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The Case for Black With a Capital B

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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?

Panelists:
- Latoyia Edwards, anchor, New England Cable News
- Phillip Martin, senior reporter, 89.7 WGBH Radio
- Kim McLarin, assistant professor of writing, literature and publishing, Emerson College
- Alejandra St. Guillen, executive director, Oiste
- Tito Jackson, Boston City Councillor, District 7