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Basic Black

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...

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 a 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 in fact 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


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


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.


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

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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.



Join us at WGBH to continue the conversation and meet filmmaker Michele Stephenson on Tuesday February 25.  For more info and tickets, visit our events page.


American Promise premieres on POV on February 3 at 10:00pm - check your local PBS listings.  The companion book for the film, Promises Kept, is on bookshelves January 14.
(Photo: Idris Brewster and Oluwaseun (Seun) Summers.  Credit: Michele Stephenson.)

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

March 7, 2014

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

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.

(Please note: There will be no live chat this evening but please join us next Friday.)




(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: 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: Down To The Wire - The Boston Mayoral Primary


September 20, 2013


Basic Black opens the season with a frank conversation on the Boston Mayor's race and how the outcome impacts communities of color.  We'll also take a look at the historic nature of the race, as race and gender have played out in the campaign leading to the primary and general elections.


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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: Recipes for Racism - A Lesson in Black History via Twitter

June 21, 2013


This week "Black Twitter" erupted after the news of Food Network chef Paula Deen admitted to routinely using the n-word ("Yes, of course…" replied Deen when asked) and dreamt of creating a slave-themed wedding party.  What takes this out of the realm of private conversations between friends is that the  admissions came during a deposition in which Deen and her brother are being sued for racial discrimination and sexual harassment. It's also ironic that this episode occurred on Juneteenth.  Within hours, #paulasbestdishes was the leading trend on Twitter.  At first glance, it looked like an any other active Twitter feed.  But a longer look leads to deeper questions including:


- What would this story have looked like 10 years ago, before the advent of social media?
- Because the response to Paula Deen's acknowledgement rose out of social media, does that make the response less serious?  Especially since were talking about the n-word...
- Is social media best suited to cultural themes, or can it be pushed into creating real-time action (and what could this mean for New England's communities of color?)
- In order for any of the tweets to have impact beyond humor, the reader has to have some sort of knowledge or connection to history, otherwise, "Nat Turnip Greens" has no meaning for you…

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Basic Black After the Broadcast: Recipes For Racism, Part 2


June 21, 2013

After the broadcast, the conversation continued: what consitutes a good apology, what happens after the tweeting stops, and online vs. real time mobilizing.

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Basic Black After the Broadcast: For-profit colleges... who wins, who loses?


June 14, 2013

After the broadcast, the panel turned the discussion towars the topic of for-profit colleges.  Students of color are enrolling in for-profit colleges at a rate several times that of white students; many are foregoing the option of community college, even though it's a less expensive option.  The resulting debt incurred by these students can be crippling.  Why are for-profit colleges attracting students of color in such large numbers?


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Basic Black Live: Shifting Racial Fault Lines


June 7, 2013

The folks who make Cheerios thought their commercial highlighted the heart health benefits of their product.  All anyone sees is the interracial family consuming the cereal; the virulent racist reaction moves YouTube to shut down the comments section...
 
Michelle Obama confronts a heckler who interrupted her remarks at a private fundraiser…Twitter erupts on all sides of the issue...
 
And a challenge to the appointment of a white person to lead the board of Roxbury Community College sparks a debate….?


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Basic Black After the Broadcast: Black Leadership at Roxbury Community College


June 7, 2013

After the broadcast, the conversation turned to the topic of the recent controversy surrounding Gov. Deval Patrick's choice to head the board of Roxbury Community College.  The governor's selection was Gerald Chertaivan, a recognized leader with strong experience in the non-profit education sector; but the Friends of Roxbury Community College believe the position should have gone to a person of color...


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Basic Black Live After The Broadcast: Black Spending Power


May 31, 2013

After the broadacst, the conversation on the black economy expanded to 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 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: Politics, Scandals, and Legacies


May 17, 2013

In the headlines this week:  a discussion of the Boston mayor's race and how communities of color are poised to make their coalitions heard.  Also, this is not the first time the IRS has come under fire for targeting political activity; we'll take a look at the IRS, the NAACP and the black church.


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Basic Black After the Broadcast: Malcolm Shabazz


May 17, 2013

In our online segment after the broadcast, a moment to reflect on what it might mean to be the progeny of an icon as we mark the death of Malcolm X's grandson, Malcolm Shabazz.



(Photo source: The Shabazz Family)

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Basic Black Live After The Broadcast: Charles Ramsey, race, class, and social media (part 2)


May 10, 2013

After the broadcast, our conversation delved deeper into the Charles Ramsey episode and what it said about class, stereotypes, the role of social media (would Rodney King have been autotuned?) and connections within African American communities.

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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 has 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: After The Broadcast - Jason Collins

May 3, 2013

After the broadcast, the conversation delved deeper into the revelation by NBA player Jason Collins that he is gay.  Among the many questions: Was this a historic moment? How does this change the NBA? How does race, hip hop, and the machismo of professional sports play into this story?


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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 After the Broadcast: The GOP and Communities of Color


April 26, 2013

After the broadcast, the conversation turned to the GOP's efforts towards outreach to communities of color.  (The video of the television broadcast will be available the week of April 29.)


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Basic Black Live: Teenage girls and violence

April 13, 2013

Some very high-profile crimes, including the stabbing of a mother pushing her baby in a stroller, have heightened the awareness of young girls as perpetrators of violence; this within the month of April, which is also Sexual Assault Awareness Month and we're at the end of International Anti-Harassment Week.  This week on Basic Black, our conversation will look at young women on both ends of the spectrum of violence.


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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: Identity Politics and the Boston Mayor's Race


April 5, 2013:

With Mayor Menino's announcement that he would not seek a sixth term, the race for the next mayor of Boston has officially begun.  Even as the slate of candidates takes shape, questions are emerging, among them: what is the opportunity for emerging leaders of color; what are the benefits to the city of Boston of new leadership, regardless of race; has the Menino administration left anything undone in communities of color that can now be addressed?


(Photo source: FreeFoto.com)


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Basic Black After The Broadcast: The Boston Mayoral Race 2013


April 5, 2013

After the broadcast, the conversation continued:  With Mayor Menino's announcement that he would not seek a sixth term, the race for the next mayor of Boston has officially begun.  Even as the slate of candidates takes shape, questions are emerging, among them: what is the opportunity for emerging leaders of color; what are the benefits to the city of Boston of new leadership, regardless of race; has the Menino administration left anything undone in communities of color that can now be addressed?


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Basic Black: Gun Control and Communities of Color

February 1, 2013

As 2013 begins the national debate on gun control is in high gear.  Advocates from all sides  have descended on Washington, DC to sway a divided Congress to their side.  But the action isn't limited to the halls of government; the persistent issue of gun control is also being debated in local communities across the country.  And for communities historically battered by gun violence, the conversation takes on an increased intensity.



Image source: Chang Liu/Flickr

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Basic Black Live: Breaking Down the "State of the Union"


February 15, 2013:

This week, with the State of the Union, President Barack Obama delivered his first major address after his second inaugural speech.  Most polls showed a favorable reception to the speech, which emphasized domestic issues including raising the minimum wage, voting reform, and a bigger push on passing immigration legislation.  But with a divided Congress and a country of competing constituencies, how much can be accompanied in a lame duck Obama presidency?




(Photo:  President Obama delivers the State of the Union Address, February 12, 2013.  Official White House photo, Chuck Kennedy.)

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Basic Black: Justice, Reparations, and Reconciliation


February 8, 2013:

The Scottsboro Boys, The Central Park Five, Shawn Drumgold…in all of these cases, the accused were found guilty, only to be exonerated years later, sometimes decades later.  This week on Basic Black, a conversation on searching for truth, justice delayed, and a judicial balm for wounded communities.


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Basic Black After The Broadcast: The Legacy of Rosa Parks


February 8, 2013

After the broadcast discussion on reparations and justice, the conversation turned to the legacy of Rosa Parks, who would have celebrated her 100th birthday this week.



(Photo source:  Wikimedia Commons)
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Basic Black After The Broadcast: Gun Control and Communities of Color


February 1, 2013

As 2013 begins the national debate on gun control is in high gear.  Advocates from all sides  have descended on Washington, DC to sway a divided Congress to their side.  But the action isn't limited to the halls of Congress; the persistent issue of gun control is also being debated in local communities across the country.  And for communities historically battered by gun violence, the conversation takes on an increased intensity.

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Basic Black Live: Looking Ahead to the Second Obama Administration


January 25, 2013

President Obama officially began his second term of office on January 20th.  In his inaugural address to the nation the following day, his focus was on the strengths and promises of America.  In this Basic Black conversation, we explore the challenges, the goals, and the demands for the second Obama administration.




Photo:  Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts administers the oath of office to President Barack Obama during the inaugural swearing-in ceremony at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, D.C., Jan. 21, 2013. (Official White House Photo by Sonya N. Hebert)

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Basic Black After The Broadcast: Should the President Have a "Black Agenda?"

January 25, 2013

After the broadcast, the conversation continued with a discussion of whether or not President Obama should have explicitly mentioned a program for progress aimed specifically at African Americans in his second inaugural address.


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Basic Black Live: What is "Black Leadership?"


(Due to Pledge programming, this Basic Black broadcast is an encore presentation of our January 18, 2013 program)

As we approach the Martin Luther King, Jr. holiday and President Obama’s second inauguration, Basic Black looks at the significance of leadership, and specifically the notion of "black leadership."  Questions on the table include:  Is black leadership a reality?  Is the idea of a black leadership outdated?  What should a contemporary black leadership look like?



(Photo by Pete Souza: A view from the back of President Obama's chair, July 2012.)

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Basic Black: Invisible Man Comes To The Stage

(January 11, 2013)

Basic Black welcomes actor Teagle F. Bougere to the studio for a conversation on the themes raised in the play Invisible Man, based on Ralph Ellison's seminal work and currently on stage at The Huntington Theatre. Bougere is the lead actor in the production.

Among the many questions on the table:  Does this play have any resonance for a contemporary audience?  What does the play say about the experience of the African American man in particular? What would a contemporary version of the play look like or have as its focus?


(Photo by Astrid Reiken, 2012)

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Basic Black Live: The Emancipation Proclamation at 150

(Originally broadcast January 4, 2013.)

The Emancipation Proclamation is 150 years old this week.  Historian Eric Foner called this document one of the most important documents in American history.  Does the Emancipation Proclamation have any meaning for contemporary times?

