Bay Area bred socio-political comedian W. Kamau Bell is set to star in a new series for CNN.
United Shades of America will find Bell traveling to, the network says, "far corners of the country" to explore various subcultures and communities, putting himself in frequent fish out of water situations.
CNN's upcoming schedule includes several entertainment-related programs, a move to draw in a younger audience. Two of the five documentaries planned for the year concern Bay Area trailblazers: Late Apple founder Steve Jobs and Jeremiah Tower, a former San Francisco chef who now heads the kitchen at Tavern on the Green in New York.
Bell's announcement comes just days before he is scheduled to appear in a Berkeley forum on racial sensitivity on Friday, a public response to racist treatment he endured at Berkeley's Elmwood Cafe in January.
According to Berkeleyside, Bell will appear in conversation with Elmwood Cafe owner Michael Pearce and panelists including former Berkeley Alliance executive director Pamela Harrison-Small, Berkeley High Black Student Union president Kadijah Means and ACLU-Northern California Staff Attorney Novella Coleman from 7-8:30 p.m. at Willard Middle School in Berkeley.