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Now Playing: Basic Black: Presidential Election 2016

Basic Black

Basic Black: Presidential Election 2016

Donald Trump is now President-Elect Donald Trump. Some people in this country are happy with his win, but let's be clear, most people in the country are concerned about what he will do as president. It seems clear that there was a racial divide in the election. What happened? How did Hillary Clinton and the DNC get this so wrong and how should communities of color and others handle this loss?

Basic Black: 2016 Mass. Ballot Initiatives

When voters around the city of Boston go to the polls, they are not only voting for a new president, they will also be voting on several ballot initiatives that will affect the lives of people in the state.  Two of the ballot initiatives—numbers two and four--about lifting the cap on charter schools and legalizing the recreational use of marijuana, have been widely discussed and debated.  This week’s show discusses the realities and concerns on these issues for communities of color.  

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Basic Black: Breast Cancer and Women of Color

October is Breast Cancer Awareness month.  According to report from the American Cancer Society, “Cancer Facts & Figures for African Americans 2016-2018,” Breast cancer is the most commonly diagnosed cancer among black women, and an estimated 30,700 new cases are expected to be diagnosed in 2016.  The diagnosis for African American women is often later and the disease is much more advanced and deadly. WGBH News’ Tina Martin sits down with doctors and survivors to discuss health care treatment options, survivor stories and day-to-day living. 

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Basic Black: Haiti After Hurricane Matthew

Basic Black examines the infrastructure, rebuilding efforts, and arrival of aid to the southwest region of Haiti after the devastation brought by Hurricane Matthew. We look at how the Haitian-American population here in Boston helps with relief efforts. 

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Basic Black: Black Wealth and "The Birth of a Nation"

We discuss how a call to action on social media moved millions of dollars into African American banking institutions. Plus, we look at whether or not "The Birth of A Nation" overcame the controversy around its star. 

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Basic Black: Politics, Race, and "The Birth of a Nation"

Basic Black returns with a review of the first Presidential debate between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump and the impact of race in the election. The panelists then discuss the number of police-involved shootings of African American men and share their thoughts on the film, “The Birth of a Nation,” and the controversy surrounding its star, producer and director, Nate Parker.

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Basic Black: Black Wealth and "The Birth of a Nation"

We discuss how a call to action on social media moved millions of dollars into African American banking institutions. Plus, we look at whether or not "The Birth of A Nation" overcame the controversy around its star. 

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Basic Black: Politics, Race, and "The Birth of a Nation"

Basic Black returns with a review of the first Presidential debate between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump and the impact of race in the election. The panelists then discuss the number of police-involved shootings of African American men and share their thoughts on the film, “The Birth of a Nation,” and the controversy surrounding its star, producer and director, Nate Parker.

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Basic Black After The Broadcast: Fault Lines in Asian-American and African-American Relations

April 29, 2016

Asian American police officer Peter Liang fatally shot African American Akai Gurley. The shooting has strained Asian American and African American relations. What’s the long term impact?

 

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Basic Black: Players, Protests, and Politics

April 22, 2016

This week we'll kick off the show remembering the impact of the musical icon Prince.

And later in the show, as role models and celebrities in the spotlight, do professional athletes have a responsibility to let the world know that they think Black Lives Matter? We’ll look at the tradition of athlete activism from Jackie Robinson, to Muhammad Ali, to LeBron James. Joining Callie Crosley and Phillip Martin this week are Chris Collins, long time sports reporter for New England Cable News and Interim Associate Director of Athletics for External Business Developing and Marketing at UMass Boston and Peter Roby, Athletic Director of Northeastern University.

 


Photo credit: Associated Press.

 

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Basic Black After The Broadcast: Players, Protests & Politics, Pt. 2

April 22, 2016

After the broadcast, the conversation continued: as role models and celebrities in the spotlight, do professional athletes have a responsibility to let the world know that they think Black Lives Matter? We’ll look at the tradition of athlete activism from Jackie Robinson, to Muhammad Ali, to LeBron James. Joining Callie Crosley and Phillip Martin this week are Chris Collins, long time sports reporter for New England Cable News and Interim Associate Director of Athletics for External Business Developing and Marketing at UMass Boston and Peter Roby, Athletic Director of Northeastern University.

 

 

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Basic Black: Beyond Black and White... Boston's Public Schools

April 15, 2016

This week Basic Black welcomes  Dr. Tommy Chang, Superintendent of Boston Public Schools; Rahn Dorsey, City of Boston’s Chief of Education; and Rahsaan Hall, Director of the Massachusetts Racial Justice Program of the ACLU. We’ll discuss controversial matters surrounding the Boston Public School systems including standardized testing, parental involvement, the cap on charter schools, and the dilemma around race relations at Boston Latin School and beyond.

 

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Basic Black After The Broadcast: Rethinking Discipline

April 15, 2016

After the broadcast, the panel discussed the troubling trend of racial disparities in approaches towards discipline in schools in Boston and nationwide.

 

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Basic Black: Surveillance Across the Color Line

April 8, 2016

This week on Basic Black, what does “security” mean in 2016 to communities of color. With the persistent plague of gun violence in Boston’s neighborhoods and the tragic bombings in Brussels still in the headlines as preparations for the 2016 Boston Marathon begin, security is at the forefront of conversations about policing. Close to home, we’ll take a look at the issue of body cameras for police and later, the larger issue of creating a secure environment in an age of domestic terrorism.
 

 
Philadelphia Police officers demonstrate a body-worn cameras being used as part of a pilot project in the department's 22nd District, 2014, in Philadelphia. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke)

 

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Basic Black After The Broadcast: Security Without Fear?

April 8, 2016

This week on Basic Black, what does “security” mean in 2016 to communities of color. With the persistent plague of gun violence in Boston’s neighborhoods and the tragic bombings in Brussels still in the headlines as preparations for the 2016 Boston Marathon begin, security is at the forefront of conversations about policing. Close to home, we’ll take a look at the issue of body cameras for police and later, the larger issue of creating a secure environment in an age of domestic terrorism.

 

Photo: Aftermath of the San Bernadino shooting. Associated Press.)

 

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Basic Black: Black Art & Black Audiences

April 1, 2016

The arts are in bloom in Boston. Mayor Walsh has made a concerted effort and commitment to revitalize the city's creative community, including the appointment of a cabinet level arts czar, Julie Burros. But as the arts are connected to the economy and revitalization of the entire city, how are artists and audiences of color benefitting from the newfound focus on the arts?

Later in the show, the beginning of the archeological dig at the site of Malcolm X’s house.

 

Photo: Maurice Emmanuel and Tiffany Nichole Greene in the SpeakEasy Stage production of Bootycandy. Credit: Glenn Perry

 

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Basic Black After The Broadcast: History Under Malcolm X's Home

April 1, 2016

After the broadcast, the panelists turned their attention to the beginning of the archeological dig at the site of Malcolm X’s childhood home in Roxbury (Boston, MA).
 

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Basic Black - Skin Deep: Women of Color and Beauty

 

BASIC BLACK RETURNS WITH NEW CONVERSATIONS ON APRIL 1, 2016

 

March 4, 2016

Beauty may be in the eye of the beholder, but it’s also created in the media and marketing agencies around the world.  But when it comes to women of color in America, the notion of beauty can be fractured through a prism of race, class, and history.  This week on Basic Black as Women’s History Month begins, we’ll take a look at traditional notions of beauty and how women of color are defining beauty, from the First Lady to Formation and everyone in-between…?

 

(Image: MAC Cosmetics advertisement)

 

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Basic Black After The Broadcast: Women leading in social justice and media

March 4, 2016

After the broadcast, the converation on women of color and images of beauty turned to look at how women are viewed on the front lines of social justice movements and (with the recent controversial demise of Melissa Harris Perry's show) behind the anchor desk.

 

(Image: Melissa Harris Perry)

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Basic Black - Voters of Color: 31% and Rising

February 26, 2016

According to a recent report from the Pew Research Center, the 2016 electorate will be the most diverse in US history. At this moment we are in-between three of the most definitive battlegrounds  in the 2016 presidential campaign: Nevada, South Carolina, and Super Tuesday. As Donald Trump forges ahead of establishment Republican candidates and Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders fight over the hearts and minds of the Democratic base, will voters of color tip the balance in either race?

 

(AP Photo/J Pat Carter)

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Basic Black: Power to the People Then and Now

February 19, 2016

The Black Panther Party is back in the news. The Black Panther Party for Self Defense, formed in the 1960’s, sought to dramatically challenge an American culture and system they described as racially oppressive. Carrying their guns in plain sight, fists raised in defiance, and berets tipped with precision, they made no attempt to hide their goals for a complete revolution, galvanizing a generation to take pride in being black. Although the Party dissolved under embarrassing circumstances, they are often cited as the inspiration for social justice movements and most recently, Beyonce’s half-time performance at this year’s Super Bowl. We’ll look at the historical and contemporary meaning of the Black Panthers in Stanley Nelson’s documentary, The Black Panthers: Vanguard of the Revolution.

Later in the show, we’ll look at the major speeches given by presidential candidates, Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders.

 

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Basic Black After the Broadcast: After Super Tuesday

February 26, 2016

After the broadcast the panelists considered the presidential campaign going forward after Super Tuesday, including the outcome of Clinton v. Sanders, the winner of the Republican nomination, and the importance of the upcoming battle to name a Supreme Court nominee in the wake of Justice Antonin Scalia's death.

