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(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.
(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.
(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.
(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.
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.
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).
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?
(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?
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.)
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 have 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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