Also, our panelists look ahead with predictions for 2013.


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Basic Black Live - The Black Church: The Call to Heal, Serve, and Transform


(Originally broadcast December 14, 2012)

Black churches routinely discuss both scripture and issues  like gay marriage and voter suppression,and gun violence. Today’s tragic shooting in Connecticut is a fresh reminder of the ever present  violence assaulting so many black communities. What role has the black church played in dealing with the violence?  We'll look at that and examine the church's influence in shaping  opinion about current issues of the day.

Has the church become too political, or not political enough?  Has this institution re-invented itself in order to adequately meet the challenges of changing communities around it?


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Basic Black After The Broadcast: The Black Church and The Word


(Originally streamed December 14, 2012)

After the broadcast, the panel discussion continued with a look at how the Black Church aims to meet the needs of the changing communities around it, both urban and suburban.



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Basic Black: The "Fiscal Cliff" and Your Wallet


Originally broadcast December 7, 2012.

If no measures are taken, in less than a month the United States will "fall off the fiscal cliff." Among other things, this means that the Bush tax cuts and the payroll tax cut will expire, extended unemployment benefits will end, and Medicare would lose nearly $11 billion from its budget. Many experts believe that going over the cliff would lead to another recession. What does this mean for people of color? The middle class? The poor?

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Basic Black After The Broadcast: Will Ambassador Susan Rice be the next Secretary of State?


Originally streamed December 7, 2012.

Ambassador Susan E. Rice, the U.S. Permanent Representative to the United Nations, has emerged as President Obama's leading candidate for Secretary of State.  But her potential nomination has erupted in controversy.  Congressional leaders in the Republican party have come out in strong opposition to her nomination while Rice's defenders, including the President are unwavering in their support.  What are the real underlying issues surrounding this controversy?

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Basic Black: The "Fiscal Cliff" and Your Wallet


Originally broadcast December 7, 2012.

If no measures are taken, in less than a month the United States will "fall off the fiscal cliff." Among other things, this means that the Bush tax cuts and the payroll tax cut will expire, extended unemployment benefits will end, and Medicare would lose nearly $11 billion from its budget. Many experts believe that going over the cliff would lead to another recession. What does this mean for people of color? The middle class? The poor?

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Basic Black After The Broadcast: Will Ambassador Susan Rice be the next Secretary of State?


Originally streamed December 7, 2012.

Ambassador Susan E. Rice, the U.S. Permanent Representative to the United Nations, has emerged as President Obama's leading candidate for Secretary of State.  But her potential nomination has erupted in controversy.  Congressional leaders in the Republican party have come out in strong opposition to her nomination while Rice's defenders, including the President are unwavering in their support.  What are the real underlying issues surrounding this controversy?

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Basic Black Live: President Barack Obama Re-Elected


Originally broadcast November 9, 2012.

Election 2012 came to a close on November 6 as President Barack Obama was elected for a second term.  The turnout numbers rivaled those of 2008, despite long lines at the polls and court cases challenging early voting rules.  In addition to the huge percentage of African Americans who voted for him, Obama was swept to victory by the youth and Latino votes, as well as large contingents of women, working class, and educated white voters.




(Photo: President Barack Obama, first lady Michelle Obama, Vice President Joe Biden and Jill Biden acknowledge the crowd at his election night party on Wednesday, November 7, 2012.  Source: Associated Press.)
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Basic Black: Polls and Predictions Going Into November 6


Originally broadcast on November 2, 2012.

As the nation heads into election day on November 6, Basic Black considers the relevance of polls and the persistence of predictions.  And what does it say about the candidates and this country that the race is so close?


(Photo: Early voting, Ohio 2012.  Source: Associated Press.)
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Basic Black After The Broadcast: Scott Brown vs. Elizabeth Warren


Originally streamed November 2, 2012.

After the broadcast the conversation turned from the presidential election to the heated Massachusetts senate race.
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Basic Black After The Broadcast: Boston Redistricting and Voter ID Laws


(Originally streamed October 26, 2012)

After the broadcast the conversation on Boston's redistricting controversy continued.  The discussion later turned to the national issue of voter ID laws: suppression or protection?

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Basic Black: The Battle for the Redistricting of Boston


Originally broadcast on October 26, 2012:

The deadline is fast approaching on a federal mandate for the Boston City Council to pass a plan that reorganizes the city’s voting districts. But there seems to be no clear consensus among council members, nor among many in Boston’s communities of color, on how to do it. The mayor has already vetoed two maps. A coalition representing African American, Asian, and Latino voters has vowed to sue if they are unsatisfied with the council's solution. Emotions are running high, and only ten days remain.


Image source:  FreeFoto.com
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Basic Black: Post Debate Wrap-Up


Originally broadcast October 19, 2012.

Basic Black kicks off its new season in the midst of the 2012 presidential campaign. Our conversation takes a look at the most recent presidential and vice presidential debates. For some it’s about who won or lost, but what matters most is how each candidate plans to meet the challenges of leadership.


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Basic Black: The Battle for the Redistricting of Boston


Originally broadcast on October 26, 2012:

The deadline is fast approaching on a federal mandate for the Boston City Council to pass a plan that reorganizes the city’s voting districts. But there seems to be no clear consensus among council members, nor among many in Boston’s communities of color, on how to do it. The mayor has already vetoed two maps. A coalition representing African American, Asian, and Latino voters has vowed to sue if they are unsatisfied with the council's solution. Emotions are running high, and only ten days remain.


Image source:  FreeFoto.com
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Basic Black After The Broadcast: Election 2012 Candidate Strategies and "Secret Weapons"


Originally streamed July 6, 2012

After the broadcast the conversation continued:  July 6 marks four months to the day that the country will elect the president of the United States. We close this season of Basic Black with an exploration of questions going into the 2012 presidential election including.

Has African American support diminished for President Obama? How strongly has opposition to an Obama second term grown in light of the Supreme Court decision upholding the Affordable Care Act? What will be the impact of recent decisions (President Obama and Supreme Court) concerning immigration? Is Michelle Obama a secret weapon in the president’s re-election campaign arsenal? Will there be any surprises from the upcoming conventions?

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Basic Black After The Broadcast: The Supreme Court and Arizona SB1070

Originally streamed June 29, 2012

After the broadcast the conversation continued with a discussion on the Supreme Court ruling of Arizona’s SB1070, and its lingering impact on immigrant communities. more

Basic Black: The New Black Politics in Massachusetts

(June 8, 2012)

The recently published Trotter Review examines political gains made by African American politicians at the beginning of the 21st century. Also, specific essays on why Boston has not elected a black mayor while the city of Denver has done so twice, and how Deval Patrick has served the interests of black communities while not alienating the larger population.


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Basic Black Live: The Supreme Court Upholds the Affordable Care Act


Originally broadcast June 29, 2012

June 28, 2012 was another historic milestone in the presidency of Barack Obama as the Supreme Court upheld the major provisions of his landmark legislation, the Affordable Care Act.  Basic Black explores the implications of the ruling for communities of color and the 2012 presidential election. Later in the show, a discussion of a more complicated Supreme Court ruling: Arizona’s SB1070, and its lingering impact on immigrant communities.

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Basic Black: The New Black Politics in Massachusetts

(June 8, 2012)

The recently published Trotter Review examines political gains made by African American politicians at the beginning of the 21st century. Also, specific essays on why Boston has not elected a black mayor while the city of Denver has done so twice, and how Deval Patrick has served the interests of black communities while not alienating the larger population.


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Basic Black After the Broadcast: The New Black Politics in Massachusetts (Part Two)


(Originally streamed June 8, 2012)

The recently published Trotter Review examines political gains made by African American politicians at the beginning of the 21st century. Also, specific essays on why Boston has not elected a black mayor while the city of Denver has done so twice, and how Deval Patrick has served the interests of black communities while not alienating the larger population.

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Basic Black Live: The Black Church, Hip Hop and Gay Marriage


(Originally broadcast on June 1, 2012)

From President Obama’s support of same sex marriage to the dominating influence of hip hop culture, the black church finds itself on the front page of a national conversation about its identity, relevance, and impact. Will support for Obama's presidential bid fade in the upcoming election? Has the church adequately addressed the needs of a younger generation? Is this an opportunity for new voices to emerge in the evolution of the black church?

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Basic Black After the Broadcast: The Black Church and Gay Marriage


(Originally streamed June 1, 2012)

With President Obama’s support of same sex marriage the black church finds itself on the front page of a national conversation about its identity, relevance, and impact. Will support for Obama's presidential bid fade in the upcoming election? Has the church adequately addressed the needs of a younger generation? Is this an opportunity for new voices to emerge in the evolution of the black church?

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Basic Black: A Look at Secure Communities; Race in the Classroom

(Originally broadcast May 18, 2012)

The Secure Communities program is now officially in place in Massachusetts, despite objections from many state officials, including Governor Deval Patrick. Under Secure Communities, fingerprints from local jails are matched against a federal immigration database; Immigration and Customs Enforcement then the local jail detain people they think are here illegally. Supporters of the program see it as a tool in the fight against crime while opponents charge that the program encourages ethnic profiling.

Later in the show, we turn the discussion to race in education. In Boston, three City Councillors are pushing for more teachers of color and the integration of black and Latino studies into the curriculum. Basic Black poses the question: does the race of a teacher matter in learning the fundamentals? On a national level, last week there was a huge controversy about an article written in the Chronicle of Higher Education which advocated for elimination of Black Studies as a course of study in colleges and universities; the author described black studies as "left-wing victimization clap-trap." 6,500 petition signatures later, the author was fired. But what were the real lessons of this episode?

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Basic Black After The Broadcast: The Relevance of Black Studies(?)

(Originally streamed on May 18, 2012)

After the broadcast, we turn the discussion to race in education. In Boston, three City Councillors are pushing for more teachers of color and the integration of black and Latino studies into the curriculum. Basic Black poses the question: does the race of a teacher matter in learning the fundamentals? On a national level, last week there was a huge controversy about an article written in the Chronicle of Higher Education which advocated for elimination of Black Studies as a course of study in colleges and universities; the author described black studies as "left-wing victimization clap-trap." 6,500 petition signatures later, the author was fired. But what were the real lessons of this episode?