 

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Basic Black After The Broadcast: Race on the Campaign Trail

February 19, 2016

After the broadcast, we turned our attention to the campaign trail to look at how the presidential candidates are addressing (or not) issues of institutional racism and how to move the country toward racial equality.

 

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Basic Black: Readin', Writin', & Race

February 12, 2016

This week on Basic Black: education in the news. We’ll look at the controversy over accusations of racism at Boston Latin School; also, a discussion on the persistent trend of racial disparities in discipline, starting with kindergartners; and finally, in his first State of the Commonwealth address last month, Governor Baker called for a raise on the cap for charter schools, so we’ll discuss the pros and cons of a charter school education.

 

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Basic Black After The Broadcast: Classroom Discipline Disparities

February 12, 2016

After the broadcast, the panelists discussed recent trends in racial disparities when it comes to disciplining black children in school.

 

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Basic Black: The Race To November 8th

February 5, 2016

Forget OscarsSoWhite, the first two opportunities for voters to weigh in —Iowa and are our neighbor New Hampshire--are a near white out for voters of color. With non-traditional candidates surging to the top, and no President Barack Obama on the ticket, where will voters of color offer their support. We’ll explore how they are weighing their options and what may move them to the polls.
 

 

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Basic Black After the Broadcast: 31% Strong

February 5, 2016

After the broadcast, the panel turned to discuss potential vice presidential running mates and how that might impact the outcome ot the election.  According to Vox, people of color make up 31% of eligible voters - that voting block will become increasingly important as election day nears.

 

(Associated Press photo)

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Basic Black - Flint: Michigan's Hurricane Katrina?

January 29, 2016

This week on Basic Black, an environmental and public health crisis one year in the making.?In Flint, Michigan, residents are still reeling from the impact of the foul smelling brown water pumped into their homes through corroded lead lined pipes. Now more than a year after the first complaints from residents and warnings from independent experts, President Obama has ordered federal aid for Flint. Many are comparing the failure of local leadership to the devastating inadequate response to Hurricane Katrina. Are people or color and the poor most likely to be victims of environmental racism?

 

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Basic Black: Hollywood Star Power and Politics

January 22, 2016

This week on Basic Black: the clash of Hollywood star power and politics. We take a look at Bill Clinton and Bill Cosby: just as Cosby was being arraigned on charges of sexual assault, Clinton’s well-documented sexual assault allegations and extramarital affairs have re-emerged, following Hillary Clinton on the presidential campaign trail. But is there any difference in the way both men are being viewed in the media… should there be a difference? Also on the show, actress Jada Pinkett Smith has called for a boycott of the Oscars to protest the lack of diverse nominees, but others argue that boycotting the box office makes a bigger statement.

(Note: The creator of #OscarSoWhite is April Reign.)

 

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Basic Black After The Broadcast: The Bill Cosby Legacy

January 22, 2016

This week on Basic Black: the clash of Hollywood star power and politics. We take a look at Bill Clinton and Bill Cosby: just as Cosby was being arraigned on charges of sexual assault, Clinton’s well-documented sexual assault allegations and extramarital affairs have re-emerged, following Hillary Clinton on the presidential campaign trail. But is there any difference in the way both men are being viewed in the media… should there be a difference?

 

(Photo: AP file photo - The Cosby Show)

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Basic Black: On Being Muslim and American

January 15, 2016

Some would argue that it has never been more difficult to be a Muslim in America since September 11. With the ISIS-inspired massacre in San Bernadino and support for Presidential candidate Donald Trump’s call to Muslims from entering the United States, Muslim communities once again find themselves at the center of a heated cultural and political climate. Using Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright Ayad Akhtar’s Disgraced (now playing at the Huntington Theatre Company) as a point of departure, Basic Black explores what it means to be a Muslim American.

 

Photo:  Rashad Abdul-Rahman holds a book at the Atlanta Masjid of Al Islam mosque, Sunday, Aug. 30, 2015, in Atlanta. (AP Photo/Branden Camp)

 

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Basic Black After The Broadcast: Gender and Generations of Islam in America

January 15, 2016

After the broadcast the conversation turned to the issues of women in Islam, generational differences among Muslims, and the relationship of African American Muslims to the Nation of Islam.

 

Photo: Muslim women attend Jum'a, the Friday prayer, at the All Dulles Area Muslim Society (ADAMS) Center in Sterling, Va., Friday, Dec. 18, 2015. (AP Photo/Sait Serkan Gurbuz)

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Basic Black: The Massachusetts Economy in Black and Green

January 8, 2016

How did Massachusetts’ African American population fare economically in 2015 and what are the best steps towards economic progress for 2016? Last month the Urban League of Eastern Massachusetts released its annual “State of Black Massachusetts” report. We’ll discuss the economic findings of the report including the state of business ownership and the racial wealth gap.

 

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Basic Black After The Broadcast: Poverty in Massachusetts

January 8, 2016

After the broadcast, the panelists discussed the findings of the State of Black Massachusetts report that detailed the impact of low wage earnings and poverty on families of color.

 

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Basic Black: The Year of the Gun

December 18, 2015

This year has been tragically and persistently the year of the gun. But gun violence is nothing new in communities of color; we’ll take a look at the impact of potential reforms and the resistance to such reforms. The long-awaited Star Wars movie opens on December 18. In the run up to the premiere, controversy swirled around the fact that one of the main characters is black. We’ll take a look at the meaning of characters of color in science fiction.


 


(AP Photo/Princes Georges Police)

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Basic Black After The Broadcast: Black To The Future

December 18, 2015

After the broadcast, the conversation delved into the many ways people of color have been cast in science fiction film and television. The long-awaited Star Wars movie opens on December 18. In the run up to the premiere, controversy swirled around the fact that one of the main characters is black.


 

 

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Basic Black: Campus Protests and the Post-Civil Rights Generation

 

PLEASE NOTE:

BASIC BLACK IS BACK THIS WEEK! JOIN US FOR A NEW CONVERSATION DECEMBER 18th!

 

November 20, 2015

Last week, campus protests and resignations at the University of Missouri lit a spark that has burned across college campuses throughout the country, including New England. Students from Tufts and Harvard staged a walkout in solidarity with nationwide protests. Yesterday, the Harvard University Police launched an investigation into the defacing of portraits of black professors hanging in the halls of Harvard Law School. This week, Basic Black takes a deep dive into the many issues arising out these black student protests, including the tradition of campus protests and what’s different today, the impact of social media on organizing in the new millennium, and how should universities respond?

 

 

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Basic Black After The Broadcast: Sweet Potato Pie & Black Buying Power

November 20, 2015

After the broadcast, the conversation about black college student protests concluded. The panelists switched gears to talk about another kind of power: black buying power. A recent study by the Nielsen Company predicts that African-American buying power will hit $1.1 trillion by 2015.  This past week, a viral video extolling the flavors of singer Patti LaBelle’s sweet potato pie caused a run on the desert, emptying Wal-Mart’s shelves almost overnight. We explore this week’s phenomenon.

 

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Basic Black: Addiction and Invisibility

November 13, 2015

This week on Basic Black: some neighborhoods already feel underserved by the MBTA, and with winter approaching we ask what these communities should expect from the transit authority ahead of the next major storm. Also, we take look at communities of color and addiction amidst the current opioid crisis: treatment vs. criminalization. Are substance abusers of color invisible?


 

 

Photo: Damian Dovarganes, Associated Press, 2014.

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Basic Black After The Broadcast: MBTA & Communities of Color

November 13, 2015


After the broadcast, the conversation took a deep dive into the readiness of the MBTA to meet the needs of communities and populations totally dependent on public transportation.

 

 

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Basic Black: Next Generation Politics and Press

November 6, 2015

This week on Basic Black we look at the seismic shift in the Boston City Council as two challengers ousted the city’s longest serving councilors. One of the winners was Councilor-Elect Andrea Joy Campbell who will represent District 4, having beaten Charles Yancey, who held the seat for 32 years. Also, we discuss the 50th anniversary of the Bay State Banner and the relevance of ethnic newspapers today.

 

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Basic Black After The Broadcast: 50 Years of The Bay State Banner

November 6, 2015

After the broadcast the conversation turned to a discussion of the 50th anniversary of the Bay State Banner and the relevance of ethnic newspapers today.

 

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Basic Black: Race, Reaction, Resilience

October 30, 2015

This week the conversation is resilience – we’re joined by S. Atyia Martin, the first Chief Resilience Officer for the city of Boston. Although Dr. Martin’s background is in emergency planning, part of her mission involves resilience in communities. For communities of color, resilience is the key to surviving and thriving. This is especially true of immigrant, low income and working class populations. We’ll also take a look at the role of school resource officers and law enforcement inside the classroom in the wake of a viral video that led to the firing of a police officer in South Carolina.

 

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Basic Black After The Broadcast: The Power of Resilience

October 30, 2015

This week the conversation is resilience – we’re joined by S. Atyia Martin, the first Chief Resilience Officer for the city of Boston. Although Dr. Martin’s background is in emergency planning, part of her mission involves resilience in communities. For communities of color, resilience is the key to surviving and thriving. This is especially true of immigrant, low income and working class populations.

