initial explosion, two died later from their injuries. The death of a tenth victim announced just yesterday. Thirteen people are still in the hospital in either critical or serious condition.

And other stories making news "Across America" now, a fire destroys the dream of best selling romance novelist, Nora Roberts. She was turning this old hotel into an inn with a literary theme. Fire broke out yesterday in Boonsboro, Maryland. It spread to two nearby buildings causing an estimated $1.5 million in damage. No one was hurt. In Hawaii, this tiger has a tale to tell. Honolulu Zoo officials are trying to figure out how the tiger got out of his cage. He was found wandering in an unsecured area just before opening time at the zoo.

And this Tennessee man has been arrested 416 times. Andy Davis will be out of jail in less than a year. People in Nashville are wondering why he's being allowed back on the streets. The police chief calls it frustrating. Davis was most recently locked up for threatening an undercover officer with a box cutter.

Well, from the outside, he seemed to have it all. But on the inside, this high school senior was fighting for his life. He was battling depression, a battle he almost lost.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I ran under there and the only thing on my mind was, I just -- I just wanted to get all his body parts, because I figured that was it and I wanted to grab his body parts and have them.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

WHITFIELD: A terrifying moment, that is now a story of survival. Next, how this young man is helping save lives after almost ending his own.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

MARK ORWOLL, TRAVEL AND LEISURE: Ecotravel is huge right now. So don't be surprised if in addition to lying on the beach or fishing, you're offered the chance to go bear mapping or helping with charitable efforts in the community.

Another trend is more hotels want to be like a home away from home providing friendly faces and fireplaces. Plus, people are talking about spas, ones with lavish surroundings matched only by such exotic treatments as Arabian mud wraps, Mediterranean olive scrubs and ancient herbal treatments from India.

With the dollar in the doldrums, American travelers are leading the trend toward more affordable destinations like Portugal, Mexico and Montenegro. Finally, airports are offering more services and extras than ever before. At Heaththrow's new Terminal 5, you will soon find a Gordon Ramsay restaurant and high-end shops, including Prada.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

WHITFIELD: Here are some of the stories we are working on this hour. A B-2 stealth bomber crashes in Guam, right there. The air force says two pilots ejected and are in good condition. You just can't get there from here. Traffic on the ground and in the air slammed by a winter storm that dumped up to nine inches of snow across the Northeast. Thousands of flights were delayed or canceled. All right, let's check in with Reynolds Wolf, keeping a close watch on all that, particularly the Northeast just hit hard.

(WEATHER REPORT)

WHITFIELD: All right, this is very serious and very sobering. Young, successful, talented, Jordan Burnham appeared to be a teen with a very bright future. But Burnham battled a depression so strong that he tried to kill himself by jumping out of a window. It is his survival that provides us with a rare glimpse inside teen depression. He tells his story to CNN's Allan Chernoff.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

ALLAN CHERNOFF, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): The fact that Jordan Burnham is alive today is a miracle. He is learning to walk again five moths after suffering devastating injuries. How Jordan came to this is a stunning story offering life lessons for teens and their parents. He was captain of his golf team in Upper Merion High in King of Prussia, Pennsylvania, a baseball pitcher and an anchor on the school's news program.

JORDAN BURNHAM, SUICIDE SURVIVOR: I was popular. I got along with everybody.

CHERNOFF: One of most popular seniors, having just been selected to homecoming court. What happened? Jordan tried to kill himself. He jumped out of his bedroom window nine stories up and fell to the ground on his left side. He fractured his leg, pelvis, arm, wrist and jaw and was suffering severe internal bleeding. After he was medivaced to the hospital at the University of Pennsylvania, doctors said he probably wouldn't make it.

EARL BURNHAM, JORDAN'S FATHER: I ran under there. The only thing on my mind was, I just - I just wanted to get all his body parts. I figured that was it. I wanted to grab his body parts and have them.

CHERNOFF: Earlier in the day, Earl Burnham says he found beer and liquor in the trunk of Jordan's car. Earl and Georgette were careful in confronting their son. First checking with a therapist who was treating Jordan before grounding him.

GEORGETTE BURNHAM, JORDAN'S MOTHER: Why, Jordan? You know, why is this a problem? And he said I don't know mom, I'm just a mess up. I just wanted to let him know, no, you're not a mess up. And that's the point where he went into his bedroom.

CHERNOFF: To friends at school, Jordan seemed happy. But there was a pressure-cooker boiling within his mind. Pressure to achieve good grades like his valedictorian older sister, to fit in at his nearly all white high school. And above all, to not disappoint his parents.

J. BURNHAM: I hold myself to a certain standard. And when I don't reach that standard or I feel like I failed at something or I feel like I let myself down, then I get pretty down on myself.

CHERNOFF: Jordan was struggling academically and his parents had caught him drinking several times.

