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Park Ranger Shelton Johnson: Spending Time Outdoors Is About Civil Rights

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Black Perspectives Now:

 

 

 

Explore Black Perspectives Now for the stories, events, people and voices of black New England.   Watch for new entries as our catalogue grows daily!  Please visit our About page for information on our Contributors (Team) and to learn about becoming a contributor (FAQs).

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Black Perspectives Now

Young Black Men & Lives Lost Too Soon

August 25, 2014

The death of unarmed teenager Michael Brown of Ferguson, MO has regenerated conversations about police brutality and violence in . To hear a local perspective of the lessons Boston can learn from Ferguson, we sat with Rev. Ronald and Kim Odom. In 2007, the Odoms lost their son, Steven to violence at the age of 13.

 


Music: Simple Soft Jam, Martijn de Boer featuring Stefan Kartenberg (Source: ccMixter.org)

 

Frederick Douglass & The 4th of July: Community Readings

July 2014

At the monument of the Massachusetts 54th Regiment on the Boston Common, more than 60 people gathered together to participate in a community reading of “The Meaning of the Fourth of July For The Negro” a speech written by Frederick Douglass in 1852.

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A Conversation with International Marathoner, Jaulik Watkins

May 5, 2014

Being stopped at mile 25.5 in the 2013 Boston Marathon, Jaulik Watkins returned to Boston this year to complete what she started. Watkins, a Dallas native, never considered herself an athlete. As an unemployed college student in 2008, she took up running to keep herself busy. After her first marathon, she was hooked on the thrill of long distance racing.  As a member of the National Black Marathoners Association, Watkins has completed seven marathons throughout the U.S., Europe, and will pursue the Mt. Kilimanjaro marathon in 2015. She joined us to discuss her experiences as a black woman running marathons, and being part of a network of other black marathon runners.


(Music: Reverie (small theme) by _ghost)

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A Conversation with Andre Slay: Amputee, Pilot, and Marathoner

April 18, 2014

Andre Slay is a native of Arkansas. However, his southern charm and easy manner belie a grit and determination that pushed him to enter the Boston Mararthon for the first time this year.  It’s Andre’s third full marathon despite having lost his right leg in a motorcycle accident eight years ago.  Andre sat down to talk with Basic Black about losing his leg, how becoming a vegan dramatically changed his health for the better, and why he’s running the Boston Marathon.



(Music: Reverie (small theme) by _ghost)
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A Conversation with U-Meleni Mhlaba-Adebo: Marathoner and Fitness Advocate

April 18, 2014

U-Meleni Mhlaba-Adebo has been running since she was a school girl in Zimbabwe and South Africa.  She continued to run when she came to Massachusetts for college.  U-Meleni is not unlike an evangelist when it comes to encouraging people of color (folks of all walks) to run and experience the benefits of working out.  In fact, her son can boast of winning medals in his own right at the tender age of three.  In 2012, U-Meleni ran the Boston Marathon as a way of processing her feelings upon learning that her mother had cancer and to raise money for a local school.  This year, U-Meleni is thankful that her mother is cancer-free, and she’ll be on the side-lines to cheer her brother-in-law as he runs the 118th Boston Marathon.



(Music: Reverie (small theme) by _ghost)

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A Conversation with Professor Griff on the Legacy of Malcolm X

By Talia Whyte


Professor Griff of the legendary hip-hop group Public Enemy gave a lecture on Malcolm X's influence in today's black culture at Northeastern University's John D. O'Bryant African-American Institute February 12.

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London Bridgez and TEDx Roxbury Women 2013

By Talia Whyte

The second annual TEDxRoxburyWomen conference was held at UMASS Boston on December 6, with a fabulous roster of local, up and coming women speakers sharing their big ideas. 

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Cecile Musanase and the Akilah Institute

October 25, 2013

By Talia Whyte

Cecile Musanase and fellow student Julian Kankunda were speakers at the Akilah Institute’s Metropolitan Safari fundraiser held at the Museum of African American History Oct. 10.  The Akilah Institute for Women is a college that offers market-relevant education with campuses in Kigali, Rwanda and Bujumbura, Burundi.  Since it’s opening in 2010, it has made an important impact on education and training for women in Africa.