 

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Basic Black: A Reporter Roundtable

October 23, 2015

This week on Basic Black:  A Reporter Roundtable
- WGBH News reporter Rupa Shenoy gives us the highlights from her series, Food Fights - the impact of climate change on the accessibility to food.  
- The Boston Globe’s Nidhi Subbaraman on using virtual reality and Second Life to treat diabetes and the consequences of leaving communities of color out of the equation.  
- Phillip Martin, Senior Reporter for WGBH News, takes a look at the 1992 murder of Lena Bruce and the recent arrest made in the case.

 

Photo: Rupa Shenoy/WGBH News

 

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Basic Black After The Broadcast: Free Speech, Hate Speech and Campus Controversy

October 23, 2015

The student government of Wesleyan University voted to slash the funding of the campus newspaper by over 50% after the publication of an editorial questioning the goals of the Black Lives Matter Movement. The decision was applauded by some quarters of the student population, but in other quarters the move was seen as a clear case of censorship.

 

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Basic Black: Mr. Joy and the politics of art

October 16, 2015

This week on Basic Black: The fallout of a tragic encounter in a Harlem neighborhood and the clash of the cultures is the basis for Mr. Joy, currently on stage at ArtsEmerson. Our conversation on Basic Black explores the politics of art and representing communities of color on stage.

 


Photo: Tangela Large in Mr. Joy (photo credit: Paul Marotta)

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Basic Black: Latino Power & Politics 2016

October 9, 2016

This week on Basic Black...

- Hispanic Heritage Month - as with all the “heritage” months, we ask, does this month have the same relevance/significance as it does when it was conceived and if so, does it need to change for contemporary times?

- The Latino Vote 2016 - as the presidential campaign for 2016 continues momentum, are the candidates and parties engaging and mobilizing the Latino vote? How do we as a country move toward solving the persistent challenge of immigration reform?

 

In this May 10, 2011, file photo audience members listen to President Barack Obama speak about immigration reform at Chamizal National Memorial Park in El Paso, Texas. A year before the 2012 presidential election, Hispanic voters face a choice: continue to support Obama despite being disproportionately hurt by the economic downturn or turn to Republicans at a time when many GOP presidential hopefuls have taken a hard line on immigration. (AP Photo/Charles Dharapak, File)

 

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Basic Black After The Broadcast: Latino Power and Politics, 2016 (part 2)

October 9, 2016

After the broadcast, the conversation dug deeper in the the immigration question and whether both parties are getting their message across effectively to Latino voters.

 

 

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Basic Black: Activism, Artistry, and Assumptions

October 2, 2015

This week on Basic Black: has the tide turned against the Black Lives Matter movement or does the traction of their activism and message remain strong? We’ll look at the current state of the movement and its detractors.  Also, Viola Davis’ history-making Emmy win for Best Actress in a Drama Series.  We close the show with our online conversation to ask the question: Do law enforcement and journalists need a new understanding of what it means to be in a “gang?"

 

Marissa Johnson, left, speaks as Mara Jacqueline Willaford holds her fist overhead and Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., stands nearby as the two women take over the microphone at a rally Saturday, Aug. 8, 2015, in downtown Seattle. (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson)

 

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Basic Black After The Broadcast: Gangs, groups, and knowing the difference

October 2, 2015

After the broadcast, the conversation turned to the topic gangs vs. groups and how the difference in meaning impacts young men of color.  Do law enforcement and journalists need a new understanding of what it means to be in a “gang?”

 

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Basic Black - Charleston, SC: Remember Their Names...

June 26, 2015

This week on Basic Black, we turn to the horrific murders in Charleston, SC and examine the impact on social justice movements and conversations around race in the wake of the Charleston massacre. The conversation continues as the city mourns those who lost their lives to senseless violence and virulent racism: Depayne Middleton Doctor, Cynthia Hurd, Susie Jackson, Ethel Lance, Rev. Clementa Pinckney, Tywanza Sanders, Rev. Dr. Daniel Simmons, Sr., Sharonda Coleman-Singleton, and Myra Thompson.

 

Photo: Terri Barr, of Columbia, S.C., stands silently against a fence while visiting a sidewalk memorial in memory of the shooting victims in front of Emanuel AME Church Monday, June 22, 2015, in Charleston, S.C. (AP Photo/David Goldman)

 

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Basic Black After The Broadcast: Rachel Dolezal & Identity Politics

June 26, 2015

The woman who would be black... after the broadcast, we dissect the meaning of the Rachel Dolezal episode.

 

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Basic Black - Charleston, SC: Remember Their Names...

June 26, 2015

This week on Basic Black, we turn to the horrific murders in Charleston, SC and examine the impact on social justice movements and conversations around race in the wake of the Charleston massacre. The conversation continues as the city mourns those who lost their lives to senseless violence and virulent racism: Depayne Middleton Doctor, Cynthia Hurd, Susie Jackson, Ethel Lance, Rev. Clementa Pinckney, Tywanza Sanders, Rev. Dr. Daniel Simmons, Sr., Sharonda Coleman-Singleton, and Myra Thompson.

 

Photo: Terri Barr, of Columbia, S.C., stands silently against a fence while visiting a sidewalk memorial in memory of the shooting victims in front of Emanuel AME Church Monday, June 22, 2015, in Charleston, S.C. (AP Photo/David Goldman)

 

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Basic Black: Historical Facts and Uncomfortable Truths

April 24, 2015

Renowned scholar Henry Louis Gates is under fire for giving in to a demand to change content for his Finding Your Roots program. Actor Ben Affleck asked Gates to leave out information about his slave holding ancestors. We'll explore what happens when an historical fact is an uncomfortable truth.
 
Later, Michael Eric Dyson’s 10,000 word, detailed, blistering, take-down of Cornel West, his one-time friend and mentor. Is this a personal spat, or a long overdue reset of the role of  public intellectuals in the age of BlackLivesMatter?
 
And finally join us online to take a look at the road to the confirmation of Loretta Lynch, to become the first African American woman US Attorney General.
 
 

Photo:  Henry Louis Gates Jr., executive producer of "The African Americans: Many Rivers to Cross with Henry Louis Gates Jr.," addresses reporters during the PBS Summer 2013 TCA press tour at the Beverly Hilton Hotel on Wednesday, Aug. 7, 2013 in Beverly Hills, Calif. (Photo by Chris Pizzello/Invision/AP)

 

 

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Basic Black After The Broadcast: Boston 2030 Beyond The Skyline

May 29, 2015

Part 2 of our conversation about Imagine Boston 2030.

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Basic Black After the Broadcast: Making history and living history (part 2)

May 22, 2015

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Basic Black: Making history and living history

May 22, 2015

Looking forward, looking back -- Twitter abuzz as President Barack Obama signs on and the Guinness Book of World Records confirms he is now THE most followed person to join.  And we know the stories about Michael Brown, Eric Garner, and Tamir Rice, but what about Rekia Boyd, Shelly Frey, and Darnisha Harris?  Later in the show, connecting the dots from this week's events in history, to today's headlines…

 

Photo: President Obama sends his first tweet (Source: whitehouse.gov).

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Basic Black: Free Speech and Fair Play

 

NOTE:  BASIC BLACK RETURNS WITH NEW CONVERSATIONS AND BROADCASTS IN THE FALL.

 

Original broadcast date: May 15, 2015

This week on Basic Black: When free speech slams into race and social media on the college campus: controversy erupts over racially-charged tweets sent by incoming Boston University sociology professor Saida Grundy. Also, in the midst of Deflategate, with domestic violence, child abuse, and drug abuse as part of professional football, we ask if the NFL really knows how to prioritize its penalties.

 

Check out Basic Black panelist and WGBH News Senior Reporter Phillip Martin's story:
Defining Domestic Terrorism Part One: Hate Groups Move Online and On Campus

 

Photo: (Left) Professor Saida Grundy, Twitter profile.  (Right) Tom Brady, January 18, 2015, (AP Photo/Elise Amendola, File).

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Basic Black After The Broadcast: Is Deflategate valid or just haters gonna hate?

May 15, 2015

After the broadcast the conversation turned to Deflategate: was the punishment , too much, or too little? Is Deflategate just an opportunity for everyone outside of New England to hate on the Patriots or a legitimate concern around fair play and consequences?

 

(Photo: February 2015 - New England Patriots win Superbowl - AP photos.)

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Basic Black: Baltimore... From The Streets To The Stage

May 8, 2015

This week Basic Black opens with a follow-up look at the events in Baltimore with a conversation about black leadership and variations on the “blue wall of silence.”  Later in the show: as tensions in Baltimore increased, it was the White House Correspondents Dinner which included a few jokes on the state of race relations, that took center stage in many media outlets; and just after the state of emergency in Baltimore was lifted, the comedy duo Key and Peele premiered a sketch called “Negrotown”… we ask, when is the right time for satire?

 



Photo: (Left) Scene from “Negrotown” Key & Peele, Comedy Central.  (Right) Protesters demonstrate as a curfew imposed in the aftermath of rioting following Monday's funeral for Freddie Gray goes into effect Friday, May 1, 2015, in Baltimore. (AP Photo/David Goldman)

 

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Basic Black After The Broadcast: Serious Satire

May 8, 2015

After the broadcast, the discussion explored the question of the role of satire and comedy in talking about cultural differences, race relations, police brutality.

 

(Photo: Scene from "Negrotown" by Key & Peele, Comedy Central).