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Basic Black LIVE: President Obama, Same-Sex Marriage, and the Black Vote


(Originally broadcast May 11, 2012)

President Obama surprised the world yesterday when his stance on same-sex marriage finished "evolving" and he came out in support of it. Will his position hurt or help his chances at re-election? How will it affect his relationship with black clergy? Will it alter his support in the black community?




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Basic Black After The Broadcast: The Culture of Hazing


(Originally streamed May 11, 2012)

The beating death of Florida A&M student Robert Champion during a hazing ritual is back in the news as all of the accused have now turned themselves in to authorities. Champion's death has led to a re-examination of hazing in the media, but our Basic Black conversation goes beyond the practice of hazing to look at the culture of hazing.
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Basic Black Live: What is "hipster racism?"


(Originally broadcast May 4, 2012)

Conversations about “hipster racism” are drawing heated commentary across the internet, including questions about who gets to use the n-word and why is there a dearth of black storylines in contemporary television programs – but what is “hipster racism?”

Our guest panelist this week is Latoya Peterson, owner and editor of Racialicious.com.

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Basic Black After The Broadcast: Black Love on the Hollywood Screen


(Originally streamed May 4, 2012)

The recent hit movie Think Like A Man has gotten a lot of attention for its smart humor and beautiful actors, but there’s more to it than that. Sharp questions lie just below the surface: Is this a new look at black love in the 21st century? Why was the n-word used so freely throughout the film? Does the movie represent a more sophisticated style of “urban” filmmaking…? We’ll look at those questions and more.

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Basic Black and Boston Institutions: The MBTA and The Boston Bruins

Originally broadcast on April 27, 2012


Tonight, with "Riding The T," we continue WGBH News' weeklong focus on the Massachusetts Bay Transit Authority. Our discussion explores the significance of the MBTA in communities of color. Later in the show, our conversation digs deep into the deluge of racist tweets from Bruins fans towards Joel Ward, the black player from the Washington Capitals who scored the winning goal, thus ending the Bruins march towards the Stanley Cup.

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Basic Black After The Broadcast: Racist Hockey Fans Shouted Down by... Everyone

Originally streamed April 27, 2012

After the broadcast our conversation dug deep into the deluge of racist tweets from Bruins fans towards Joel Ward, the black player from the Washington Capitals who scored the winning goal, thus ending the Bruins march towards the Stanley Cup.


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Basic Black and Boston Institutions: The MBTA and The Boston Bruins

Originally broadcast on April 27, 2012


Tonight, with "Riding The T," we continue WGBH News' weeklong focus on the Massachusetts Bay Transit Authority. Our discussion explores the significance of the MBTA in communities of color. Later in the show, our conversation digs deep into the deluge of racist tweets from Bruins fans towards Joel Ward, the black player from the Washington Capitals who scored the winning goal, thus ending the Bruins march towards the Stanley Cup.

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Basic Black After The Broadcast: Racist Hockey Fans Shouted Down by... Everyone

Originally streamed April 27, 2012

After the broadcast our conversation dug deep into the deluge of racist tweets from Bruins fans towards Joel Ward, the black player from the Washington Capitals who scored the winning goal, thus ending the Bruins march towards the Stanley Cup.


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Basic Black Live: The Luck Of The Irish

(Originally broadcast April 20, 2012)


The Basic Black panelists sit down with playwright Kirsten Greenidge to discuss her new play The Luck of the Irish, currently playing at the Huntington Theatre through May 6. When an upwardly mobile African-American family wants to buy a house in an all-white neighborhood of 1950s Boston, they pay a struggling Irish family to act as their front. Fifty years later, the Irish family asks for "their" house back. Moving across the two eras, The Luck of the Irish explores the complex impact of racial integration in Boston and the universal longing for home.
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Basic Black Live After The Broadcast: The Luck of the Irish (continued)


(Originally streamed on April 20, 2012)

After the broadcast, the conversation continued with an exploration of the menaing home, belonging, and creating a better life for one's family in spite of the obstacles of racism.
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Basic Black: Trayvon Martin and A Country Divided

(Originally broadcast on April 13, 2012)

In a country where an African American boy can grow up to be president, the tragedy of Trayvon Martin's death is one in a continuum in the stories of young black men whose lives end at the intersection of race and violence. The facts of the case in the fatal shooting death of Trayvon Martin continue to be debated, but in addition to the headlines and specific events of that night, our Basic Black conversation focuses on the myriad of themes and persistent questions about what it means to grow up black and male in America.


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Basic Black After the Broadcast: Trayvon Martin and A Country Divided (continued...)

(Originally streamed April 13, 2012)

After the broadcast, the conversation continued with a focus on how the fatoal shooting of Trayvon Martin has divided the country along racial, political, and cultural lines.

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Basic Black Live: "Stand your ground" in Massachusetts? Also, the Supreme Court and the Affordable Care Act


This week on Basic Black: In the wake of the fatal shooting of Trayvon Martin, a look at Massachusetts' "stand your ground" proposal and recent efforts to pass or block the legislation. Also, the pending Supreme Court decision on the Obama administration's health care reform legislation: however they decide, what are the political ramifications for President Obama's re-election campaign and the impact on communities of color.


(Image source via Creative Commons: xtopalopaquetl)
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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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Basic Black After The Broadcast: Charles Street AME Church & Dudley Revitalized


After the broadcast, the conversation continued with a focus on the controversy surrounding One United Bank and its foreclosure proceedings against Charles Street AME Church.  We also discuss the revitalization of the Dudley Square area.

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Basic Black Live Looking at Headlines from Trayvon Martin to Three-Strikes Legislation

Originally broadcast March 23, 2012

Basic Black takes a look at national and local headlines including the outrage ignited by the fatal shooting of Trayvon Martin in Florida, the debate over Massachusetts; "three strikes" legislation, and Charles Street AME Church vs. One United Bank.

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Basic Black Live After The Broadcast: Women of Color Roundtable

After the broadcast, the conversation continued with a focus on women in politics and affirmative action.
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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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Basic Black Live: Headlines From the "Culture Wars" and Beyond


This week we take a look a headlines from the "culture wars" and beyond including: the rise of Jeremy Lin, the birth control controversy, The Help actresses in contention for Academy Awards, and Chris Brown and Rihanna back together performing at the Grammys.


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Basic Black After The Broadcast: Chris Brown and Rihanna


After the broadcast, the conversation continued with a discussion on the recent reunion of Chris Brown and Rihanna.  Brown was found guilty of felony assault against Rihanna in 2009.  But days after their separate performances at the Grammy's rumors emerged of an upcoming musical collaboration.

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Basic Black Live: Is Black History Month Still Necessary?


Originally broadcast February 17, 2012

In the middle of Black History Month, we ask the question posed by the provocative new film premiering on PBS’ Independent Lens series: Is Black History Month still necessary? The film More Than A Month is a chronicle of filmmaker Shukree Hassan Tilghman’s one-man quest to end Black History Month.

We also take a look at how the media covered the death of Whitney Houston. Who got it right and who got it wrong?

This program was a special national live broadcast on WGBH’s World channel, and is a collaboration with The Root.com, a leading online source for news and commentary from an African American perspective.

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Basic Black Live After The Broadcast: Whitney Houston


Originally streamed February 17, 2012

After the broadcast, the conversation continued with final thoughts about Black History Month.  Our focus then turned to a discussion on how the media covered the death of Whitney Houston. Who got it right and who got it wrong?
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Basic Black Live: A Conversation with Governor Deval Patrick


(Originally broadcast February 3, 2012)


Massachusetts' first African American Governor, Deval Patrick, sat down with Callie Crossley and Phillip Martin for a conversation on his autobiography, election 2012, community colleges, and more.
 

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Basic Black: The Legacy of Soul Train; Battling Mental Illness in Communities of Color


Originally broadcast on February, 10, 2012


A conversation on the legacy of Don Cornelius and the impact of Soul Train on music, media, dance, and African American empowerment. Also, a discussion on the disparities and taboos in treating mental health in communities of color.
 

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Basic Black: The State of the City, The State of the State, and The State of the Union


(Originally broadcast on January 27, 2012)


This week on Basic Black: a discussion on the future of our communities from Boston to Washington, DC. We'll review the State of the City, the State of the State, and the State of the Union. For Boston, much of our discussion will center on the Mayor's proposals for school assignments; in Massachusetts, the organization of community colleges and the "three-strikes" law are drawing strong reaction; and as we look at how the State of the Union was received, we'll address recent events which seem to illustrate a shocking level of diminished respect for the Oval Office (and its current occupant).


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Basic Black After The Broadcast: Disrespecting The Oval Office


(Originally streamed January 27, 2012)

A look at how the State of the Union was received, and a discussion on recent events which illustrate a shocking level of diminished respect for the occupant of the Oval Office.



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Basic Black: "Red Tails" and "Find Our Missing"


(Originally broadcast on January 20, 2012)

This week on Basic Black we take a look at recent entertainment media that aims to fill the gap in the African American experience: we’ll examine how the television program “Find Our Missing” focuses on searching for children of color who’ve vanished, and we’ll talk about the new George Lucas film “Red Tails” which looks at the achievements of the Tuskegee Airmen during World War II. 

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Basic Black Live: New Protests, New Leadership


(Originally broadcast on January 13, 2012)

As we head towards the Martin Luther King, Jr. holiday, we look back at the past year of protest at home and abroad. In the era of the civil rights movement, much of the attention focused on the leadership; but in this new era of protests, the focus has shifted to the masses. Have leaders become obsolete? Our conversation this week on Basic Black looks at the new role of leadership in grassroots movements, from the Tea Party to the Arab Spring to Occupy.


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Basic Black After The Broadcast: Who Should Have Created the MLK Memorial?


(Originally streamed January 13, 2012)

After the broadcast the conversation turned to focus on the Martin Luther King, Jr. memorial on the National Mall.  The Interior Secretary announced that the paraphrased quote referring to Dr. King's remarks about being a "drum major for justice" will be revised to reflect Dr. King's actual words,  But the discussion heated up when it came to the topic of who should have been awarded the honor of creating the monument.