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Julian Kankunda and the Akilah Institute

October 25, 2013

By Talia Whyte

Julian Kankunda and fellow student Cecile Musanase were speakers at the Akilah Institute’s Metropolitan Safari fundraiser held at the Museum of African American History Oct. 10.  I was very impressed with
both young ladies and the work of the Institute.  Kankunda and Musanase are both from Rwanda, a country that has come a long way since the genocide that plagued it 20 years ago.  During the Rwandan
genocide, women were targets for rape, mutilation of reproductive capabilities and other forms of sexual violence.

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Michelle Wu: Making Her Mark On Boston


October 11, 2013

If Michelle Wu is elected, she would become the first Asian American woman to sit on the Boston City Council. 
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History Restored: The African Meeting House | Boston, MA (part 3)

The third in a five part series on the restoration of the African Meeting House on Beacon Hill in Boston, MA.
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History Restored: The African Meeting House | Boston, MA (part 2)

The second in a five part series on the restoration of the African Meeting House on Beacon Hill in Boston, MA.
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History Restored: The African Meeting House | Boston, MA (part 1)

The first in a five part web series chronicling the restoration of The African Meeting House on Beacon Hill in Boston, MA.
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Rev. Jonathan Walton on civil rights and social justice

by Talia Whyte

Dr. Jonathan L. Walton was the keynote speaker at the 43th annual Martin Luther King Jr. Breakfast on January 21.  The holiday celebrating the life of the slain civil rights leader also just so happened to fall on the same day as the second inauguration of President Barack Obama.  Walton was quick to point out this coincidence as well.  However, he mentioned to the crowd that while Obama’s reelection demonstrates the racial progress made in America, he said there are still many other social and economic inequalities that need the same amount of attention.

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Empowering Women & Girls: Nicole Roberts Jones

by Talia Whyte


Nicole Roberts Jones
was the mistress of ceremonies at Boston's 43rd annual Martin Luther King Day Breakfast.  As the old adage goes, behind every great man is an even greater woman.  Coretta Scott King played a vital role as Dr. King’s wife and organizing partner.  There were many other women who had participated in the civil rights movement, but unlike Mrs. King, Betty Shabazz and Rosa Parks, their accomplishments have been given little attention.

Ella Baker, Septima Poinsette Clark, Fannie Lou Hamer and Vivian Malone Jones are all unsung heroines from that era.  Baker was a longtime organizer for the Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC) who worked behind the scenes.  Because she was neither a man nor a minister, she was not seriously considered to become the head of the organization.  Clark, better known as the “queen mother” of the civil rights movement, was an educator who played a role in a legal victory that would allow blacks to become principals in public schools in Charleston, South Carolina.  Hamer was a Mississippi sharecropper, who was beaten and jailed in 1962 for trying to register to vote.  She co-founded the Mississippi Freedom Democratic Party and spoke at the 1964 Democratic National Convention.  Jones defied Gov. George Wallace by becoming one of the first black students to enroll at the University of Alabama in 1963.

And there were countless other women, who are unknown, but worked tirelessly cooking meals and cleaning up after rallies.  These women should be the main role models for today’s black women, not stars on reality shows.   

While no woman gave a speech at the 1963 March on Washington, it seems like their accomplishments are now being recognized.  Myrlie Evers-Williams delivered the invocation at President Obama’s inauguration – the first ever done by a woman and layperson.

“There’s a Chinese saying, ’Women hold up half the world,” said former NAACP chairman Julian Bond. “In the case of the civil rights movement it’s probably three-quarters of the world.”

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A Conversation with James Rucker, Co-Founder of Color of Change

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The Boston NAACP Opens Its New Doors

The Boston branch of the NAACP reopened its offices in the Mall of Roxbury May 19, 2012 before a crowd of elected officials and longtime supporters.
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A Conversation with Issa Rae: The Mis-Adventures of Awkward Black Girl

Contributor Talia Whyte comments on the web series, The Mis-Adventures of Awkward Black Girl:  "The sudden success of “Awkward Black Girl” says a lot about not only the potential of viral video and good old-fashioned word of mouth, but also a growing desire among people of color to see better portrayals of their communities in the media"  She caught a few minutes with the series creator, Issa Rae. more

That's A Fact: Young, Gifted, and Black

Bunker Hill Community College held the opening reception Feb. 9 for its latest exhibit “That’s a Fact: Young, Gifted and Black.” Many of the area’s best and brightest artists, filmmakers, musicians, writers and photographers were invited to display and celebrate their art.