 

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Basic Black After The Broadcast: Black mothers and the "Hero Mom"

May 1, 2015

After the broadcast, the conversation about Baltimore took a look at the video that went viral: Toya Graham beating her son for participating in riots. Graham was quickly -- and problematically -- dubbed the "Hero Mom" but a closer look at her actions exposed the deeper meaning of the everyday heroics of black mothers.

 

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Basic Black: A Change Is Gonna Come

May 1, 2015

From anger, to resilience, to a call for calm, this week Basic Black looks at the lessons to be learned from the eruptions in Baltimore on race, class, and rebuilding community.

 
 
 
Photo: A man makes a heart shape with his hands during a peaceful protest near the CVS pharmacy that was set on fire on Monday in Baltimore. Credit Andrew Burton/Getty Images for NPR.
 

Show title from A Change is Gonna Come by Sam Cooke, 1964.

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Basic Black After The Broadcast: Loretta Lynch, US Attorney General

April 24, 2015

After the broadcast: a look at the road to the confirmation of Loretta Lynch, to become the first African American woman US Attorney General.
 
 
 
Loretta E. Lynch, President Obama’s nominee for attorney general, speaks Saturday in the Roosevelt Room of the White House. (Carolyn Kaster/Associated Press)
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Basic Black: A Thaw in the Cold War?

April 17, 2015

It was more than just a handshake at the Summit of the Americas last week as President Barack Obama shook hands with Cuba’s President Raul Castro. It has been widely described as the beginnings of a thaw in US-Latin American relations. It’s been welcomed in some quarters as a mark of progress in American foreign policy while condemned by others as a capitulation to a long-standing communist enemy.  

This week, Basic Black looks at the changes in US-Latin American relations and what impact this could have on Latinos living in the United States, immigration reform and economic development for Latin America.

 

Photo: US President Barack Obama and Cuban President Raul Castro shake hands at the Summit of the Americas in Panama City, Panama, Saturday, April 11, 2015. AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)

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Basic Black After the Broadcast: Race in Latin America

April 17, 2015

After the broadcast, the conversation turned to the topic of race and racism in Latin American culture, including a breakdown of the "caste" system…

 

 

Photo: US President Barack Obama and Cuban President Raul Castro shake hands at the Summit of the Americas in Panama City, Panama, Saturday, April 11, 2015. AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)

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Basic Black: Urban Renaissance

April 10, 2015

It wouldn't be a stretch to say that Dudley Square is experiencing something of a renaissance.  The dedication of the Bruce C. Bolling Municipal Building and the re-opening of Tropical Foods grocery store are the latest examples of what is hoped to be the beginnings of an economic turnaround for Roxbury and Mattapan.  We’ll talk about  Mayor Walsh’s plans with two chiefs in his administration: John Barros and Daniel Koh. 

Later in the show, in South Carolina and closer to home, a shift in official police responses to the deaths of African American men at the hands of law enforcement.

 

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Basic Black After The Broadcast: Enforcement And Empathy

April 10, 2015

After the broadcast the conversation continued with a discussion of a comparison between the official responses to police shootings (down south and closer to home) before and after the death of Walter Scott in North Charleston, SC.


 

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Basic Black: Wealth in black and white...

April 3, 2015

It comes down to one dollar versus a few cents. A report by the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston reveals that for every one dollar in a Boston white household, black and brown households have only pennies. While this stark reality may not be new to some, the report details the widening wealth gap, and predicts dire consequences for future generations. Later in the show, intense response still pouring in to a controversial column in Deadline Hollywood questioning whether there's too much diversity on network television.  We also get an introduction to Shaun Blugh, Boston's first-ever Chief Diversity Officer.

 

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Basic Black After The Broadcast: Too much diversity on network television...?

April 3, 2015

After the broadcast the discussion the question posed in Deadline Hollywood as to whether there was too much ethnic diversity in network programming.  A hint to the panel's answer: nope.

 

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Basic Black After The Broadcast: #RaceTogether over coffee?

March 27, 2015

Starbucks may have started out with the best of intentions in trying to start a conversation on race, but the execution was widely criticized. The backlash from all corners basically boiled down to: What were they thinking?!
 

 

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Basic Black: Women's History Month and News of the Week

March 27, 2015

As Women’s History Month comes to a close we ask, what should be on the agenda for women’s issues as the presidential political campaign ramps up?  Later in the show, we look at why the tide has turned on the Boston’s bid for the 2024 Olympics.  And later, is there anything to be learned from Starbucks’ much criticized “Race Together” campaign?

 

(Callie Crossley, host, Under the Radar with Callie Crossley, WGBH 89.7; Kim McLarin, Associate Professor or Writing, Literature and Publishing, Emerson College)

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Basic Black After The Broadcast: James Baldwin For A New Generation

February 27, 2015

The legacy of James Baldwin.

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Basic Black: Politics and Prose

February 27, 2015

This year’s Oscar© ceremony has been described as one of the most political in recent memory, as winners acceptance speeches included history lessons and calls to action on women’s issues and immigration.  We’ll take a closer look at comments on equal pay for women, feminism, and the civil rights movement coming out of the Oscars© winners circle.  Later in the show, as Black History Month comes to a close, we pause to remember the artistry of writer James Baldwin, whose provocative essays on race and identity in America still resonate.

 

(Image source: CNN, Patricia Arquette, Common, and John Legend, @Academy Awards, February 22, 2015)

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Basic Black: Rediscovering Black History in Color

February 20, 2015

The African American experience is taught in many forms from songs to films to performance, but one of the latest forms to grow in popularity is the graphic novel.  We’ll talk with author Joel Christian Gill about his newest work, Strange Fruit: Uncelebrated Narratives From Black History.

Later in the show, on the eve of the 50th anniversary of the death of Malcolm X, we look at the last years of his life and the meaning of his movement for contemporary times.

 

Image: From Bass Reeves, Tales Of The Talented Tenth, Vol 1., by Joel Christian Gill, 2014.

 

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Basic Black After The Broadcast: Malcolm X For a New Generation

February 20, 2015

On the eve of the 50th anniversary of the death of Malcolm X, we look at the last years of his life and the meaning of his movement for contemporary times.

 

(Photo: Malcolm X, 1963 / Associated Press.)

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Basic Black: After the Storm... Beverly Scott and the MBTA

February 13, 2015

Back to back storms in as little as two weeks dropped record amounts of snow on New England.  The capacity of the MBTA’s equipment was put to the test, but the system buckled under the weight of the weather.  In the face of widespread train delays and mounting criticism, MBTA General Manager Beverly Scott responded with a fiery press conference that’s not likely to be forgotten anytime soon.  The day after her press conference, Scott submitted her letter of resignation. We’ll take a look at her tenure and immediate task at hand to get the trains back to normal.

Later in the show, as the Bay State Banner celebrates 50 years of reporting the news of New England’s communities of color, we discuss the continuing evolution of journalists of color.

 

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Basic Black After The Broadcast: The First Draft of History...

February 13, 2015

Later in the show, as the Bay State Banner celebrates 50 years of reporting the news of New England’s communities of color, we discuss the continuing evolution of journalists of color.

 

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Basic Black: After the Storm... Beverly Scott and the MBTA

February 13, 2015

Back to back storms in as little as two weeks dropped record amounts of snow on New England.  The capacity of the MBTA’s equipment was put to the test, but the system buckled under the weight of the weather.  In the face of widespread train delays and mounting criticism, MBTA General Manager Beverly Scott responded with a fiery press conference that’s not likely to be forgotten anytime soon.  The day after her press conference, Scott submitted her letter of resignation. We’ll take a look at her tenure and immediate task at hand to get the trains back to normal.

Later in the show, as the Bay State Banner celebrates 50 years of reporting the news of New England’s communities of color, we discuss the continuing evolution of journalists of color.

 

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Basic Black News of the Week: On-Screen Families and the Vaccination Question

February 6, 2015

This week on Basic Black’s roundtable:

    •    With the rise of television shows like Black-ish and Empire and the newly-released movie Black and White, we ask if Hollywood is on the way to realistic portrayals of families of color.
    •    A measles outbreak earlier this week at Disneyland in California re-ignited the debate over vaccinations - with oftentimes limited access to healthcare are children of color at particular risk?

 

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Basic Black After The Broadcast: The Road To The US Attorney General's Office

February 6, 2015

After the broadcast, we discussed the implications of Loretta Lynch's potential appointment to the US Attorney General position.

 

(Photo source: Associated Press.)

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Basic Black: Portraits of Purpose

January 30, 2015

The pictures and stories of Bostonians whose stories have been sidelined are now highlighted in a book more than 20 years in the making. Now in 107 portraits coupled with narrative profiles, the contributions of some notable Bostonians of color are preserved for all time. The book is Portraits of Purpose: A Tribute to Leadership and we’re joined by photographer Don West and writer, Kenneth Cooper.

 

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Basic Black After the Broadcast: Portraits of Purpose, Pt. 2

January 30, 2015

After the broadcast the conversation continued: The pictures and stories of Bostonians whose stories have been sidelined are now highlighted in a book more than 20 years in the making. Now in 107 portraits coupled with narrative profiles, the contributions of some notable Bostonians of color are preserved for all time. The book is Portraits of Purpose: A Tribute to Leadership and we’re joined by photographer Don West and writer, Kenneth Cooper.

 

(Photo: Keith Motley, Chancellor, UMass Boston by Don West.)