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Basic Black Live: New Protests, New Leadership


(Originally broadcast on January 13, 2012)

As we head towards the Martin Luther King, Jr. holiday, we look back at the past year of protest at home and abroad. In the era of the civil rights movement, much of the attention focused on the leadership; but in this new era of protests, the focus has shifted to the masses. Have leaders become obsolete? Our conversation this week on Basic Black looks at the new role of leadership in grassroots movements, from the Tea Party to the Arab Spring to Occupy.


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Basic Black After The Broadcast: Who Should Have Created the MLK Memorial?


(Originally streamed January 13, 2012)

After the broadcast the conversation turned to focus on the Martin Luther King, Jr. memorial on the National Mall.  The Interior Secretary announced that the paraphrased quote referring to Dr. King's remarks about being a "drum major for justice" will be revised to reflect Dr. King's actual words,  But the discussion heated up when it came to the topic of who should have been awarded the honor of creating the monument.


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Basic Black Live: New Protests, New Leadership


(Originally broadcast on January 13, 2012)

As we head towards the Martin Luther King, Jr. holiday, we look back at the past year of protest at home and abroad. In the era of the civil rights movement, much of the attention focused on the leadership; but in this new era of protests, the focus has shifted to the masses. Have leaders become obsolete? Our conversation this week on Basic Black looks at the new role of leadership in grassroots movements, from the Tea Party to the Arab Spring to Occupy.


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Basic Black After The Broadcast: Who Should Have Created the MLK Memorial?


(Originally streamed January 13, 2012)

After the broadcast the conversation turned to focus on the Martin Luther King, Jr. memorial on the National Mall.  The Interior Secretary announced that the paraphrased quote referring to Dr. King's remarks about being a "drum major for justice" will be revised to reflect Dr. King's actual words,  But the discussion heated up when it came to the topic of who should have been awarded the honor of creating the monument.


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Basic Black Live: African American Spirituality


(Originally broadcast on December 16, 2011)

In a season of celebration and reflection for many religions and faiths, Basic Black presents "Sacred: African American Spirituality," a live conversation focusing on the spectrum of religious beliefs in the African American community, and how those beliefs have shaped its culture, politics and history. The show will also look at the rise of Islam amongst African Americans, the increasing adoption of Buddhism and Judaism, and the small but growing community of atheists, agnostics, and non-believers.

This special presentation was simulcast live on both WGBH's World channel and The Root, a leading online source of news and commentary from the African American perspective.
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Basic Black Live After The Broadcast: African American Spirituality


(Originally streamed on December 16, 2011)

After the broadcast the conversation on African American spirituality continued.

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Basic Black After The Broadcast: Black Buying Power


(Originally streamed December 9, 2011)

After the broadcast the conversation shifted to focus on the buying power in black communities.


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Basic Black: The "School-To-Prison" Pipeline; Black Buying Power


(Originally broadcast on December 9, 2011)

Recent headlines across the nation have highlighted stories of children of color (some as young as five) being arrested for “acting out” in school. Basic Black discusses the impact of “zero-tolerance” behavior policies and the “school to prison pipeline.” Also, as we head into the Christmas season, a conversation about the economics of black buying power.

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Basic Black Live: Michelle Obama and Election 2012


(Originally broadcast on November 18, 2011)

This Basic Black conversation is a focus on First Lady Michelle Obama, (and the significance of having a woman of color in that role), as well as what we can expect in regards to her participation in the 2012 election. Related to the 2012 election, we'll also take a look at African Americans and the use of social media.


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Basic Black After The Broadcast: Social Media, Occupy, & Hip Hop in the Academy


(Originally streamed November 18, 2011)

After the broadcast the conversation continued to explore how African Americans are using social media, the changes in hip hop culture, and the Occupy Movement. 

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Basic Black Live: Michelle Obama and Election 2012


(Originally broadcast on November 18, 2011)

This Basic Black conversation is a focus on First Lady Michelle Obama, (and the significance of having a woman of color in that role), as well as what we can expect in regards to her participation in the 2012 election. Related to the 2012 election, we'll also take a look at African Americans and the use of social media.


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Basic Black After The Broadcast: Social Media, Occupy, & Hip Hop in the Academy


(Originally streamed November 18, 2011)

After the broadcast the conversation continued to explore how African Americans are using social media, the changes in hip hop culture, and the Occupy Movement. 

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Basic Black Live: Michelle Obama and Election 2012


(Originally broadcast on November 18, 2011)

This Basic Black conversation is a focus on First Lady Michelle Obama, (and the significance of having a woman of color in that role), as well as what we can expect in regards to her participation in the 2012 election. Related to the 2012 election, we'll also take a look at African Americans and the use of social media.


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Basic Black After The Broadcast: Social Media, Occupy, & Hip Hop in the Academy


(Originally streamed November 18, 2011)

After the broadcast the conversation continued to explore how African Americans are using social media, the changes in hip hop culture, and the Occupy Movement. 

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Basic Black Live: Revisiting a "High-Tech" Lynching and The Politics of Language


(Originally broadcast on November 11, 2011)

Recently, conservative pundits have characterized the mainstream media’s treatment of Herman Cain as racist, even invoking the “high-tech lynching” image from the Thomas hearings. The left wing responded with charges of hypocrisy.

Do black conservatives really receive different treatment in the media than black liberals? Are liberals no more post-racial than the conservatives, but more subtle about showing it?

Our regular panel is joined by Ulli K. Ryder, Visiting Professor at Brown and Lecturer in Africana Studies, Simmons College; and Lionel McPherson, Associate Professor of Philosophy, Tufts University.
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Basic Black After The Broadcast: Herman Cain, GOP Frontrunner


(Originally streamed November 11, 2011)

After the television broadcast, the conversation continued with an exploration of Herman Cain's continued popularity despite being accused of sexual harassment by several women.

Our panel this week: Callie Crossley, Host of The Callie Crossley Show, 89.7 WGBH Radio; Kim McLarin, Assistant Professor of Writing, Literature, and Publishing, Emerson College; Phillip Martin, reporter, 89.7 WGBH Radio; Ulli K. Ryder, Visiting Professor at Brown and Lecturer in Africana Studies, Simmons College; and Lionel McPherson, Associate Professor of Philosophy, Tufts University.
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Basic Black After The Broadcast: Young Black Men and Police Encounters

(Originally streamed November 4, 2011)

After the broadcast, the discussion wrapped up on the topic of redistricting and turned the conversation to acknowledge the first year anniversary of the killing of Danroy "DJ" Henry and what his says about the challenging relationship (and sometimes fatal encounters) between young black men and the police.


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Basic Black: Occupy The Hood and Redistricting

(Originally broadcast November 4, 2011)

This week on Basic Black we take a look at recent local headlines. We start with Occupy The Hood: what makes it different than the larger Occupy Movement?  Later in the show we turn our attention to the subject of redistricting and how it will change Massachusetts political landscape.

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Basic Black After The Broadcast: Young Black Men and Police Encounters

(Originally streamed November 4, 2011)

After the broadcast, the discussion wrapped up on the topic of redistricting and turned the conversation to acknowledge the first year anniversary of the killing of Danroy "DJ" Henry and what his says about the challenging relationship (and sometimes fatal encounters) between young black men and the police.


more

Basic Black: Occupy The Hood and Redistricting

(Originally broadcast November 4, 2011)

This week on Basic Black we take a look at recent local headlines. We start with Occupy The Hood: what makes it different than the larger Occupy Movement?  Later in the show we turn our attention to the subject of redistricting and how it will change Massachusetts political landscape.

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Basic Black After The Broadcast: Young Black Men and Police Encounters

(Originally streamed November 4, 2011)

After the broadcast, the discussion wrapped up on the topic of redistricting and turned the conversation to acknowledge the first year anniversary of the killing of Danroy "DJ" Henry and what his says about the challenging relationship (and sometimes fatal encounters) between young black men and the police.


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Basic Black: The Occupy Movement; The Rise of Herman Cain

(Originally broadcast October 28, 2011)  Our season premiere features a conversation on the growing Occupy Movement and how people of color are making their voice heard, either by joining the larger movement or its off-shoot, Occupy The Hood.

We'll also look at Herman Cain's presidential bid. What accounts for his surge in the polls, and rising popularity among conservatives?

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Basic Black After The Broadcast: Young Black Men and Police Encounters

(Originally streamed November 4, 2011)

After the broadcast, the discussion wrapped up on the topic of redistricting and turned the conversation to acknowledge the first year anniversary of the killing of Danroy "DJ" Henry and what his says about the challenging relationship (and sometimes fatal encounters) between young black men and the police.


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Basic Black After The Broadcast: The Death Of Moammar Gadhafi

(Originally streamed October 28, 2011)  After the broadcast the conversation continued with a discussion on the death of Moammar Gadhafi and the impact on Barack Obama's standing in foreign policy.

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Basic Black Live: A New Look At the Life of Malcolm X

(Originally broadcast June 24, 2011)  

A conversation on the recently released biography, Malcolm X: A Life Of Reinvention by Manning Marable.
Marable passed away the weekend before the book's publication. However, provocative revelations about Malcolm X including his early criminal career, his encounters with homosexuality, and his relationship with his wife Betty Shabazz have stirred quite a controversy.

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Basic Black Live: Lessons from the Lives of LeBron James and Oscar Grant

(Originally broadcast July 15, 2010)  Basic Black looks at the image of African American men in contemporary society as we explore the similarities and differences in the lives of LeBron James and Oscar Grant.

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Basic Black Live After The Broadcast: Martin, Malcolm, & Magneto


(Originally streamed July 8, 2011)

After the broadcast, the discussion turned to metaphors and the new summer movie, X-Men: First Class.  According to some writers and reviewers, race is the x-factor in the new blockbuster film, which is set in 1962 during the height of the civil rights movement.


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Basic Black Live: The High Stakes of Race & Leadership


(Originally broadcast on July 8, 2011)

Mayor William "Willy" Lantigua of Lawrence, MA is the subject of a recall effort which is gaining momentum. Many in the Latino community are deeply embarrassed by the entire situation, but should they be? From the White House to the State House, should communities of color hold their leaders to a different standard?

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Basic Black: Homosexuality and the Black Community


(Originally broadcast on July 1, 2011)

After a profanity-laced performance earlier this month, comedian Tracy Morgan came under fire for his provocative (some would say hateful) remarks regarding homosexuality. But June 2011 has been a particularly newsworthy month in regards to similar episodes which have prompted a discussion about homophobia in the black community.

