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Capturing Black Life: A Conversation with Photo Historian Deborah Willis

Arts & Culture | Politics

Photographer and photo historian Deborah Willis discusses her life and work.

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Choreographer Bill T. Jones

Arts & Culture

Choreographer Bill T. Jones is the guest.

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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 ONLINE EXCLUSIVE: The Future of Black Print Media

Arts & Culture | Black Boston | Education | Politics

(Originally broadcast March 25, 2010)  After the broadcast, our panelists turned their attention to a recent article about the troubles facing the iconic magazine, Ebony, and whether it signals a crisis for African American print publications.

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Basic Black Live ONLINE EXCLUSIVE: The Future of the Boston NAACP

Black Boston | Business | Education | Health | Politics

(Originally streamed on November 18, 2010) After the broadcast our converation continued with the candidates vying for the presidency of the Boston NAACP.

UPDATE:  On November 29, 2010, Michael Curry won the election for the Boston NAACP presidency.

Our panelists: Callie Crossley, host of The Callie Crossley Show, WGBH 89.7; Latoyia Edwards, anchor and reporter, New England Cable News; Phillip Martin, senior investigative reporter, WGBH Radio; and the contenders for leadership of the Boston NAACP: Michael Curry, attorney and activist, and former State Senator, Bill Owens.
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Basic Black ONLINE EXCLUSIVE: The Census Results and Massachusetts Communities of Color

Arts & Culture | Black Boston | Politics

(Originally streamed March 25, 2011)  After the broadcast, our panelists turned their attention to the recently released census results which showed an increase in the population of people of color in Massachusetts.
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Basic Black After The Broadcast: The Relevance of Black Studies(?)

Black Boston | Education | Politics

(Originally streamed on May 18, 2012)

After the broadcast, 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 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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Basic Black After the Broadcast: Black Leadership at Roxbury Community College

Arts & Culture | Black Boston | Education | Politics


June 7, 2013

After the broadcast, the conversation turned to the topic of the recent controversy surrounding Gov. Deval Patrick's choice to head the board of Roxbury Community College.  The governor's selection was Gerald Chertaivan, a recognized leader with strong experience in the non-profit education sector; but the Friends of Roxbury Community College believe the position should have gone to a person of color...


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Basic Black: Feminism Isn't Black and White

Arts & Culture | Black Boston | Politics

December 20, 2013

This week on Basic Black, our first conversation examines the recent media coverage of Michelle Obama and the meaning of feminism to women of color.  An article in Politico dubbed the First Lady as a "feminist nightmare" while later coverage characterized her as the "angry black woman" when the President took a selfie with Danish prime minister Helle Thorning-Schmidt at the funeral of Nelson Mandela.  Both episodes illustrated the great divide between black and white women on the issue of feminism , with many African American commentators saying, in essence, "your feminism ain't like mine…"



(Photo:  First Lady Michelle Obama introducing President Barack Obama before his address to injured veterans and guests on the critical issues facing veterans during the DAV National Convention in Orlando, Fla. Michelle Obama is taking her “Let’s Move!” campaign to Arthur Ashe Kids Day. AP Photo/Julie Fletcher - Aug. 10, 2013, File)

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