 

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Basic Black - Boston: Going for gold...

January 23, 2015

Boston won the opportunity to represent the United States in a bid to host the 2024 Summer Olympics, erupting a host of opinions, with very few opinions coming down the middle, but all of them mentioning the cost.  What will be the impact good or bad, for Boston's neighborhoods?  Later in the show, we review Boston Mayor Marty Walsh¹s first State of the City address.  What do his plans mean for the future of race relations, economic development, and public safety?

 

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Basic Black After The Broadcast: The State of the City 2015

January 23, 2015

After the broadcast, the discussion delved further into Mayor Walsh's vision for moving Boston forward: what do his plans mean for the future of race relations, economic development, and public safety?

 

 

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Basic Black: Selma and the fierce urgency of now...

January 16, 2015

Demonstrators shutdown 1-93 near Boston this week crippling traffic for hours, putting the black lives matter and I can't breathe protests back on the front page. The latest actions  occurred days after the opening of the critically acclaimed movie Selma.Selma's social justice campaign is on the big screen just as current protests push the conversation about race and civil rights beyond the teachable moment to a more forceful, uncomfortable demand for change.  We look at the artistry and history portrayed in Selma against a backdrop of contemporary social justice movements.

 

(Italics: from Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King’s speech at the March on Washington 1963.  Photo credit: Atsushi Nishijimi)

 

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Basic Black After The Broadcast: Turning a moment into a movement

January 16, 2015

After the broadcast, the conversation delved into the makings of a movement: a leader, the grassroots, and the objective.


 
(Italics: from Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King’s speech at the March on Washington 1963.  Photo credit: Atsushi Nishijimi)

 

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Basic Black: An urban agenda for Massachusetts

January 9, 2015

This week Charlie Baker was sworn in as the 72nd governor of Massachusetts, with promises of bipartisanship and a renewed economic growth agenda for the Commonwealth’s urban communities.  Later in the show we remember Senator Edward Brooke who died last week at the age of 95.

 

 

Massachusetts Republican Gov. Charlie Baker, center, acknowledges applause after taking the oath of office, Thursday, Jan. 8, 2015, in the House Chamber of the Statehouse, in Boston. Mass. (AP Photo/Steven Senne)

 

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Basic Black After the Broadcast: Remebering Senator Edward Brooke

January 9, 2015

After the broadcast the panel remembered the legacy and groundbreaking work of Senator Edward Brooke, who in 1966 became the first African American elected to the Senate after Reconstruction.

 

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Basic Black After the Broadcast: What's next for #BlackLivesMatter

December 19, 2014

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Basic Black: Soul Food and Soul Power

December 20, 2014

As we head into the festivities of the holiday season, we talk about the good, the bad, and the ugly of soul food.  We’re joined by Frederick Douglass Opie, author of Hog and Hominy: Soul Food from Africa to America.  Later in the show, as the #BlackLivesMatter protests continue, we pause to consider what’s next for the movement and what happens after the die-ins, the shut-downs, and the walk-outs.

 

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Basic Black After The Broadcast: Pardons in Massachusetts and Remembering Nelson Mandela

December 12, 2014

After the broadcast, the panel considered recent pardons and commutations from the Governor's office. Later in the conversation, a discussion of the state of South Africa, one year after Nelson Mandela's death.
 

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Basic Black: From Montgomery to Ferguson...

December 5, 2014

December 1st marked the 59th anniversary of Rosa Parks refusing to give up her seat on the bus to a white passenger, setting in motion the Montgomery Bus Boycott and the emerging modern civil rights movement.  We observe this anniversary amidst a wave of protests: online, on the streets, and in the marketplace… actions in response to the deaths of several African American men and boys at the hands of law enforcement. This week on Basic Black, we consider the changing face and force of future social justice movements.

 

Students and community members hold their hands up on campus at Boston University in Boston, Monday, Dec. 1, 2014 to show solidarity with protesters in Ferguson, Mo. (AP Photo/Elise Amendola)

 

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Basic Black After The Broadcast: Janay Palmer Rice and the re-invention of Ray Rice

December 5, 2014

After the broadcast, the conversation focused on Janay Rice and her role in the effort to repair her husband’s image in the wake of his firing from the Baltimore Ravens and reinstatement to football by the NFL.
 

 

Ray Rice arrives with his wife Janay Palmer for an appeal hearing of his indefinite suspension from the NFL, Wednesday, Nov. 5, 2014, in New York. (AP Photo/Jason DeCrow)

 

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Basic Black: Immigration Reform and... an Icon Implodes?

November 21, 2014

This week on Basic Black: President Obama has thrown down the gauntlet to his detractors on immigration reform in the form of an executive action. Who does it impact and does this signal the beginning of a battle with Congress?  Later in the show, the unmaking of an icon, as up to 13 women have come forward with accusations of sexual assault against comedian Bill Cosby.
 

 
Photo: President Obama delivers an address on immigration reform from the East Room of the White House, November 20, 2014.  (Official White House photo by Pete Souza.)

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Basic Black After the Broadcast: The Unmaking of an Icon?

November 21, 2014

After the broadcast, the panelists conversation about the allegations of  sexual assault against Bill Cosby intensified.  There have been varying reports about the number of women coming forward who say Cosby raped them, but as Michael Jeffries reminds us, the number of women is beside the point, "…one is too many."

 

 

Entertainer and Navy veteran Bill Cosby speaks during a Veterans Day ceremony, Tuesday, Nov. 11, 2014. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke)

 

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Basic Black: A Hyphenated Life?

November 14, 2014

Identity is an ever evolving, some would say elusive concept in American culture:  Grammy award-winning artist Pharrell declares himself part of the “new black” generation… The US Army only last week eliminated “Negro” as a racial designation… “More Hispanics declaring themselves white” was a New York Times headline in May… and Asian American and Pacific Islander students at Harvard recently held a forum to bring their issues to the forefront.  This week on Basic Black we look at the common thread through these and other stories identity, and what it means on a personal level and the global landscape.
 

 

(Photo: Pharrell/Jonathan Short - Invision- Associated Press, 2014.)

 

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Basic Black After The Broadcast: A Hyphenated Life? (Part 2)

November 14, 2014

Identity is an ever evolving, some would say elusive concept in American culture:  Grammy award-winning artist Pharrell declares himself part of the “new black” generation… The US Army only last week eliminated “Negro” as a racial designation… “More Hispanics declaring themselves white” was a New York Times headline in May… and Asian American and Pacific Islander students at Harvard recently held a forum to bring their issues to the forefront.  This week on Basic Black we look at the common thread through these and other stories identity, and what it means on a personal level and the global landscape.

 

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Basic Black: A Hyphenated Life?

November 14, 2014

Identity is an ever evolving, some would say elusive concept in American culture:  Grammy award-winning artist Pharrell declares himself part of the “new black” generation… The US Army only last week eliminated “Negro” as a racial designation… “More Hispanics declaring themselves white” was a New York Times headline in May… and Asian American and Pacific Islander students at Harvard recently held a forum to bring their issues to the forefront.  This week on Basic Black we look at the common thread through these and other stories identity, and what it means on a personal level and the global landscape.
 

 

(Photo: Pharrell/Jonathan Short - Invision- Associated Press, 2014.)

 

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Basic Black: Victory for Baker | Viral Video from NYC

November 7, 2014

On the ground and in the street…

Charlie Baker beat the highly touted Democratic ground game to win the Massachusetts Governor’s race. What does his victory mean for communities of color?  And later in the show, the viral video that to date has gotten over 30 million views: men catcalling a woman while she's performing the simple act of walking through the streets of New York City. We’ll talk about what it shows, and why it has sparked a heated debate about street harassment, race, and sexism.


 

(Image: Screenshot from the video by Hollaback!)

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Basic Black After the Broadcast: Catcalls and Controversy

November 7, 2014

After the broadcast the conversation delved into the context of the Hollaback video,  with a discussion of the ways women of color are harassed and sexualized as well as the social media response to the issue, including the #YouOKSis and #DudesGreetingDudes campaigns on Twitter.


(Image: from the book 50 Stories About Stopping Street Harassers by Holly Kearl.)

 

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Basic Black After The Broadcast: Baker & Coakley Down To The Wire

October 31, 2014

Has Martha Coakley's made her case to the Democratic base in communities of color?  Will the story of the fisherman sink Charlie Baker's chances of winning? After the television broadcast, the panel offered observations and predictions on the outcome of the Massachusetts governor's race.

 

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Basic Black: Cornel West and Black Prophetic Fire

Originally broadcast October 24, 2014

In the aftermath of his arrest protesting the killing of Michael Brown, a young black man shot to death by a white police officer, Cornel West sits down for a conversation with Callie Crossley about his new book Black Prophetic Fire, an examination of the lives of historic African American icons and how their courage to speak truth to power still resonates with contemporary activism from the events in Ferguson, MO to taking a stand against the policies of the Obama Administration.

 

Photo credit: Meredith Nierman, WGBH.

 

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Basic Black: Voting Matters in Black & White

October 17, 2014

Democrat Martha Coakley and Republican Charlie Baker are in a dead heat in the Massachusetts governor's race.  The margin of error in the polls for both candidates is slim, but can voters in communities of color fill the margin with a victory, sending one of them to the governor's office? Are the campaigns of the independent candidates resonating with black, Latino, or Asian voters? This week on Basic Black, we look at how the candidates for governor are delivering their message to communities of color in the race to the finish line on November 4.