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Basic Black After the Broadcast: WILD and the Future of Black Radio in Boston

(Originally streamed on July 1, 2011)

After the broadcast, the conversation continued... WILD-AM recently changed its format from R&B music and popular black radio shows like The Tom Joyner Morning Show to Chinese language programming.

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Basic Black ONLINE EXCLUSIVE: Whitey Bulger and Black Boston

(Originally streamed June 24, 2011)

After the broadcast, our panel discussed the connections between Whitey Bulger (one of the FBI's 10 Most Wanted who was recently captured in California) and the history of black Boston.

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Basic Black Live: The Link Between Poverty and Crime; Criticizing Obama


(Originally broadcast on May 27, 2011)

Is there a link between poverty and prison? Also, criticism of President Obama comes from unexpected quarters, prompting the question, "How should people of color hold President Obama accountable?" In our online conversation after the broadcast, we discuss the end of an era and the cultural impact of Oprah Winfrey.

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Basic Black ONLINE EXCLUSIVE: Criticizing Obama; The Cultural Impact of Oprah Winfrey

(Originally streamed May 27, 2011)

After the broadcast, the discussion turned to Cornel West's recent criticism of President Obama which prompted the question, "How should people of color hold the President accountable?"  Later, the conversation turned to explore the cultural impact of Oprah Winfrey, who ended the 25 year run of her television show.
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Basic Black Live: The Freedom Riders and The Call To Civic Action

(Originally broadcast May 20, 2011)

May 2011 marks the 50th anniversary of the Freedom Rides. On May 20th we’re celebrating this seminal event in civil rights history and the release of the documentary film, Freedom Riders. Award-winning filmmaker and MacArthur "Genius" grant recipient Stanley Nelson will be our special guest panelist for a discussion on documentary film and the call for civic engagement in the age of social media. more

Basic Black: Local News Headlines

(Originally broadcast on May 13, 2011)

This week a discussion on headlines in the local news including the growth of Dorchester, the return of the gambling issue, the call for tougher gun laws, redistricting, and a renewed push for immigration reform.


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Basic Black ONLINE EXCLUSIVE: Redistricting and Casinos in Massachusetts

(Originally streamed on May 13, 2011) 

After the broadcast, our panel turned to the looming issue of redistricting in Massachusetts and the renewed effort to establish more gambling casinos in the state.
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Basic Black Live: The Death of Osama Bin Laden

(Originally broadcast on May 6, 2011) This week: a discussion the death of Osama bin Laden and whether it has changed the conversation about Barack Obama’s foreign policy and military leadership, as well as his standing in the 2012 election.


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Basic Black ONLINE EXCLUSIVE: Barack Obama and Election 2012

(Originally streamed on May 6, 2011)  After the broadcast the conversation continued online with a discussion of Barack Obama and the issues of the 2012 presidential campaign.

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Basic Black Live: US Policy in Africa - and Barack Obama's Birth Certificate

(Originally broadcast on April 29, 2011) 
This week, a discussion on the US policy in Africa and recent interventions into conflicts on the continent. Later in the show, we'll turn to a conversation on the release of President Barack Obama's long form birth certificate.
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Basic Black ONLINE EXCLUSIVE: Barack Obama's Birth Certificate

(Originally streamed April 29, 2011)  After the broadcast, our panel delved into the issue of the release of Barack Obama's long form birth certificate.


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Basic Black Live: The Anniversary of the Gulf Oil Spill and Election 2012

(Originally broadcast on April 22, 2011) 
This week marks the anniversary of the Deepwater Horizon drilling rig explosion and Gulf Oil spill which resulted in the deaths of 11 crewmen and the worst environmental disaster in the United States.  Also, we look at the GOP line-up for the 2012 election.
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Basic Black ONLINE EXCLUSIVE: The GOP Line-Up for Election 2012

(Originally streamed April 22, 2011)
After the broadcast, the conversation continued with a discussion about the emerging contenders for the Republican Party and the black vote in election 2012.
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Basic Black Live: The War Between the States and Sharpton v. West


(Originally broadcast on April 15, 2011) 

This week marks the official beginning of ceremonies marking the 150th Anniversary of The Civil War. How should African Americans look at the commemorations and historical re-tellings to come? Also, we'll examine the heated exchange between Rev. Al Sharpton and Cornel West over Barack Obama's leadership and whether he's done enough for communities of color.
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Basic Black ONLINE EXCLUSIVE: Rev. Al Sharpton v. Cornel West: Setting the "Black Agenda"


(Originally streamed April 15, 2011) 

After the broadcast our panel went beyond the specifics of the heated exchange between Cornel West and Rev. Al Sharpton to discuss President Barack Obama's leadership.
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Basic Black Live: Navigating The Afrosphere

(Originally broadcast on April 8, 2011) 
This week on Basic Black: The National Conference for Media Reform is being held in Boston this week so we turn our attention to people of color and social media. We’ll discuss how digital media has replaced or enhanced the work of traditional institutions such as churches or civil rights organizations in encouraging/organizing social activism; we’ll also look at recent trends in how African Americans in particular are using social media. more

Basic Black ONLINE EXCLUSIVE: Navigating the Afrosphere (Part II)

(Originally streamed April 8, 2011)  After the broadcast the conversation continued as to how digital media has replaced or enhanced the work of traditional institutions such as churches or civil rights organizations in encouraging/organizing social activism; we’ll also look at recent trends in how African Americans in particular are using social media.  Later the discussion turned to look at Election 2012 videos by Barack Obama and Tim Pawlenty. more

Basic Black Live: Uncle Tom in the 21st Century

(Originally broadcast on March 25, 2011) 
Our topic this week: black “authenticity.” Grant Hill of the Phoenix Suns wrote an op-ed piece in the New York Times in response to Jalen Rose, who accused him of being an Uncle Tom when Hill played for the basketball team at Duke University. This episode sparked a heated debate all across the internet; but in a deeper and more important sense, it also touched upon a familiar theme in African American life in regards to the question – what does it mean to be authentically black? And how do class distinctions contribute to the notion of black authenticity? more

Basic Black ONLINE EXCLUSIVE: The Census Results and Massachusetts Communities of Color

(Originally streamed March 25, 2011)  After the broadcast, our panelists turned their attention to the recently released census results which showed an increase in the population of people of color in Massachusetts.
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Basic Black: African American Muslims and The Radicalization Hearings

(Originally broadcast on March 18, 2011)  A Basic Black conversation:  African American Muslims and the Congressional Hearings on Radicalization in Islamic Communities. Were the hearings about minimizing a terror threat or demonizing a specific community? more

Basic Black ONLINE EXCLUSIVE: African American Muslims in Contemporary Times

(Originally streamed March 18, 2011)  After the broadcast, the conversation continued to explore the fulfillment and challenges of being an African American Muslim in the United States.
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Basic Black: African American Muslims and The Radicalization Hearings

(Originally broadcast on March 18, 2011)  A Basic Black conversation:  African American Muslims and the Congressional Hearings on Radicalization in Islamic Communities. Were the hearings about minimizing a terror threat or demonizing a specific community? more

Basic Black ONLINE EXCLUSIVE: African American Muslims in Contemporary Times

(Originally streamed March 18, 2011)  After the broadcast, the conversation continued to explore the fulfillment and challenges of being an African American Muslim in the United States.
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Basic Black Live: The Relevance of Black History Month and Sex Education in Public Schools

(Originally broadcast February 25, 2011)  The controversy over sex education in public schools; also, as February comes to a close, a discussion on the relevance of Black History Month. We also pause to acknowledge the loss of Say Brother producer Beth Deare, who died earlier this week.

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Basic Black: A Conversation with the Candidates for Boston City Council District 7

(Originally broadcast on February 18, 2011)  A Reporter's Roundtable: In conversation with the candidates for Boston City Council District 7. more

Basic Black ONLINE EXCLUSIVE: Boston City Council District 7

(Originally streamed February 18, 2011)  After the broadcast the conversation with the candidates for Boston City Council District 7 continued to include issues of public safety and job creation.
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Basic Black Live: The Myths and Realities of the Single Black Woman

(Originally broadcast on February 11, 2011)  As we approach Valentine’s Day this Basic Black conversation takes a look at the cultural myths of the single black female: educated, self-sufficient, independent...or lonely, angry and emasculating? more

Basic Black ONLINE EXCLUSIVE: An African American View of the Democracy Movement in Egypt

(Originally streamed on February 11, 2011)  After the broadcast, the panel looked at the democracy movement in Egypt as it relates to African American history and freedom movements.
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Basic Black Live: Taking the History Out Of Black History

(Originally broadcast on February 4, 2011)  As we head into Black History Month and the 150th Anniversary year of the Civil War, this Basic Black conversation features a look at recent efforts at revisionism in black history. more

Basic Black ONLINE EXCLUSIVE: Taking The History Out Of Black History

(Originally streamed on February 4, 2011)  After the broadcast, the conversation continued to explore the ways in which black history has been reinterpreted for political gain by representatives for conservative causes.
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Basic Black ONLINE Exclusive: On The Sentencing of Chuck Turner

(Originally streamed January 28, 2011)  After the broadcast, the discussion continued regarding the three-year prison sentence handed down to Chuck Turner earlier in the week.  Turner was convicted on October 29th on federal charges of bribery.


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Basic Black: Reaction to the State of the Union Address and Chuck Turner's Sentence

(Originally broadcast on January 28, 2011)  On this episode of Basic Black, our discussion focuses on President Barack Obama's State of the Union address. Later in the show, we turn our attention to the sentence handed down to former Boston City Councilor Chuck Turner. more

Basic Black: A Conversation on Black Theater and "NEIGHBORS"

(Originally broadcast January 21, 2011)  On this episode of Basic Black, a conversation about the Company One production of NEIGHBORS. The play is probably most noted for its minstrel characters (black actors in blackface) but it's primary focus is on issues of racism, classism, and identity.
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Basic Black ONLINE EXCLUSIVE: Black Theater & "NEIGHBORS"

(Originally streamed January 21, 2011)  After the broadcast, the conversation continued...
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Basic Black Live: Haiti - One Year After The Earthquake

(Originally broadcast January 14, 2011)  On this episode of Basic Black, we look at Haiti one year after the earthquake. Later in the broadcast and online, a conversation about the tragic shooting in Arizona last weekend: what part did politcal speech play and how did President Obama approach his role as "counselor" in chief. more

Basic Black Live: Political and Cultural News Opening 2011

(Originally broadcast January 6, 2011) On this episode of Basic Black, we take a look at the work ahead for President Obama and the new Congressional Republican leadership. We'll also discuss early developments in the race for the Boston City Council seat being vacated by Chuck Turner, the sentencing of former State Senator Dianne Wilkerson, Huckleberry Finn and the n-word, the "redemption" of Michael Vick, and the release of the Scott sisters in Mississippi.


