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Basic Black: The Power of Boston's Black Vote

Black Boston | Politics

(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: The Earthquake in Haiti

Arts & Culture | Black Boston | Health | Politics

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

Black Boston | Politics

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

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

Arts & Culture | Black Boston | Politics


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

Arts & Culture | Black Boston | Health | Politics


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: A Look at Secure Communities; Race in the Classroom

Arts & Culture | Black Boston | Education | Politics

(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: The New Black Politics in Massachusetts

Black Boston | Politics

(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: The New Black Politics in Massachusetts

Black Boston | Politics

(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

Black Boston | Health | Politics


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 Battle for the Redistricting of Boston

Black Boston | Politics


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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