 

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Basic Black After The Broadcast: Iconic women of "black prophetic fire"

October 24, 2014

After the broadcast, the conversation turned to an examination of iconic African American women Cornel West highlighted in his book, Black Prophetic Fire, as well as the question of West and his hopes for his legacy in social justice.

 

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Basic Black: Ebola and Race | Policing Communities of Color

October 10, 2014

This week on Basic Black: perceptions and realities on two fronts. First, we take a look at Ebola and race.  With the death of Thomas Duncan attention has focused even more closely on his initial and subsequent contact with Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital in Dallas; although Mr. Duncan received round-the-clock care once admitted to the hospital, his case has raised questions about the relationship of communities of color, the poor, and the uninsured to the US health care system.  Also, the ACLU of Massachusetts released a report charging the Boston Police Department with racial bias, a charge the Department vigorously rejects, pointing to advances made in the last few years under the leadership of Commissioner William Evans.  But beyond the report, which only uses data from 2007-2010, how should we look at Boston's policing of communities of color in the context of the national conversation that sprung from events in Ferguson?

 
Photo: Licensed clinician Roseda Marshall, of Liberia, disrobes after a simulated training session on Monday, Oct. 6, 2014, in Anniston, Ala. (AP Photo/Brynn Anderson)

 

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Basic Black After the Broadcast: Policing Communities of Color

October 10, 2014

After the broadcast the discussion continued concerning the recent controversial report from the ACLU of Massachusetts charging the Boston Police Department with racial bias and the reactions from the BPD and the community.

 

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Basic Black: Politics in black and white... and color

October 3, 2014

This week on Basic Black: an editorial cartoon about Secret Service lapses creates a firestorm and we look at Eric Holder's legacy in civil rights law and racial justice.  From special programs such as the death of Nelson Mandela and a deep dive into the causes of the racial eruption in Ferguson, MO, to an exploration of the rapid rise of black immigration in Massachusetts or the use of the n-word in major league locker rooms, Basic Black conversations respond in the moment to events in politics, culture, art, and community.
 

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Basic Black After the Broadcast: Politics in black and white...and color

October 3, 2014

After the broadcast, the conversation continued with the discussion of the editorial cartoon in the Boston Herald, an effort to satirize recent Secret Service breaches resulted in a racial firestorm of criticism for the cartoonist and the Herald.

 

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A Basic Black Special: Race and Ferguson Beyond The Headlines

Rebroadcast September 26, 2014

It's been almost two months since 18 year old Michael Brown was shot and killed by Ferguson, MO police officer Darren Wilson, but the reverberations surrounding his death continue.  Brown's death was the fourth last summer in as many weeks in which an African American man was killed by law enforcement.  In a special conversation this week, Basic Black goes beyond the headlines to explore the racial, historical, and cultural underpinnings of the relationship of law enforcement to communities of color and the meaning of protest in a post-civil rights movement era.

 

 


Photo:  A man is moved by a line of police as authorities disperse a protest in Ferguson, Mo. early Wednesday, Aug. 20, 2014. On Saturday, Aug. 9, 2014, a white police officer fatally shot Michael Brown, an unarmed black teenager, in the St. Louis suburb. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel)

 

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Basic Black: Brown v Board and the Return of Segregation?

Original broadcast date: May 16, 2014


This week on Basic Black, we take a look at the lasting impact of Brown v. Board of Education as we approach the 60th Anniversary of the Supreme Court decision in the case.

Additional reading: The Pro Publica Series, Segregation Now.


 

Top photo:  Students, parents and educators rally at the Supreme Court in Washington, Tuesday, May 13, 2014, for the 60th anniversary Brown v. Board of Education decision that struck down the “separate but equal” concept established under Plessy v. Ferguson that kept schools segregated. (AP Photo)

 

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Basic Black After the Broadcast: Race and Ferguson Beyond the Headlines

August 21, 2014

After the broadcast the conversation turned to consider the differences and similarities to today's protests in Ferguson, MO and the marches of the civil rights movement.  Also, what is the response to those who would believe more attention should be given to "black-on-black" crime...

 

Photo:  Friday, Aug. 15, 2014 - protesters march down the middle of a street in front of a convenience store in Ferguson, Mo. that was looted and burned following the shooting death of Michael Brown. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel)

 

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Basic Black: Favorite Books and Summer Reading

May 30, 2014

After the broadcast the panelists discussed past and current books and what they'd be reading this summer.

 

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"We Who Believe In Freedom:" 50 Years After Freedom Summer and the Civil Rights Act

June 6, 2014

Fifty years ago this summer, the modern civil rights movement was front and center on the nation's headlines, President Lyndon Johnson signed the Civil Rights Act of 1964 into law and Freedom Summer was in full swing in Mississippi.  But the struggle for racial equality, by law and in the voting booth, was from over and activists persisted in the fight often against systematic violent attacks including beating, arson, and murder.  This week on Basic Black we acknowledge the 50th anniversary of the pivotal events of that summer and examine its impact on contemporary movements for racial, social and economic quality.

 

(Program title inspiration: Ella Baker, 1964; photo: from the upcoming film, Freedom Summer, by Stanley Nelson)

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Basic Black After The Broadcast: Freedom Summer and a 21st Century Racial Landscape

June 6, 2014

After the broadcast the discussion about Freedom Summer connected the strategies and passions of that movement to contemporary movements and how both the young and old made contributions for the benefit of later generations.

 

 

(Photo: from the upcoming film, Freedom Summer, by Stanley Nelson.)

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Basic Black: Remembering Maya Angelou

May 30, 2014

This week on Basic Black-- we pause to remember Maya Angelou—cultural icon, global artist, and wise elder who died this week at the age of 86.  Angelou’s  first book, I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings became a bestseller 30 years ago.  We'll talk about her seminal works and later in the discussion, a conversation we hope Angelou would have appreciated, our favorite books and authors we're taking with us into the summer.

 

Author Maya Angelou delivers a tribute to South African Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu at the J. William Fulbright Prize for International Understanding Award Ceremony at the State Department in Washington, Friday, Nov. 21, 2008. (AP Photo/Gerald Herbert)

 

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Basic Black After The Broadcast: Race in the US Armed Forces

May 23, 2014

After the broadcast, the conversation explored contmeporary challenges for active and veteran military soldiers such as economic hardships, impact on family, mental health, physical injury, and the effects of PTSD.

 

 

(Photo source: National Archives)

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Basic Black After the Broadcast: Brown, Busing, & Boston

May 16, 2014

After the broadcast, the panel explored the distinctions between desegregation and integration... home-schooling in communities of color... and the reason busing was "forced."

 

Photo:  Students, parents and educators rally at the Supreme Court in Washington, Tuesday, May 13, 2014, for the 60th anniversary Brown v. Board of Education decision. (AP Photo)

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Basic Black - Affirmative Action: Slippery Slope Or Uphill Battle...?

May 2, 2014

This week on Basic Black, we take a look at the recent Supreme Court ruling upholding Michigan's ban on affirmative action as a consideration in admissions to the state's public universities. The majority and dissent opinions mirrored the national debate on achieving racial diversity in higher education, but we'll discuss how that debate intensified with the backdrop of Donald Sterling's audiotaped disdain for the company of "black people," Cliven Bundy's remarks on the merits of slavery, and African American students at Harvard creating the "ITooAmHarvard" campaign.


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Basic Black After The Broadcast: What's next for affirmative action?

May 2, 2014

After the broadcast, the panelists discuss what equal opportunity and diversity in higher education might look like in the absence of affirmative action.


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Basic Black: Gentrification... and the tipping point

Original broadcast date: April 25, 2014

A November 2013 report by the Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland found that Boston is experiencing one of the fastest rates of gentrification of cities in the US. This week on Basic Black, we look at how gentrification changes the nature and culture of a community and how Boston's impacted communities are responding.

Articles about changes in Dudley Square and pre-developed Boston.
 

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Basic Black After The Broadcast: "Gentrification is like gravity..."

April 25, 2014

After the broadcast, the panelists consider what gentrification can mean when it is middle and upper class people of color who move into older neighborhoods. 


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Basic Black After The Broadcast: Why Run?

April 18, 2014

After the conversation, the panel discussed the health, cultural, and societal benefits of running as well as some of the challenges, i.e. running while black, so to speak...

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Basic Black: "Black Power"... Then and Now

April 11, 2014

This week, the signing of the 1964 Civil Rights Bill was celebrated in a week-long summit at the LBJ Library in Austin, TX with President Barack Obama as one of the keynote speakers.  Two years after the signing of that bill, Stokely Carmichael would raise his voice and his fist in a call to action for Black Power.  Black Power was a movement, a philosophy, a strategy, and an attitude that was frightening to some, but empowering to those who had grown impatient with larger civil rights movement and its use of non-violence as the way of combatting racial injustice. Stokely: A Life is the newest biography of of the architect of the American Black Power movement, written by historian Peniel Joseph. We'll take a look at the impact of Carmichael's activism on contemporary progressive movements.


(Image: Stokely: A Life by Peniel Joseph)
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Basic Black After The Broadcast: Stokely and "Black Power" Today

April 11, 2014

After the broadcast, we continued to discuss the meaning of Stokely Carmichael's leagacy for contemporary political movements and thoughts on African American culture.

