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African American women: Your response

By Rehema Ellis, NBC News correspondent

When I was asked to participate in this series about African-American women I thought it would evoke a lot of responses from a lot of people.

It has.

I have read almost all of the blog entries that we've received. Many of them were complimentary. But some were angry or disappointed in Part One, which I wrote, saying it had not lived up to all of their expectations.

Still, I am glad you watched and even more grateful that you took time to give us feedback about what was aired. I can't respond to every one of the blogs individually, but I do want to share some insight on the origin of the series in an effort to explain why we are focusing on African-American women this week.

Mark Whitaker, senior vice president of NBC News, who happens to be African-American, came up with the idea. He suggested that if we look at the major accomplishments of the nation's 13 million African-Americans in education and in the workplace we would find women leading the way. He then asked us to take a look at what the consequences of that achievement are.

So, from the initial discussion it seemed like we were going to do two stories. But as producers, editors and correspondents continued to talk, it became clear that this should be a whole week of stories that cover a wide range of issues concerning African-American women: from education, employment, and politics, to relationships and health care. Even addressing those topics we were fully aware that so much more would be left out. For example: many people asked in their blogs why we are not addressing the issues concerning African-American men.

To that point I can tell you that NBC News will continue reporting on stories and issues that affect the different groups in this country, that includes African-American men.

But I should also tell you this. At NBC News, like at all news organizations, we do stories all the time about particular topics. We focus on an element of that topic and then report on it. We know at the end of any segment there is more to be said. But we hope, as we've seen in this case, that as we touch on a subject, important discussions begin, or continue, across the country. Right, wrong or indifferent, talking is good.

I for one am proud that we are looking at a topic this week that mainstream media rarely reports on: African-American women. Certainly a topic that millions of Americans are thinking about in a lot of different ways. The evidence is in your blogs and emails.

I hope this week you will watch all of the stories in the series and continue to let us hear from you.