Editor's News Pick

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


Basic Black Featured Video

Now Playing: A Basic Black Special: Race and Ferguson Beyond The Headlines

Basic Black

A Basic Black Special: Race and Ferguson Beyond The Headlines

Original broadcast date: August 21, 2014

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


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



Basic Black Blog

Aug 18 2014
The stigma of black suicide is killing us

Guest editorial by Rev. Irene Monroe When the first news reports of Robin Williams?? death hit the media, few questioned the report that the country’s most beloved comedian had committed suicide. This reaction stands in stark contrast to the reaction to the 2012 news of the death of “Soul Train” creator Don Cornelius. Cornelius was […]

Aug 14 2014
More Than One…

Guest editorial by Rev. Willie Bodrick II, M.Div The debate continues over Governor Patrick??s announcement that Massachusetts would temporarily aid in the humanitarian emergency to shelter refugee children at our country??s southern borders. This came weeks after celebrating the 50th Anniversary of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 at the Museum of African American History, […]

May 29 2014
Maya Angelou recites her poem “On The Pulse Of Morning” at the Clinton Inauguration

(Courtesy: William J. Clinton Presidential Library)  

May 08 2014
Military’s ban on nappy hair

Guest posting by Rev. Irene Monroe African American female service members comprise the highest percentage of women in the military. And with these sister servicewomen enlisting in the military at higher rates than their white, Asian and Latina sisters to serve and die for our country, the last thing the military should be squawking about […]

Mar 17 2014
The Other “B” Word…

Commentary by Callie Crossley, host, “Under The Radar with Callie Crossley” Originally broadcast on WGBH Radio, 89.7 – March 17, 2014 Girls start to hear it in their early years, and women hear it all their lives. The b word. No, not that one, b for bossy, the other equally offensive b word. Little girls who are […]

Feb 20 2014
Que(e)rying Michael Sam’s Timing to Come Out

A guest editorial by Rev. Irene Monroe When NBA center Jason Collins came out last year, it was the moment the professional sports world had been waiting for ??a gay athlete currently playing in a major league who comes out publicly. And what many may not have known is that the professional sports world had […]

Dec 05 2013
How media and research institutions contribute of HIV/AIDs in black communities

Guest editorial by Rev. Irene Monroe Dec. 1 was World AIDS Day! However, here in the U.S. you would have scarcely known. Much of the focus was, and still is, on developing countries. There was no reportage of it in key newspapers like the Boston Globe and the New York Times. None of the major television […]

Nov 25 2013
Alec Baldwin & Homophobia: A Race-Based Double Standard?

Guest editorial by Rev. Irene Monroe Alec Baldwin has done it again??caught on camera in a cussing tirade hurling anti-gay epithets at the vulturous paparazzi on his heels. This time Baldwin’s accused of spewing out the phrase, “c-ksucking f-g.” Baldwin doesn’t deny using the word “c-ksucking.” Some argue his admission is merely because he can’t […]

Aug 23 2013
African American history through a life of service: Lee Daniels’ The Butler

A guest post by Kevin C. Peterson At the very center of Lee Daniels’ The Butler is the poignantly resonating reminder of the country??s enduring conversation about race–its many complicated tensions, variations, contradictions and resolutions. The movie, which opened in Boston-area theaters last weekend, is a compelling meditation loosely based on the long career of […]

Aug 23 2013
The queer politics of writing on race

Guest editorial by Rev. Irene Monroe When Sue O??Connell, the publisher and editor of the Boston-based LGBTQ newspaper “Bay Windows,” which I also write for, penned her piece ??Sharing our experience: White gay men and black men have more in common than they think?? a firestorm erupted. Evidence of  the conflagration was not only seen […]

Studio B

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


Black Perspectives Now

Young Black Men & Lives Lost Too Soon


Say Brother Collection

Elma Lewis - 1975