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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).
Basic Black Live: "Stand your ground" in Massachusetts? Also, the Supreme Court and the Affordable Care Act
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)
In a country where an African American boy can grow up to be president, the tragedy of Trayvon Martin's death is one in a continuum in the stories of young black men whose lives end at the intersection of race and violence. The facts of the case in the fatal shooting death of Trayvon Martin continue to be debated, but in addition to the headlines and specific events of that night, our Basic Black conversation focuses on the myriad of themes and persistent questions about what it means to grow up black and male in America.
(Originally broadcast April 20, 2012)
The Basic Black panelists sit down with playwright Kirsten Greenidge to discuss her new play The Luck of the Irish, currently playing at the Huntington Theatre through May 6. When an upwardly mobile African-American family wants to buy a house in an all-white neighborhood of 1950s Boston, they pay a struggling Irish family to act as their front. Fifty years later, the Irish family asks for "their" house back. Moving across the two eras, The Luck of the Irish explores the complex impact of racial integration in Boston and the universal longing for home.
Originally broadcast on April 27, 2012
Tonight, with "Riding The T," we continue WGBH News' weeklong focus on the Massachusetts Bay Transit Authority. Our discussion explores the significance of the MBTA in communities of color. Later in the show, our conversation digs deep into the deluge of racist tweets from Bruins fans towards Joel Ward, the black player from the Washington Capitals who scored the winning goal, thus ending the Bruins march towards the Stanley Cup.
(Originally broadcast May 4, 2012)
Conversations about “hipster racism” are drawing heated commentary across the internet, including questions about who gets to use the n-word and why is there a dearth of black storylines in contemporary television programs – but what is “hipster racism?”
Our guest panelist this week is Latoya Peterson, owner and editor of Racialicious.com.
July 6 marks four months to the day that the country will elect the president of the United States. We close this season of Basic Black with an exploration of questions going into the 2012 presidential election including:
Has African American support diminished for President Obama? How strongly has opposition to an Obama second term grown in light of the Supreme Court decision upholding the Affordable Care Act? What will be the impact of recent decisions (President Obama and Supreme Court) concerning immigration? Is Michelle Obama a secret weapon in the president’s re-election campaign arsenal? Will there be any surprises from the upcoming conventions?
This program is being broadcast nationally on World channel and webcast in partnership with The Root.com, the leading online source for African American news and commentary.
(Originally broadcast May 11, 2012)
President Obama surprised the world yesterday when his stance on same-sex marriage finished "evolving" and he came out in support of it. Will his position hurt or help his chances at re-election? How will it affect his relationship with black clergy? Will it alter his support in the black community?
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?
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