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Basic Black: Becoming Black Americans

April 4, 2014


In "The changing face of citizenship," Boston Globe reporter Maria Sacchetti examines how an increasing number of black immigrants are committed to becoming American citizens, in fact it is a point of great pride once the goal is met.  In Massachusetts, as Saccetti reported, the number of new black citizens has doubled.  This week on Basic Black our conversation explores the political, economic, and cultural impacts of this growing trend.  We're joined by Evandro Carvalho, a native of Cape Verde and winner of the 5th Suffolk District State Rep primary race and Samuel Gebru, founder of the Ethiopian Global Initiative.



Photo: Amina Ahmed, formerly from Nigeria, takes the oath of citizenship during a swearing-in ceremony for 5,000 new citizens at Fenway Park in Boston, Tuesday, Sept. 14, 2010. (AP Photo/Michael Dwyer)
 

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Basic Black After The Broadcast: African, Caribbean, and American

April 4, 2014

After the broadcast, the conversation continued on the growth of black immigrant communities in Boston, the changing meanings of identity, and how Africans, Caribbeans, and African Americans can find common ground.


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Basic Black: Black History Icons - Respected, Revered, and ...Repackaged?

February 28, 2014

Today is the last day of Black History Month, a time when the civil rights pioneers are learned about and revered.  But what meaning can an icon have when recording artist Nicki Minaj can use one of the most famous images of Malcolm X in her CD cover art with the n-word emblazoned near Malcolm X's head? Or Lil Wayne can write lyrics using the murder of 14-year-old Emmett Till in a manner so provocative that the uproar surrounding the episode moved Mountain Dew to drop their multi-million-dollar endorsement?   This week on Basic Black, how far has popular culture separated the icons from their historical meaning and what are the implications, especially in teaching the millennials and generations to come.

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Basic Black After The Broadcast: Redefining Black History For The Future

February 28, 2014

After the broadcast the conversation continued: how are young people themselves redefining black history to make it have meaning for themselves and how do educators teach the history to make it have meaning in a contemporary context.


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Basic Black: Jordan, Trayvon, and the Consequences of Implicit Bias

February 21, 2014

Less than a year after George Zimmerman was acquitted in the shooting death of 17 year old Trayvon Martin, a mistrial was declared in the shooting death of another 17-year-old African American boy, Jordan Davis. In both cases, much of the public conversation has been about racism and the validity of "stand your ground" laws, but this week on Basic Black, we take a look at implicit bias, the hidden prejudices and biases we all have, but when acted upon in the extreme, can have deadly consequences.

 

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Basic Black After The Broadcast: The Implicit Bias in Us All

February 21, 2014

After the broadcast, the conversation continued to on the implications of implicit bias and finished with how it can also be expressed in positive ways.


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Basic Black After The Broadcast: Is Valentine's Day About Love?

February 14, 2014

After the broadcast, a conversation on the meaning of Valentine's Day...the good, the bad, and the ugly (and because it's Basic Black...the political, historical, and gender differences in the meaning of the day!)


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Basic Black: Lessons in History and Legacy

February 6, 2014

Tonight on Basic Black, in an historic move the Massachusetts legislature voted to expel Carlos Henriquez from the House in the wake of his conviction for assault.  Also, another dispute among the surviving children of Martin Luther King, Jr. has gone painfully public, calling into question their respect for his legacy.  Tonight we'll look behind the headlines to analyze the impact and the meaning in both stories.




(Image: Former State Rep. (5th Suffolk District) Carlos Henriquez addresses the Massachusetts legislature before the vote to expel him.)
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Basic Black After the Broadcast: Martin Luther King Jr.'s Legacy

February 7, 2014

After the broadcast, the conversation turned to examine another dispute among the surviving children of Martin Luther King, Jr. has gone painfully public, calling into question their respect for his legacy. 





Photo: Bernice King speaks during a news conference at historic Ebenezer Baptist Church where her father Martin Luther King Jr. preached, Thursday, Feb. 6, 2014, in Atlanta. King is in a legal battle with her brothers over her father's Bible and Nobel Peace Prize medal. (AP Photo/John Bazemore) more

Basic Black: PTSD and The Lingering Impact of Violence

February 14, 2014


Conversations about gun violence usually center around criminal justice strategies and gun control, but often lost in the debate is the connection to public health.  Last week, Pro Publica, the non-profit investigative journalism news organization published a piece by Lois Beckett, entitled, The PTSD Crisis That's Being Ignored: Americans Wounded in Their Own Neighborhoods.  As the spike in shootings  makes headlines in Boston, our Basic Black conversation focuses on the public health impact to communities in the wake of gun violence.

 

 

 

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Basic Black: One Day, Two "States"

January 31, 2014

One day, two "States," and many declarations.  Were you happy with what you heard in Governor Patrick's State of the Commonwealth or President Obama's State of the Union?  This week on Basic Black our panelists talk about what they heard, what they wanted to hear, and what they think will get accomplished as the Governor and the President head into the home stretches of their administrations.



Photo:
(L) Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick, center, greets law makers and guests as he enters the House chamber at the Statehouse before his State of the State address, Tuesday, Jan. 28, 2014, in Boston. (AP Photo/Steven Senne)
(R) President Barack Obama acknowledges Army Ranger Cory Remsburg during his State of the Union address in the House Chamber at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, D.C., Jan. 28, 2014. Behind the President are Vice President Joe Biden and House Speaker John Boehner. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

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Basic Black After The Broadcast: The Challenges of a Lame Duck Presidency

January 31, 2014

After the broadcast, the panelists took on the many challenges and opportunitites available to President Obama in the last few years of his presidency.



President Barack Obama waits with Sergeants at Arms and Members of Congress before entering the House Chamber to deliver the State of the Union address at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, D.C., Jan. 28, 2014 Standing with the President are, from left: Paul Irving, House Sergeant at Arms; House Majority Leader Eric Cantor, R-Va.; Sen. John Thune, R-S.D.; and Terrance Gainer, Senate Sergeant at Arms. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza) more

Basic Black: American Promise and Crushing the Black Male Achievement Gap

January 24, 2014


The usual stories about African American boys and education most often center on public school systems. But what about the opposite end of the spectrum?  American Promise is a documentary 13 years in the making, following the journeys of two African-American boys and their families from kindergarten through high school graduation. This provocative film provides a rare look into two middle class black families as they navigate the challenges of race, class and parenting within one of the wealthiest academic communities in America.  Filmmaker Joe Brewster joins Basic Black to talk about the making of the film.


American Promise is made possible by a grant from American Documentary | POV, with funding provided by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting.
 

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Basic Black After The Broadcast: African American Young Men and Education

January 24, 2014

After the broadcast the conversation turned to how to mobilize parents, educators, school systems, and the culture in a movement to eliminate the achievement gap for young black children, especially boys.

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Basic Black: Rap, Race, Free Speech and Crimes

January 17, 2014

On Monday, the New York Times featured an Op-Ed entitled, "Rap Lyrics on Trial".  As the title suggests, the issue at hand is whether rap lyrics can be used as evidence of a crime.  That question will be before the New Jersey State Supreme Court next week, and there was also a case closer to home in Massachusetts a little over a year ago.  This week on Basic Black, we'll look at what happens at the intersection of rap, race, free speech, and the criminal justice system.


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Basic Black After The Broadcast: The Art & Legacy of Amiri Baraka

January 17, 2014

After the broadcast, the conversation turned to a discussion of the life and work of poet and activist Amiri Baraka, who died last week at the age of 79.

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Basic Black: Boston's New Political Realities

January 10, 2014

The beginning of a new political era begins in Boston as Marty Walsh assumes the office of mayor.  The members of Walsh's transition committees read like a who's who from every sphere of the city.  This week on Basic Black, we'll sit down with members of the transition team to look at the road ahead for Boston,  its communities of color, and holding Mayor Walsh accountable. 


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Basic Black After The Broadcast: Boston Going Forward

January 10, 2014

After the broadcast, the conversation continued.  Mayor Marty Walsh's emphasis on public safety, education, appointments to his administration, disparities in housing opportunities were discussed as well as the responsibility of communities of color to hold the Mayor accountable to his campaign promises.


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Basic Black: Feminism Isn't Black and White

December 20, 2013

This week on Basic Black, our first conversation examines the recent media coverage of Michelle Obama and the meaning of feminism to women of color.  An article in Politico dubbed the First Lady as a "feminist nightmare" while later coverage characterized her as the "angry black woman" when the President took a selfie with Danish prime minister Helle Thorning-Schmidt at the funeral of Nelson Mandela.  Both episodes illustrated the great divide between black and white women on the issue of feminism , with many African American commentators saying, in essence, "your feminism ain't like mine…"



(Photo:  First Lady Michelle Obama introducing President Barack Obama before his address to injured veterans and guests on the critical issues facing veterans during the DAV National Convention in Orlando, Fla. Michelle Obama is taking her “Let’s Move!” campaign to Arthur Ashe Kids Day. AP Photo/Julie Fletcher - Aug. 10, 2013, File)

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Basic Black: A Revolutionary Who Championed Reconciliation


December 6, 2013

Today the world mourns the passing of Nelson Mandela. The 95 year old former South African president died peacefully at home surrounded by family on Thursday night.  Basic Black pauses to remember the man who brought democratic rule and an end to apartheid to South Africa, and who embraced the city of Boston as a partner in the struggle for human rights.