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Basic Black Live ONLINE EXCLUSIVE: Cultural News Opening 2011

(Originally streamed on January 6, 2011)  After the broadcast, we continued our look at the controversy surrounding the removal of the n-word from Huckleberry Finn, the "redemption" of Michael Vick, and the release of the Scott sisters in Mississippi.


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Basic Black Live: Political and Cultural News Opening 2011

(Originally broadcast January 6, 2011) On this episode of Basic Black, we take a look at the work ahead for President Obama and the new Congressional Republican leadership. We'll also discuss early developments in the race for the Boston City Council seat being vacated by Chuck Turner, the sentencing of former State Senator Dianne Wilkerson, Huckleberry Finn and the n-word, the "redemption" of Michael Vick, and the release of the Scott sisters in Mississippi.


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Basic Black Live ONLINE EXCLUSIVE: Cultural News Opening 2011

(Originally streamed on January 6, 2011)  After the broadcast, we continued our look at the controversy surrounding the removal of the n-word from Huckleberry Finn, the "redemption" of Michael Vick, and the release of the Scott sisters in Mississippi.


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Basic Black Live: Political and Cultural News Opening 2011

(Originally broadcast January 6, 2011) On this episode of Basic Black, we take a look at the work ahead for President Obama and the new Congressional Republican leadership. We'll also discuss early developments in the race for the Boston City Council seat being vacated by Chuck Turner, the sentencing of former State Senator Dianne Wilkerson, Huckleberry Finn and the n-word, the "redemption" of Michael Vick, and the release of the Scott sisters in Mississippi.


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Basic Black Live ONLINE EXCLUSIVE: Cultural News Opening 2011

(Originally streamed on January 6, 2011)  After the broadcast, we continued our look at the controversy surrounding the removal of the n-word from Huckleberry Finn, the "redemption" of Michael Vick, and the release of the Scott sisters in Mississippi.


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Basic Black Live: The Black Church in the 21st Century

(Originally broadcast on December 16, 2010)  As we head into the Christmas holiday, we want to stop and consider the power of faith and religion as it plays out in the political, cultural, and social life of a community. In essence, the overall question is what is the role of the black church in the 21st century?

Joining our regular panel was Rev. William Dickerson of the Greater Love Tabernacle in Dorchester, MA; and Rev. Lawrence Ward of Abundant Life Church in Cambridge, MA.
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Basic Black Live ONLINE EXCLUSIVE: The Black Church in the 21st Century

(Originally streamed on December 16, 2010)  After the broadcast, our panel continued to discuss the significance of the black church, its response to homosexuality, and the travail of Bishop Eddie Long.


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Basic Black Live: The Future of the Boston NAACP

(Originally broadcast November 18, 2010)  This week Basic Black looks at the future of the Boston NAACP in a conversation with the candidates vying for the presidency of the chapter.

UPDATE:  On November 29, 2010, Michael Curry won election to the Boston NAACP presidency.

Our panelists: Callie Crossley, host of The Callie Crossley Show, WGBH 89.7; Latoyia Edwards, anchor and reporter, New England Cable News; Phillip Martin, senior investigative reporter, WGBH Radio; and the contenders for leadership of the Boston NAACP: Michael Curry, attorney and activist, and former State Senator, Bill Owens.
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Basic Black Live ONLINE EXCLUSIVE: The Future of the Boston NAACP

(Originally streamed on November 18, 2010) After the broadcast our converation continued with the candidates vying for the presidency of the Boston NAACP.

UPDATE:  On November 29, 2010, Michael Curry won the election for the Boston NAACP presidency.

Our panelists: Callie Crossley, host of The Callie Crossley Show, WGBH 89.7; Latoyia Edwards, anchor and reporter, New England Cable News; Phillip Martin, senior investigative reporter, WGBH Radio; and the contenders for leadership of the Boston NAACP: Michael Curry, attorney and activist, and former State Senator, Bill Owens.
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Basic Black Live: The State of Black Boston

(Originally broadcast November 11, 2010)  This week, Basic Black discusses the findings the recently released report, The State of Black Boston.  Our panelists: Barbara Lewis, Director, The Trotter Institute; Latoyia Edwards, anchor and reporter, New England Cable News; Darnell Williams, President and CEO of the Urban League of Eastern Massachusetts; and Kim McLarin, Assistant Professor, Writing, Literature & Publishing, Emerson College.
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Basic Black Live ONLINE EXCLUSIVE: The State of Black Boston

(Originally streamed November 11, 2010)  After the broadcast, our panelists continued the conversation about The State of Black Boston, discussing the issue of job creation and employment opportunities.  Our panelists: Barbara Lewis, Director, The Trotter Institute; Latoyia Edwards, anchor and reporter, New England Cable News; Darnell Williams, President and CEO of the Urban League of Eastern Massachusetts; and Kim McLarin, Assistant Professor, Writing, Literature & Publishing, Emerson College. more

Basic Black Live ONLINE EXCLUSIVE: Immigration, Health Care Reform, and Blacks in the Tea Party

(Originally streamed November 4, 2010) After the television broadcast, the conversation continued to cover immigration, health care reform, and tea party inroads into communities of color. more

Basic Black LIVE Broadcast: After The 2010 Elections

(Originally broadcast on November 4, 2010)  Basic Black looks at the results of the Massachusetts governor's race and the national midterm elections.
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Basic Black Live: The Massachusetts Race For Governor

Mass Decision 2010: The Race for Governor

(Originally broadcast October 21, 2010)  Our panel:  Phillip Martin, senior investigative reporter, WGBH Radio; Carlos Henriquez, candidate, 5th Suffolk District; Callie Crossley, host of The Callie Crossley Show, 89.7; Russell Holmes, candidate, 6th Suffolk District; Latoyia Edwards, anchor and reporter, New England Cable News.

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Basic Black ONLINE EXCLUSIVE: Scenes from the "Live Watch"

Originally streamed October 28, 2010 from the WGBH Studios and Atrium.  (Pictured: Sen. Sonia Chang-Diaz (MA-2nd Suffolk District) and Tiffany Probasco, bureau chief, Boston Fab Empire.)
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Basic Black Live: Countdown To The Massachusetts Race for Governor

(Originally broadcast October 28, 2010)  Our panel looks at all the issues in play with less than a week to go before Massachusetts makes its choice for governor.

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Basic Black ONLINE EXCLUSIVE: Politics and The Tragedy in Mattapan

(Originally streamed October 21, 2010) Politics and The Tragedy in Mattapan

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Basic Black Live: A Conversation on The Black Family

(Originally broadcast on June 3, 2010)  This week on Basic Black: a conversation on the curent state of The Black Family.

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Basic Black ONLINE EXCLUSIVE: Tyler Perry & Cultural Portrayals on Film

After the broadcast on January 7, 2010, our panelists continued the conversation delving into a discussion on the portrayal of African Americans in popular culture.

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Basic Black Live - Youth Violence: Beyond Crime and Punishment

(Originally broadcast June 24, 2010)  The emotional, mental, and public health costs of youth violence.

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Basic Black LIVE: New Leadership and The Unemployment Rate

(Originally broadcast February 11, 2010)  Our panelists discuss how to cultivate new leadership in Boston's communities of color; we also take a look at the staggering unemployment rates among African Americans.

 

Basic Black returns October 21, 2010 with live broadcasts and a panel of the region’s sharpest observers of the current news, events, and topics impacting black communities locally and nationally. A simultaneous live stream at www.basicblack.org gives viewers the opportunity to submit comments and questions in real time during the broadcast.

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Basic Black LIVE: President Obama in Iraq & Afghanistan

(Originally broadcast May 27, 2010)  This week, in advance of the Memorial Day weekend & observances, our panelists take a look at President Obama as commander-in-chief and his execution of the military actions in Iraq and Afghanistan.

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Basic Black ONLINE EXCLUSIVE: Issues That Shaped This Season of Basic Black

(Originally streamed July 29, 2010) 

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Basic Black Live: Looking At Race Through Arizona's Immigration Law and the USDA

(Originally broadcast July 29, 2010)  For an entire week at the end of July 2010, the story of Shirley Sherrod dominated the news cycle. But what got lost in much of the media firestorm was the government agency at the center of the controversy.  Basic Black follows up with a look at the United States Department of Agriculture and its historically turbulent relationship with farmers of color. We’ll also take a look at events surrounding Arizona's immigration law as it goes into effect on July 29th.

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Basic Black Live: The Images & Realities of Black Women

(Originally broadcast July 22, 2010)  Basic Black looks at the image of black women in America from Michelle Obama to Shirley Sherrod.

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Basic Black ONLINE EXCLUSIVE: On What It Means To Be "Acting White"

(Originally streamed July 22, 2010)  After the broadcast our panelists delved into a discussion of the notion of "acting white" based on a recent book by Stuart Buck.

Basic Black returns October 21, 2010 with live broadcasts and a new panel of the region’s sharpest observers of the current news, events, and topics impacting black communities locally and nationally. A simultaneous live stream at www.basicblack.org gives viewers the opportunity to submit comments and questions in real time during the broadcast.

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Basic Black ONLINE EXCLUSIVE: The NAACP vs. The Tea Party

(Originally streamed July 15, 2010)  Our panel: Latoyia Edwards, anchor, New England Cable News; Callie Crossley, host of The Callie Crossley Show, WGBH Radio; Phillip Martin, senior investigative reporter, WGBH Radio; and Kim McLarin, writer-in-residence, Emerson College.

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Basic Black Live: Lessons from the Lives of LeBron James and Oscar Grant

(Originally broadcast July 15, 2010)  Basic Black looks at the image of African American men in contemporary society as we explore the similarities and differences in the lives of LeBron James and Oscar Grant.