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Toure: Who's Afraid of Post-Blackness?


Touré, writer, cultural critic, and TV personality discussed his newest book Who's Afraid of Post-Blackness: What it Means to be Black Now, at the African Meeting House in Boston on January 26, 2012.
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Anonymous: When Words Become Weapons

Basic Black contributor Bridgit Brown spoke to families whose lives have been scarred by both violence and the careless language of the media.
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Revisiting Race at Emerson College

Black Perspectives Now contributor Talia Whyte visits her alma mater to investigate the climate of race relations on campus.
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"We Saved A Community"

by Talia Whyte

State Rep. Byron Rushing joined local community activists at Hibernian Hall Oct. 19 to discuss the history of the 45-year-old Madison Park Development Corporation, as well as highlight the roots of black activism in Boston.
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A Conversation with Roslyn Brock, Chairman of the Board, NAACP

Roslyn McCallister Brock is chairman of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) national board more

A Conversation with Randal Pinkett: Raising Black Boys

Dr. Randal Pinkett on the best way to prepare black boys for adulthood.
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A Boston Poet: Mignon Ariel King

An interview with Boston poet Mignon Ariel King.
 

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A Conversation with Author and Activist Angela Davis

by Bridgit Brown

On February 16, 2011, Emerson College hosted activist and Civil Rights icon Angela Davis as part of February’s theme “Definition: BLACK” in celebration of African American Heritage Month. more

Boston: Perceptions Beyond Race (Nat’l Urban League 2011)

Talia Whyte spoke to out of town visitors at National Urban League conference about their perceptions of Boston.
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Voices From "The State of Black Boston"

Talia Whyte spoke to attendees at the release of "The State of Black Boston" report during the kickoff to the National Urban League Convention 2011.
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Hip Hop Activist Rosa Clemente

Rosa Clemente was one of many presenters at the 2011 National Conference on Media Reform (NCMR) held in Boston April 8-10.  Clemente, who considers herself a proud “black Puerto Rican radical,” made it clear to other NCMR attendees that she dances to her own beat and doesn’t care who likes it.


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Elon James White at the 2011 National Conference on Media Reform

by Talia Whyte

Elon James White was a presenter on a panel on satire and its role in progressive media at the 2011 National Conference on Media Reform (NCMR) held in Boston April 8-10.  He also spoke about the importance and responsibility of progressives and people of color to take control of their own messaging.


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Roxbury's "Living Legends": A Women's History Tour

Artist Susan Thompson participated as a “living legend” in a trolley tour March 19, examining the contributions of Roxbury women to Boston history. The tour was hosted by Discover Roxbury as part of their women’s history month celebrations.


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A Conversation with Environmental Activist Van Jones

Basic Black contributor Talia Whyte talks with environmental activist Van Jones.
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Slideshow: A Candidate Forum for Boston City Council District 7

Photos by Phillip Martin, senior investigative reporter fro WGBH Radio, 89.7.
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Boston City Council and The Race For District 7


by Talia Whyte

A look at the candidates vying for the Boston City Council seat in District 7.
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Project 351: Answering The Call To Service

By Talia Whyte

Gov. Deval Patrick joined over 400 8th graders representing every city and town in Massachusetts Jan. 15 to commence his administration’s ambitious youth service day – Project 351.
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Basic Black Online Exclusive: Political Speech and The Tragedy in Arizona

(Originally streamed January 14, 2011)  After the broadcast, our panel discussed whether political speech and rhetoric had any connection to the horrific shooting rampage in Tuscon, Arizona, leaving 6 dead and U.S. Representative Gabrielle Giffords fighting for her life.
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Voices From the Somalian Community in Boston