J. BURNHAM: All of the sudden it was almost like I hit rock bottom. That was as low as I could go. That was as bad as the depression could have got. I felt like, obviously, I had to take my own life just because I was letting my parents down and I didn't deserve to live anymore. I had to have crawled out of that window and looked down and still, I was at such a low point that that didn't even back me off, that I felt like I had to do it.

CHERNOFF: Earl and Georgette Burnham were involved parents, well aware of their son's depression. For two years, Jordan had been seeing a therapist and taking an antidepressant. But it wasn't enough. Psychiatrist Jeffrey Staab treated Jordan after his suicide attempt.

DR. JEFFREY STAAB, PSYCHIATRIST: Depression can be fatal, even when we try and put all of the pieces together with a psychiatrist, a therapist.

CHERNOFF: Suicide is the third leading cause of teenage death. The results of the fact, say experts, that about one in every 20 teenagers suffers from clinical depression. Jordan says he realizes now anyone who is depressed needs to talk it out.

J. BURNHAM: Say what's on your mind and get out your thoughts and feelings because it is important. That's the mistake that I made. I tried to hide it from even myself.

CHERNOFF: A lesson Jordan and his parents hope will prevent other teens from attempted suicide. Allan Chernoff, CNN, King of Prussia, Pennsylvania.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

WHITFIELD: And as you can see, talking about depression is very difficult for anyone. But Jordan is an amazing, remarkable example. So in the African-American community in particular it is even more difficult to talk about, sometimes it is actually taboo. In a few minutes, we will be joined by author Terrie Williams. Her new book, "Black Pain," brings this taboo topic right out in the open.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

WHITFIELD: More now on a very tough and touchy topic of depression, especially in the African-American community. Our next guest says that it's a topic often not even discussed openly. Author Terrie Williams is trying to change that in her new book, "Black Pain". She joins us this morning from Philadelphia to bring this issue out in the open. Terrie, thanks so much for joining us. It is a tough topic for anyone to discuss. And then just seeing how Jordan right before the break expressed himself about his lowest low and what he is going through now in this every day recovery. What was the impetus of you wanting to tell your story? TERRIE WILLIAMS, AUTHOR: Well I want to just say, first, Fredricka, that I really thank God for Jordan and his testimony, as I sat here and listened to it. I felt as if I was going through my own experience all over again. He was so powerful and so very eloquent. And I think it's the healing that starts with us. So he is still here to share his testimony. That is really, really what it is all about, sharing our stories with each other.

WHITFIELD: It really is. And while you try to share your story, what is so remarkable too and perplexing about this whole thing of depression is, here you were at a point when you started to hit some of those lowest lows, very successful, owner of your own operation and business, you managed to lure all these celebrity clients, everything seemed to be going right in your world. Then suddenly, you started feeling very overwhelmed. At what point did you say, this is depression and not just, I'm pooped?

WILLIAMS: Well it was characterized -- I had my breakdown, Fredricka, about four years ago where I was paralyzed almost every morning as I tried to get up. I was highly, highly irritable. I ate all the time, I slept all the time. And it was really, really devastating. Ultimately, some friends who really came to really.

WHITFIELD: Oh, no. I think we have lost that satellite signal. We are going to try and get that sorted out because this really is an incredible topic in which to discuss and flush out. And Terrie Williams has an incredible story to tell through her book. We are going to try and reestablish that. And when we do, we will bring that right to you. In the meantime, let's look ahead on what is ahead this hour.

It's every parent's nightmare, watching your babysitter throw your child around like a football. You have got to see this nanny cam right after this.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

WHITFIELD: A suspicious mom, infant twins, an suspecting nanny and a remote camera, you get the picture. Amanda Lamb with North Carolina affiliate WRAL has today's tech effect report.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

LINDSAY ADDISON, MOTHER: You were jumping.

AMANDA LAMB, WRAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Seven-month-old twins Bryce and Gavin were born three-months premature. But now, they are thriving. Last month, their mother, Lindsay Addison went back to work. She posted an ad online and after interviewing six candidates, she hired a nanny with glowing references. Last week, Addison installed a hidden camera to keep tabs on her children. She could check in on them from her work computer.

ADDISON: I started to see things I didn't like.

LAMB: In one video clip, the nanny leaves Gavin unattended on the couch. He falls down and struggles. She ignores him.

ADDISON: I am screaming there at my desk, pick him up, pick him up. And she proceeds to look at him and continue on doing whatever she was doing. And that went on for six minutes.

LAMB: Addison eventually rushed home.

ADDISON: That was when I said enough is enough, I'm coming home.

LAMB: Addison told the nanny she had been taped and asked her to leave.

ADDISON: She couldn't get out of the house fast enough.

LAMB: Then she called police and started reviewing what the camera recorded. At one point, the nanny is so consumed with television, she allows Bryce to fall off her chest onto the couch.