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Basic Black Online Exclusive: US Justice Department vs. Arizona

(Originally streamed July 8, 2010)  Our panel: Latoyia Edwards, New England Cable News; Phillip Martin, senior investigative reporter, WGBH Radio; Callie Crossley, host of The Callie Crossley Show, WGBH Radio; Maria Burns Ortiz, contributor, ESPN Soccernet; and Kim McLarin, writer-in-residence, Emerson College.

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Basic Black Live: Race, Geopolitics, and The World Cup

(Originally broadcast July 8, 2010)  Our panel: Latoyia Edwards, New England Cable News; Phillip Martin, senior investigative reporter, WGBH Radio; Callie Crossley, host of The Callie Crossley Show, WGBH Radio; Maria Burns Ortiz, writer, ESPN Soccernet; and Kim McLarin, writer-in-residence, Emerson College.

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Basic Black ONLINE EXCLUSIVE: The Cambridge Police Department and Henry Louis Gates

(Originally streamed July 1, 2010)

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Basic Black Live: Patriotism in the Age of Obama

(Originally broadcast July 1, 2010)

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Basic Black ONLINE EXCLUSIVE - Youth Violence: Beyond Crime & Punishment

(Originally streamed June 24, 2010)

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Basic Black Live - Youth Violence: Beyond Crime and Punishment

(Originally broadcast June 24, 2010)  The emotional, mental, and public health costs of youth violence.

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Basic Black ONLINE EXCLUSIVE: Black Youth and Father's Day

(Originally streamed June 17, 2010)  On the importance of fathers...

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Basic Black Live: Youth Violence in Boston

(Originally broadcast June 17, 2010)  This week on Basic Black, a conversation on youth violence prevention strategies.

 

Basic Black returns October 21, 2010 with live broadcasts and a new panel of the region’s sharpest observers of the current news, events, and topics impacting black communities locally and nationally. A simultaneous live stream at www.basicblack.org gives viewers the opportunity to submit comments and questions in real time during the broadcast.

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Basic Black ONLINE EXCLUSIVE: Boston's Police Department and "Shaming" Alleged Gang Members

(Originally streamed June 3, 2010)  After the broadcast panelists discussed the distribution of a flier created by the Boston Police Department aimed at combatting gang violence.

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Basic Black Live: A Conversation on The Black Family

(Originally broadcast on June 3, 2010)  This week on Basic Black: a conversation on the curent state of The Black Family.

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Basic Black ONLINE EXCLUSIVE: The Gulf Coast Oil Spill and CORI Reform

(Originally streamed May 27, 2010)  After the broadcast our panelists continued to discuss President Obama's strategies in Iraq & Afghanistan; later the conversation moved into a discussion of the recent developments around CORI (criminal offender records information). 

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Basic Black Live: The Realities of Affirmative Action

(Originally broadcast May 20, 2010)  This week on Basic Black we discussed the consideration of affirmative action in the nomination of Elena Kagan to the Supreme Court.

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Basic Black ONLINE EXCLUSIVE: The 50th Anniversary of The Pill

(Originally streamed May 20, 2010)  This month marks the 50th anniversary of The Pill so after the television broadcast our panel examined the complicated and provocative history of birth control in communities of color.

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Basic Black Live: A Conversation on Black Masculinity

(Originally broadcast May 13, 2010)  An exploration on the meaning of "black masculinity."

 

Basic Black returns October 21, 2010 with live broadcasts and a panel of the region’s sharpest observers of the current news, events, and topics impacting black communities locally and nationally. A simultaneous live stream at www.basicblack.org gives viewers the opportunity to submit comments and questions in real time during the broadcast.

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Basic Black ONLINE Exclusive: Black Masculinity - the conversation continues...

(Originally streamed May 13, 2010)  After the broadcast our panel continued to explore the meaning of black masculinity in the 21st century.

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Basic Black Live: Immigration Law Reform & Black/Latino Relations

(Originally broadcast May 6, 2010)  This week on Basic Black, we'll take a look at the recent passage of a controversial immigration law in Arizona and the potential wider impact on communities of color.  We'll also discuss the current state of African American & Latino relations.

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Basic Black Live ONLINE EXCLUSIVE: Black/Latino Relations

(Originally streamed May 6, 2010)  After the broadcast our panel tackled the controversial issues of conflict and community among African Americans and Latinos.

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Basic Black Live: The Black Agenda

(Originally broadcast April 29, 2010)  This week on Basic Black, our panelists tackle the issue of what should be "The "Black Agenda."

 

Basic Black returns October 21, 2010 with live broadcasts and a new panel of the region’s sharpest observers of the current news, events, and topics impacting black communities locally and nationally. A simultaneous live stream at www.basicblack.org gives viewers the opportunity to submit comments and questions in real time during the broadcast.

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Basic Black ONLINE EXCLUSIVE: The Black Agenda

(Originally streamed live on April 29, 2010)  After the broadcast, our panelists continued to discuss the idea of a "Black Agenda.  A remembrance of civil rights icon Dorothy Height and the issue of reparations rounded out the discussion.

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Basic Black LIVE: Bullying; Environmental Justice

(Originally broadcast on April 22, 2010)  Our panel explores the issue of bullying and later in the broadcast, an acknowlegement of Earth Day and the "green economy" in communities of color.

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Basic Black ONLINE EXCLUSIVE: Environmental Activism

Originally produced on April 22, 2010)

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Basic Black LIVE: The Casino Debate and Communities of Color

(Originally broadcast April 15, 2010)  The impact of casino gambling on communities of color in Massachusetts.

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Basic Black ONLINE EXCLUSIVE: Casinos & Communities of Color

(Originally taped April 15, 2010) After the broadcast, our panel discussed what casinos might mean for Deval Patrick's legacy.

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Basic Black LIVE: Haiti - Rebuilding After the Earthquake

(Originally broadcast on April 8, 2010)  This week Basic Black discusses the current state of life and rebuilding in Haiti as well as the continuing impact on Boston's Haitian community.

 

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Basic Black LIVE ONLINE EXCLUSIVE: Haitians in Boston After The Earthquake

Originally broadcast April 8, 2010)  After the broadcast, our panelists continued the discussion to talk about the impact of the earthquake on Haitians living in Boston.

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Basic Black LIVE: Haiti - Rebuilding After the Earthquake

(Originally broadcast on April 8, 2010)  This week Basic Black discusses the current state of life and rebuilding in Haiti as well as the continuing impact on Boston's Haitian community.

 

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Basic Black LIVE ONLINE EXCLUSIVE: Haitians in Boston After The Earthquake

Originally broadcast April 8, 2010)  After the broadcast, our panelists continued the discussion to talk about the impact of the earthquake on Haitians living in Boston.

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Basic Black LIVE: Haiti - Rebuilding After the Earthquake

(Originally broadcast on April 8, 2010)  This week Basic Black discusses the current state of life and rebuilding in Haiti as well as the continuing impact on Boston's Haitian community.

 

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Basic Black LIVE ONLINE EXCLUSIVE: Haitians in Boston After The Earthquake

Originally broadcast April 8, 2010)  After the broadcast, our panelists continued the discussion to talk about the impact of the earthquake on Haitians living in Boston.

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Basic Black LIVE: Haiti - Rebuilding After the Earthquake

(Originally broadcast on April 8, 2010)  This week Basic Black discusses the current state of life and rebuilding in Haiti as well as the continuing impact on Boston's Haitian community.

 

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Basic Black LIVE ONLINE EXCLUSIVE: Haitians in Boston After The Earthquake

Originally broadcast April 8, 2010)  After the broadcast, our panelists continued the discussion to talk about the impact of the earthquake on Haitians living in Boston.

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Basic Black LIVE: The Cultural Significance of Black Film

(Originally broadcast April 1, 2010)  This week on Basic Black, our panelists consider the question, "What is "black film"?  And later in the show, a look at the importance of Boston's neighborhood libraries.

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Basic Black ONLINE EXCLUSIVE: Boston's Neighborhood Libraries

(Originally broadcast April 1, 2010)  After the broadcasst, our panelists discussed the importance of Boston's branch libraries to the surrounding communities.

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Basic Black Live: The Passage of Universal Health Care Legislation

(Originally broadcast March 25, 2010)  This week, Basic Black explores the impact of the passage of universal health care reform legislation - especially its impact on communities of color and the violent reaction from opponents to the legislation. 

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Basic Black ONLINE EXCLUSIVE: The Future of Black Print Media

(Originally broadcast March 25, 2010)  After the broadcast, our panelists turned their attention to a recent article about the troubles facing the iconic magazine, Ebony, and whether it signals a crisis for African American print publications.

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Basic Black Live ONLINE EXCLUSIVE: A Black Woman's Worth


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Basic Black LIVE: The Right-To-Life Movement & A Woman's Worth

(Originally broadcast on March 18, 2010)  On this episode of Basic Black: a look at the right-to-life movement in African American communities and a conversation on a recent report revealing the stunning racial disparities in wealth and the economic value of a black woman.

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Basic Black ONLINE EXCLUSIVE: Tavis Smiley vs. Al Sharpton


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Basic Black LIVE: The Congressional Black Caucus, Faculty Diversity and Tavis vs. Rev. Sharpton

(Originally broadcast February 25, 2010)  This week we take a look at the corporate connections of the Congressional Black Caucus, the challenges faced by professors of color in pursuit of tenure, and the public feud between Tavis Smiley and Rev. Al Sharpton.

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Basic Black ONLINE Exclusive: Black History Month Revisited

(Originally broadcast February 18, 2010)  After the broadcast, our panelists continued to discuss the relevance of Black History Month and the challenge of making it relevant for young people.

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Basic Black LIVE: Black History Month Revisited and The Question of Class

(Originally broadcast on February 18, 2010)  This week: A conversation on the relevance of Black History Month and a look at class divisions within the African American community.

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Basic Black Live ONLINE EXCLUSIVE: Black Leadership and Unemployment

(Originally broadcast February 11, 2010)  After the broadcast, our panelists contiued the discussion on cultivating a new generation of leadership and the importance of responsibility, civic participation, and mentoring.