Basic Black contributor Talia Whyte attended the 2010 Somali Youth Conference in Boston.
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A Decade of Daring: Access Strategies Fund Celebrates 10 Years

Access Strategies Fund celebrated its tenth anniversary at Villa Victoria in Boston's South End.
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Books Behind Bars: Literacy and Incarceration in Massachusetts

A look at an effort to combat illiteracy in America's prisons.
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Black Women Working Out: Being Fit and Fabulous


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Mass Decision 2010: Voter Expectations of Deval Patrick

What do voters expect from the governor of Massachusetts?
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Mass Decision 2010: The Greater Boston Interfaith Organization Hosts Massachusetts' Gubernatorial Candidates

In his opening remarks to audience, Rev. Hurmon Hamilton declared, "in God's political calculation, God takes the poor, those at the bottom, and raises them..." more

Mass Decision 2010: Jill Stein Supporters Speak Out

Supporters for Jill Stein on the problems with the Democrat and Republican parties.

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Mass Decision 2010: President Obama Rallies Massachusetts Voters

Basic Black contributor Talia Whyte talks to voters attending a rally with President Obama.

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Mass Decision 2010: Voices From The Community

Basic Black contributor Talia Whyte listens to voters in Massachusetts.

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Beyond Measure Productions: Making Films in Boston

Basic Black contributor Alesha Gunn goes behind the scenes with Beyond Measure Productions.  Their latest feature film, The Last Shot, explores the violence in Boston's urban communities.

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Continuing A Season of Peace: The Unity March for Mattapan (conclusion)

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Continuing A Season of Peace: The Unity Walk for Mattapan

Rev. Jeffrey Brown leads a rally in support of the Mattapan community which was shocked by the brutal murders of four people including a toddler who died in his mother's arms.

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Talking To Massachusetts Voters

Basic Black contributor Talia Whyte speaks with Massachusetts voters.

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A Solid Foundation for Building A Healthy Community

Basic Black contributor Talia Whyte covered the groundbreaking for new health centers in Boston's Mattapan and Roxbury neighborhoods.

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Youth Fighting Fat (Part Three): Empowered Youth, Empowered Communities

The last video of a three-part series by Talia Whyte

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Youth Fighting Fat (Part Two): "Soda-Free Kids"

Part two of a three-part series by Talia Whyte

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Youth Fighting Fat (Part One): Growing A Healthy Community

Part one of a three-part series by Talia Whyte

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Transforming the Roxbury Community

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Open Call For Videos

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The World Cup and Soccer in the US

Basic Black contributor Talia Whyte caught up with Alex Scott of the Boston Breakers to get a few thoughts on soccer in the US...

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Looking at the 2010 World Cup from Boston

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A Conversation with Ayanna Pressley, Boston City Council At-Large

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The Casino Debate & Communities of Color

The recent controversy around NFL player Michael Vick's participation in dog fighting put a spotlight on the many gambling habits happening within high risk communities around the country. According to those who are against the Massachusetts casino proposal, they say casinos would only exacerbate problem gambling among those mostly affected, namely people of color and low income communities.

 

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Facing Africa, Facing Ourselves

Saran Kaba Jones, Founder and Executive Director of FACE Africa, is on a mission to identify and replicate proven models for development and social change in communities in Africa.

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Lou Jones: The Eye of the Photographer

 Boston-based photographer Lou Jones has captured incredible images and historic events from all over the world.

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A Conversation with Lee Daniels, Director of "Precious"

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Bruce George: A Poet For the Stage

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A Conversation with Tito Jackson

Basic Black contributor Talia Whyte talks with community activist Tito Jackson.

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A Boston Poet: Mignon Ariel King

An interview with Boston poet Mignon Ariel King.
 

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Boston Responds To The Crisis in Haiti

Haiti Relief Efforts
By Talia Whyte

 

Hibernian Hall in Roxbury, MA served as the community's organizing platform for relief efforts in response to the earthquake in Haiti.

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Rolling With Nia, Chatting with Dana: Honoring a Friend, Colleague, and Mentor

A profile of activist and children's book author Dana Wright

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A Conversation with Kai Wright

 

An interview with journalist and AIDS activist Kai Wright.

