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

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Poet Elizabeth Alexander

Arts & Culture

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

Arts & Culture | Black Boston | Politics

(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

Arts & Culture | Black Boston | Politics

(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: Coakley vs. Brown & A Review of Barack Obama's First Year

Arts & Culture | Black Boston | Politics

(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: What is "Black Leadership?"

Arts & Culture | Black Boston | Politics

January 18, 2013


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  Is the idea of a black leadership outdated?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 Live: What is "Black Leadership?"

Arts & Culture | Black Boston | Politics

January 18, 2013


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

Arts & Culture | Black Boston | Politics

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?"

Arts & Culture | Black Boston | Politics

January 18, 2013


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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Rev. Jonathan Walton on civil rights and social justice

Arts & Culture | Black Boston | Politics

by Talia Whyte

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

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Empowering Women & Girls: Nicole Roberts Jones

Arts & Culture | Black Boston | Health | Politics

by Talia Whyte


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

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

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

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

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

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