ADDISON: And she doesn't pick him up right away and his head is buried in the couch.

LAMB: A few seconds later, she is dangling the baby by his feet.

ADDISON: And that's when she flips him upside down.

LAMB: Another time, the nanny carries Gavin under her arm like a football.

ADDISON: She carries him around the corner and he nearly hits his head on the banister.

LAMB: What really got to Addison was how the nanny continually moved the twins by grabbing their clothing.

ADDISON: And picked them up like bales of hay, like puppies or kittens and with no care as to how she was doing it, and fling them on the sofa

LAMB: Addison only wishes she had gotten the camera earlier. She wants other parents to know the technology is easy to use and, in her opinion, worth refer penny.

ADDISON: I probably never would have suspected and never would have known and she would still be here, had I not had the camera. It scares me to think what could have happened to my children.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

WHITFIELD: And as alarming as that may be, police in that jurisdiction did look at the videotape and said that nothing that took place there constituted any crime. So there will be no charges imposed.

In the meantime, much more of our conversation which got so rudely cut off because of our satellite window. The topic was depression. The subject that we were talking to was Terrie Williams. She's the author of a book out about depression called, "Black Pain." Much more of that conversation right after this.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

WHITFIELD: We want to continue our conversation about depression that we were having moments ago. We had some satellite problems. In the midst of it all, we were talking to author Terrie Williams, who is out with a new book called "Black Pain". It is entitled that in part because, talking about depression, particularly in a number of black households, has been considered taboo for a long time. Terrie joins us again from Philadelphia. We apologize for the satellite window problem. Let's pick up where we had left off.

We were talking about how you had a successful business, you were dealing with so many. You had a lot of balls up in the air. But somehow, you know, you got home and you were just wanting to sleep it all away. You felt terrible, why?

WILLIAMS: I felt terrible as I think so many do because I was giving away all of myself to other people. I was the last person on my to-do list. I wasn't eating properly. I wasn't exercising and then I wasn't, quite frankly, dealing with a lot of emotional issues from just early childhood.

All of us inherit the pain of our parents and particularly for the African-American experience, there is that legacy of slavery where you had to really suppress all emotions. You could not really show love or affection for your child or your mate for fear that if the slave master witnessed that, that you would be sold off.

And so we kept a lot of our emotions in. I think most of us do that, that we are not dealing with our stuff. At some point, the wearing of the mask, which we all do, it cracks. And it is a horrific, horrific experience. And what we are trying to do is to create an awareness. Part of the program was to write "Black Pain," an easy to read, accessible book that the young person who's on the street all the way up to people who are really accomplished and successful can really see themselves.

I think many of us have not named our pain. We don't know what it looks like. We don't know what it feels like, and we don't know what it sounds like.

As you mentioned, there is this great taboo in our community. It is a stigma. We don't want to air our dirty laundry. And then for many of us to do anything, because we are a faith-based people, to do anything other than pray is a betrayal of God. Then, there is a basic mistrust of the medical establishment. Years ago, there was the famous Tuskegee experiment where black men who had syphilis were given placebos and they all died. And then years ago during slavery times, the psychiatric industry coined a phrase called drapetomania, which meant that if you tried to run away as a slave, that you were crazy.

WHITFIELD: And now, you are dealing with the modern day dilemma that you underscored particularly among women, which is kind of the invincible sister syndrome, where you don't want anybody to think that you have pain inside and that you are dealing with stuff, that you've got to have this mask, as you put it, this strong face that, you know what, I have got it all under control.

WILLIAMS: Yes. And I will say to you and to your listeners, your viewers, that you will die trying to be super man or super woman. At some point, if you do not give yourself time and attention, if you do not seek therapy, as Jordan said, if you do not talk about what's going on, at some point, the mask will crack.

We do ourselves a great injustice, which is part of life. We have launched a campaign. It is called "Stay Strong: The Healing Starts With Us." And we are hoping, Fredricka, that on March 1st, that people will pledge to commit to their own self-healing and to that of others. We are stronger because other people shared their testimonies with each other. Jordan's story and my story -- I am a clinical social worker. So I am supposed to know what the symptoms are. It all falls out of the window.

WHITFIELD: It is hard to pinpoint.

WILLIAMS: Yes, it does.

WHITFIELD: Well Terrie Williams, thanks so much for sharing your testimony as well, in book form, especially, "Black Pain: It Just Looks Like We Are Not Hurting" is the book. Terrie Williams, thanks so much for joining us from Philadelphia and I'm glad we were able to get on air again.

WILLIAMS: If we could just ask people on March 1st to reach out to the StayStrongFoundation.org, to pledge their commitment to healing.

WHITFIELD: All right, well done. Thanks so much, Terrie. A look at the top stories, straight ahead. "YOUR MONEY" is next, here's a preview.

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