obrien_7-16b.JPGThe 10th floor theater at the Time Warner Center was packed with hundreds of guests last night for a preview of CNN’s new Black in America series — so much so, two overflow rooms were needed.

Before the crowds watched a 30-minute preview of three upcoming specials, Time Warner chairman Dick Parsons addressed the audience. “I think they had an ulterior motive asking me here, but I can’t figure out what it is, other than that I’m black in America,” he joked.

“It’s time to start looking at things in a new prism,” he said about the documentaries.

Angela Burt-Murray, Essence editor-in-chief called the project the most “comprehensive” in media history and O’Brien called the 18-months of work, a “labor of love.”

“We needed to get our facts right but we needed to get our stories right too,” she said. “Two very different things.”

At a reception following the screening, CNN/U.S. president Jon Klein told TVNewser Black in America is getting high marks at its screenings and through an email campaign. “You can’t force people to do it. It was organic,” he said. “Viewers are responding to it. It’s been surprising and encouraging.”

A glance at the storylines, who was there, and more, after the jump…

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