(Photo:  In this Dec. 7, 2005 file photo, former South African President Nelson Mandela, 87, is in a jovial mood at the Mandela Foundation in Johannesburg, where he met with the winner and runner-up of the local "Idols" competition. AP Photo/Denis Farrell, File.)

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Basic Black: Ebony and Ivy

(Please note: This is an encore presentation of a previous show.)


This week on Basic Black we're joined by Craig Wilder, professor of history at MIT and author of the new book Ebony & Ivy: Race, Slavery and the Troubled History of America's Universities.  Dr. Wilder explores the connection of slavery to the beginnings of America's ivy league schools, going so far as to say that alongside church and state, they were the third pillar of a civilization based on bondage."  So how does this historical knowledge impact the contemporary relationship between African Americans and the nations most elite educational establishments?

(Please note: There will be no live chat this evening; join us for new conversations beginning April 4 at 7:30pm EST.)



(Photo of Craig Wilder by Jonathan Sachs.)

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Basic Black After The Broadcast: Remebering Nelson Mandela

December 6, 2013

After the broadcast, the conversation continued as the panelists discussed Nelson Mandela's legacy, his visit to Boston, and what his passing means for the future of South Africa.


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Basic Black After The Broadcast: Sports and African American Men

November 22, 2013

After the broadcast, the conversation included an exploration of the impact of fathers, coaches, and community in the lives of African American boys.


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Basic Black: Beyond Locker Room Smack Talk


November 22, 2013

Repercussions from the Jonathan Martin/Richie Incognito incident continue to roll out. Was Jonathan Martin strong for walking away from the Miami Dolphins, or was he not "strong enough" to stay? Our conversation explores how the intersection of sports and race influence our cultural notions of African American manhood.


(Photo: Associated Press.)

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Basic Black: SNL, HBCUs and NB (New Boston)


November 8, 2013


Old Boston Mayor elect Marty Walsh is propelled to victory by New Boston communities of color, plus we’re tackling some of the topics you’ve been talking about at the water cooler and in the blogosphere--Saturday night live pokes fun at its diversity problem but is it funny? And new financial woes for Howard University, one of the nation’s most well known Historically Black colleges.


(Photo: NBC)
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Basic Black: It Takes A Village - Caring For Our Elders

November 15, 2013

Baby boomers are get older, which means an increasing strain on the system of services for the elderly. But for communities of color, these problems are compounded by immense disparities in health care, economic resources, and cultural differences in caring for our elders.  This week, Basic Black discusses how these differences impact our most vulnerable population.


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Basic Black After The Broadcast: What 12 Years A Slave Means Today

November 1, 2013

After the broadcast the conversation continued to explore how films like 12 Years A Slave can also be commentaries on contemporary times in African American life: educational and wealth gaps, stereotypes of black men and women, infant mortality, health disparities, achievement...


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Basic Black: Hollywood and the Slave Narrative

Original broadcast November 1, 2013

 

When the awards were given out at the 86th annual Academy Awards, it was the historical drama 12 Years a Slave that would make its own history that night.  John Ridley would become the second African American to win an Oscar in the writing category.  Lupita Nyong’o would win for Best Supporting Actress in her first feature role, becoming the 7th black actress to win an Oscar. And when 12 Years A Slave won Best Picture of the Year, it would be the first time a film with a black director took the Academy’s top honor. Tonight we hope you enjoy an encore presentation of our conversation taking you inside the historical backdrop for Solomon Northrup’s journey and 12 Years A Slave.
 

 


(Photo: Fox Searchlight Pictures)

 

 

 

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Basic Black: Do Political Endorsements Matter?

October 25, 2013


This week on Basic Black, the Boston mayor's race is coming down to the wire.  Candidates John Connolly are Martin Walsh are making the case to communities of color throughout the city and each have secured endorsements from prominent African American and Latino leaders.  But are endorsements of any value beyond the photo op?  And will the candidates' pitches be strong enough at this point to move voters to the polls?



(Photo: Meredith Nierman/WGBH)

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Basic Black After The Broadcast: Boston Politics Redux

October 25, 2013

Do endorsements have any value beyond the photo op?  And will the candidates' pitches be strong enough at this point to move voters to the polls?


(Photo: Meredith Nierman, WGBH)
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Basic Black: Race, Class, and Obesity

October 18, 2013

This week, Massachusetts announced that schools will no longer send letters home to parents indicating whether a child was obese or overweight.  Our conversation on Basic Black will focus on contributing factors to childhood obesity in communities of color, the stigma attached to obesity, and how culture impacts body image standards.


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Basic Black - Not Just The Blues: Race and Mental Illness


October 11, 2013


(Video available at a later date but the audio for the entire show is posted above.)


In the wake of the death of Miriam Carey, the woman who was shot to death by police after she led them on a high speed chase through Washington, DC, many questions have been raised about the state of Carey's mental health.  There was also the recent tragedy of Aaron Alexis who murdered 12 people at the Navy Yard before being killed by police.  Those incidents weren't related, but they both highlight the need for a further understanding of the historical and cultural aspects of mental health and communities of color.

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Basic Black: Shopping For Obamacare


October 4, 2013

This week on Basic Black, Obamacare, or the Affordable Care Act, began on October 1st.  The signature legislation of President Obama's administration went live online, with millions attempting to access the applications.  Although its launch was marked by a government shutdown and systems crashing under the weight of consumers eager to learn more, will this health insurance marketplace become a defining moment of President Obama's legacy?  And will the marketplace be the answer to the health care problems of those who need it most?

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Basic Black: A New Kind of Politics in Boston?


September 27, 2013

This week on Basic Black, we now know that John Connolly and Martin Walsh will face-off in the November election. And political new-comer Michelle Wu is poised to win one of the four at-large seats on the city council. As they march towards November 5, how will they make an appeal to an increasingly diverse, majority-minority city?



(Image: FreeFoto.com)

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Basic Black After The Broadcast: Making "majority-minority" = political power


September 27, 2013

After the broadcast, the conversation delved into how to turn make "majority minority" mean political power for broad constituencies.


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Basic Black: Where We Live and Vote


June 28, 2013

This week on Basic Black, we take a look at two major issues as we head into the summer.  On the local front, the number of shootings in Boston has surpassed last year's tally.  We'll talk about causes and strategies to combat the violence.  In national headlines, the Supreme Court this week struck key provisions of the Voting Rights Act of 1965, a critical victory of the civil rights movement. We'll discuss the impact on upcoming elections and shaping voter turnout.


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Basic Black Live: Black and Green


May 31, 2013

A recent audit by the state revealed that Massachusetts paid welfare benefits to 1,160 dead recipients. In spite of the fact that, in terms of dollars, this is a very tiny fraction compared to the size of the program, and the majority of welfare and food stamp assistance are white, we'll discuss why the stereotype of the "welfare queen" persists.  At the other end of the financial spectrum, we'll look at wealth: a recent report by Nielsen concluded that black spending power will reach $1 trillion dollars by 2015…but black wealth is declining.  What are the factors contributing to the disparity?


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Basic Black: The message to black graduates


May 24, 2013

President Barack Obama's address to the graduates of Morehouse College last week drew criticism and praise, not only for what he said but also for how he said it.  Was he talking down to the graduates in pressing for personal responsibility? Does he whip out the "preacher" cadence for black audiences only?  As graduates of HBCU's and other institutions go out into the world, what is the most useful message they need to hear?


(Photo: Official White House photo by Pete Souza.)

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Basic Black Live: What can we learn from Charles Ramsey?


May 10, 2013

Earlier this week, Charles Ramsey of Cleveland, Ohio rescued three women and a six year old who had been held captive by his neighbor for a decade.  But it was the interview Ramsey gave to a reporter on the scene that day that made him an internet sensation.  Within hours, he was trending on Twitter and the subject of numerous autotune creations.

But Ramsey's two minute interview (and the later released call he placed to 911) grew into a larger examination of race, class and the media.  The stories of the abducted women have rightfully taken center stage, but questions about Ramsey's introduction to the world media remain.  This week on Basic Black, what can we learn from Charles Ramsey?
 

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Basic Black Live: History in the Headlines


May 3, 2013

Tonight on Basic Black history in the headlines: a report this week concluded that for the first time ever, black voter turnout surpassed that of white voters.  We'll look at the national and local implications.  And in sports, NBA player Jason Collins revealed he is gay; as the first professional athlete to do so, it's history, but is it news?



(Photo: Jason Collins.  Kwaku Alston for Sports Illustrated.)

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Basic Black Live: Racism, Rage and Mental Illness


February 22, 2013:

Is the context for the murderous rampage of Christopher Dorner one that people of color recognize?  Tonight on Basic Black – anatomy of a killer’s racial experience…  what happens at the intersection of racism, rage and mental illness?




(Photo:  War, Maria Gertsovskaya/Flickr.)

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Basic Black Live: Are women of color left out the "women's agenda"?


In acknowledgment of Women’s History Month Basic Black presents a Women’s Roundtable. This special presentation will be a conversation on the issues and concerns of women of color coming out of the political landscape in this presidential election year. In addition to the wealth income gap and health care reform, we’ll dig deep on issues such as reproductive rights, women of color in political life, and setting the "women's agenda.'"  Our panel featured Anita Hill, Lani Guinier, and Senator Sonia Chang-Diaz (D-MA).


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