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Basic Black LIVE: Massachusetts Politics

(Originally broadcast February 4, 2010)   Our panelists discuss Senator Scott Brown and the African American community and then take a look at the beginning of the Massachusetts gubernatorial campaign.

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Basic Black ONLINE EXCLUSIVE: Politics and the TARP

(Originally broadcast February 4, 2010)  After the broadcast, our panelists discussed the impact President Obama's proposal of a $30 billion initiative that would give small banks more money to make loans to small businesses.

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Basic Black LIVE: The State of the Union and Haiti Earthquake Coverage

(Originally broadcast January 28, 2010)  This week on Basic Black:  Our panel reviews President Obama's State of the Union address and examines the media coverage of the earthquake in Haiti.

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Basic Black LIVE: Coakley vs. Brown & A Review of Barack Obama's First Year

(Originally broadcast January 21, 2010)  This week our panel takes a look at the outcome of the Massachusetts special election for U.S. Senate; later in the program, a review of President Barack Obama's first year in office.

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Basic Black LIVE: The State of the Union and Haiti Earthquake Coverage

(Originally broadcast January 28, 2010)  This week on Basic Black:  Our panel reviews President Obama's State of the Union address and examines the media coverage of the earthquake in Haiti.

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Basic Black LIVE: Coakley vs. Brown & A Review of Barack Obama's First Year

(Originally broadcast January 21, 2010)  This week our panel takes a look at the outcome of the Massachusetts special election for U.S. Senate; later in the program, a review of President Barack Obama's first year in office.

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Basic Black ONLINE EXCLUSIVE: U.S. Senate & Obama's First Year

(Originally recorded January 21, 2010)  Our panelists continued the conversation after the television broadcast to delve deeper into the significant moments in Barack Obama's first year as President.

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Basic Black LIVE: The Earthquake in Haiti

(Originally broadcast January 14, 2010)  Basic Black takes a look at the devastating earthquake in Haiti and the response of New England’s Haitian community with our panelists: Writer Kim McLarin, political consultant Tito Jackson, New England Cable News reporter Latoyia Edwards, Rep. Marie St. Fleur, and Davarian Baldwin, professor of American Studies, Trinity College.
Also, a discussion on Tuesday’s upcoming special election to fill the late Senator Ted Kennedy's seat and thoughts on the meaning of Martin Luther King, Jr. Day.

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Basic Black ONLINE EXCLUSIVE: Haiti, US Senate, & MLK

(Originally recorded January 14, 2010)  After the broadcast our panelists continued the conversation with a discussion on the upcoming special election to fill the late Senator Ted Kennedy's seat and thoughts on the meaning of Martin Luther King, Jr. Day.  Our panelists:  Rep. Marie St. Fleur, Latoyia Edwards from NECN, writer Kim McLarin, and professor Davarian Baldwin.

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Basic Black Live: Profiling for Terrorists & Cultural Portrayals

(Originally broadcast January 7, 2010)  Basic Black kicks off 2010 with a look at the thwarted terror attempt on Christmas Day and the implications for racial and religious profiling.  We'll also discuss the continuing struggle for accurate cultural portrayals by looking at reecnt movies, Tiger Woods, and Tyler Perry.
 

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Basic Black Live ONLINE EXCLUSIVE: Religion, Politics & Tiger Woods

‘Tis the season... so our topic this week is religion — specifically the politics of religion. In this ONLINE EXCLUSIVE, our conversation continued after the broadcast to explore what can happen at the intersection of religion and politics. Our panelists also continued to discuss the race angle in the Tiger Woods saga.

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Basic Black LIVE: Religion, Politics & Tiger Woods

(Originally broadcast December 17, 2009) ‘Tis the season... so our theme this week is religion — specifically the politics of religion. By examining several examples over the past year (from the political activism of white evangelicals to, most recently, the role of black ministers in the Boston mayoral election), our conversation will explore what can happen at the intersection of religion and politics. Additionally, we'll take a look at race and Tiger Woods.

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Basic Black Live ONLINE EXCLUSIVE: Religion, Politics & Tiger Woods

‘Tis the season... so our topic this week is religion — specifically the politics of religion. In this ONLINE EXCLUSIVE, our conversation continued after the broadcast to explore what can happen at the intersection of religion and politics. Our panelists also continued to discuss the race angle in the Tiger Woods saga.

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Basic Black LIVE: A Focus on Current Health Issues

(Originally broadcast on November 19, 2009)  In this episode of Basic Black the focus is on health. We'll take a look at the high rates of the H1N1 virus among African Americans and Latinos. We'll also discuss the status of health care reform and the impact of new legislation on communities of color.

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Basic Black ONLINE EXCLUSIVE: A Focus On Health Issues

(Originally broadcast/streamed on November 19, 2009)  In this episode of Basic Black the focus is on health.  After the broadcast concluded our panelists continued to discuss the impact of pending health care legislation on communities of color.

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Basic Black Live: Images of African American Women & The Economy

(Originally broadcast November 12, 2009)  The first topic on the show is a discussion of the image of African American women using several recent examples from popular culture including the premiere of the movie Precious. Our second topic examines the staggering 15% unemployment rate in black communities.

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Basic Black: 2009 Local Elections & Gay Rights vs. Civil Rights Movement

(Broadcast on November 5, 2009) Our first topic will be a discussion of the outcome of Massachusetts history making elections in the cities of Boston, Newton, and Lawrence.

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Basic Black ONLINE Exclusive: Gay Rights and the Civil Rights Movement (November 5, 2009)

After the television broadcast, our panelists continued to explore the intersection of the gay rights movement and the modern civil rights movement.

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Basic Black: The Power of Boston's Black Vote

(Broadcast on October 29, 2009) Basic Black looks at the impact of the black vote on Boston’s upcoming elections for City Council At-Large, Mayor and U.S. Senate. Will black voters turn out to the polls? How are the candidates answering needs of communities of color? Which senate candidate is really carrying the torch of Ted Kennedy’s legacy in championing civil rights. And we look at the potential for history to be made in the City Council At-Large race as one of the candidates is poised to become the first African American woman to hold the seat.

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Basic Black Live: Racist Dialogue or Reasoned Debate?

(Originally broadcast October 22, 2009)  “There is an African American who is at the very apex of the government in the United States. And with such change, of course there’s going to be discontent… So frankly, I’m surprised there hasn’t been more pushback… more out and out racism in the streets of America!” declares Randall Kennedy.  

 

Basic Black returns October 21, 2010  with live broadcasts and a new panel of the region’s sharpest observers of the current news, events, and topics impacting black communities locally and nationally.

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Jon Jeter

"Globalization is an international shakedown, and its targets are ordinary people across the globe..." declares Jon Jeter in his new book, Flat Broke in the Free Market: How Globalization Fleeced Working People

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Walter Mosley: On Writing and Politics

In this interview author Walter Mosley talks about his latest mystery, The Long Fall; his decision to focus on black male heroes; and his hopes for the Obama presidency.

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Basic Black LIVE

The July 16 episode explores the future of the Bay State Banner, the relevance of the NAACP, and media coverage of Michael Jackson's death and memorial.  (Originally broadcast July 16, 2009)

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Basic Black LIVE

Basic Black discusses the arrest of renowned Harvard University professor Henry Louis Gates Jr. at his home in Cambridge, Mass.  (Originally broadcast July23, 2009)

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Basic Black LIVE

Panelists discuss the state of diversity in Massachusetts and the week in news in a LIVE edition of Basic Black.  (Originally broadcast on July 30, 2009)

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Tavis Smiley and Cornel West

Tavis Smiley and Cornel West join Kim McLarin for a provocative conversation on race, black leadership, and accountability.

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Capturing Black Life: A Conversation with Photo Historian Deborah Willis

Photographer and photo historian Deborah Willis discusses her life and work.

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Searching for Sally Hemings: A Conversation with Author Annette Gordon-Reed

2010 MacArthur "Genius" Award recipient Annette Gordon-Reed.  (Originally broadcast January 8, 2009)   Before winning the MacArthur award, Professor Gordon-Reed sat down for a lengthy interview on Basic Black to discuss her book, The Hemingses of Monticello: An American Family.

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Jazz and Rock Drummer Cindy Blackman

Basic Black host Kim McLarin speaks with jazz and rock drummer Cindy Blackman.

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Poetry & Conversation with Afaa Michael Weaver

Poet Afaa Michael Weaver talks about the life stories that inspire his work.

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2008 Postelection Roundtable

Joining guest host Callie Crossley to discuss Barack Obama's election to the presidency are Massachusetts State Representative Linda Dorcena Forry, former ABC News anchor and senior correspondent Carole Simpson, Peniel Joseph, associate professor of Africana studies at Brandeis University, and Howard Manly, executive editor of the Bay State Banner.

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Basic Black: 2008: The New Black Politics

Basic Black premieres its 41st season with this live election special, featuring a roundtable discussion hosted by television and radio commentator Callie Crossley.

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Election 2008: After the Last Primary

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Author Randall Kennedy

Author Randall Kennedy ("Sellout") is the guest.

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Choreographer Bill T. Jones

Choreographer Bill T. Jones is the guest.

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Poet Major Jackson

Major Jackson reads from his book of poetry Hoops and discusses the inspiration behind his work as well as his thoughts on how American history has influenced the work of generations of African American poets.

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Poet Elizabeth Alexander

Elizabeth Alexander reads from American Sublime, and her latest collection, Miss Crandall's School for Young Ladies and Little Misses of Color.  Alexander was selected to compose and read a poem at Barack Obama's inauguration ceremony; she is the fourth poet in history to have been chosen for the honor.

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Tracy Sharpley-Whiting

Author Tracy Sharpley-Whiting discusses her book, Pimps Up, Ho's Down which explores the intersection of feminism, race, and hip-hop and the ramifications of marketing images that denigrate women.pimps

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Author Cora Daniels

Cora Daniels discusses how the concept of ghetto has permeated popular culture and how this mind-set affects communities of color.

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Author John McWhorter

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First Person: Sarah-Ann Shaw

Boston’s first African American television reporter, Sarah-Ann Shaw, talks about her early political influences, her activism during the civil rights era in Boston, and how she became a broadcasting pioneer. Always outspoken, Shaw is also very candid about the changes she has seen in the commitment of present-day black activists, churches, and reporters. 

 

(First Person is an oral history interview series with New England's iconic leaders of color.)

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