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Adopt-A-School

A profile of Roxbury Presbyterian Church's Adopt-A-School program.

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The Food Problem (Eating Green - part 2 of 3)

Basic Black contributor Talia Whyte delves into the mission of the Boston Collaborative on Food and Fitness.

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Boston: Election Day 2009

Contributor Talia Whyte with a thoughtful essay on covering election day in Boston, MA.

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Art For The People

Bridgit Brown talks with sculptor Fern Cunningham.

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Roxbury Discovered

Tours of Roxbury reveal its front-row seat to history, from the Revolutionary War to Malcolm X.

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Keith Morris Washington on Lynching

Artist Keith Morris Washington talks about his series of paintings on lynchings.

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Don West, Boston's Photographer

Don West has documented some of the most signigicant events and people in Boston's black community for over 25 years.

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Blogging While Brown

 Basic Black contributor Talia Whyte reports on the second annual Blogging While Brown conference held in Chicago last June.

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Hill Harper, Actor & Author

Equal Education was the topic when Basic Black contributor Talia Whyte spoke with actor and author Hill Harper at the recent town hall meeting celebrating the Lincoln Centennial.

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Reading Frederick Douglass

Basic Black contributor Bridgit Brown captured the importance of Frederick Douglass during a reading sponsored by Harvard's Charles Hamilton Houston Institute outside the Massachusetts state house.

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Rosalyn Elder, On Bookstores in the Age of the Internet

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Villages Without Walls

Basic Black contributor Alesha Gunn sat down with Talia Rivera, Executive Director of Villages Without Walls, for a very candid conversation about intervening in the lives of Boston's at-risk youth.

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African Liberation Day, 2009

Basic Black contributor Uchenna Ikonne took in the sights and sounds of African Liberation Day 2009, the first time the organizers have held the event in Boston since the conception of the celebration in 1963.

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Denise Simmons, Mayor of Cambridge, MA

Before the controversial arrest of Henry Louis Gates, Basic Black contributor Talia Whyte sat down for a conversation with Mayor E. Denise Simmons about her thoughts on the gay rights movement.  The former city council member is the first openly lesbian African American to serve as mayor of Cambridge.  She recently married her long-time partner Mattie Hayes.

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Close To Home

Basic Black contributor Sheena Quintyne sat down with Priscilla Rorie to talk about empowering young people to combat domestic violence.

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Khalid Kodi - Artist

Khalid Kodi is an adjunct professor at Boston College. His art chronicles the people and culture of the Sudan; his work is on exhibit at the African American Master Artists-in-Residence Program at Northeastern University.

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Barbara Lewis, Dir. of the William Monroe Trotter Institute on the 100th Anniversary of the NAACP

Barbara Lewis, the director of the William Monroe Trotter Institute at UMass Boston, talks about the 100th anniversary of the founding of the NAACP.

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Keith Morris Washington on Iraq

In 2005, landscape painter Keith Morris Washington was inspired to paint flowers in a war zone as a metaphor for peace.

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Karen B. McLean Dade

Author and educator Karen B. McLean Dade led a "call & response" during her book signing at Frugal's Bookstore in Roxbury (Massachusetts).

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The 11th Annual Roxbury Film Festival

Basic Black contributor Bridgit Brown attended the Roxbury Film festival, now in its 11th year.

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A Conversation with Nelson George

An interview with author Nelson George.

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Ruggles Rising

 In April of 2007, the Boston Redevelopment Authority approved a proposed plan to develop the space into a project that would house the Museum of the National Center of Afro-American Artists, a theater, a school, office space, shops, restaurants, a parking garage, and housing.

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Chez Vous

 Basic Black contributor Alesha Gunn visits a neighborhood institution, the skating rink Chez Vous.

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Black and Meatless - sort of... (Eating Green - part 3 of 3)

Basic Black contributor Talia Whyte breaks down the differences between carnivores, and everyone else.  This is the final installment of the three-part series, Eating Green: Food and Environmental Justice in Boston.

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Food Justice (Eating Green - part 1 of 3)

Eating Green: Food and Environmental Justice in Boston (part 1 of a 3-part series)

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