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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 Live: President Barack Obama Re-Elected

Black Boston | Politics


Originally broadcast November 9, 2012.

Election 2012 came to a close on November 6 as President Barack Obama was elected for a second term.  The turnout numbers rivaled those of 2008, despite long lines at the polls and court cases challenging early voting rules.  In addition to the huge percentage of African Americans who voted for him, Obama was swept to victory by the youth and Latino votes, as well as large contingents of women, working class, and educated white voters.




(Photo: President Barack Obama, first lady Michelle Obama, Vice President Joe Biden and Jill Biden acknowledge the crowd at his election night party on Wednesday, November 7, 2012.  Source: Associated Press.)
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Basic Black Live: President Barack Obama Re-Elected

Black Boston | Politics


Originally broadcast November 9, 2012.

Election 2012 came to a close on November 6 as President Barack Obama was elected for a second term.  The turnout numbers rivaled those of 2008, despite long lines at the polls and court cases challenging early voting rules.  In addition to the huge percentage of African Americans who voted for him, Obama was swept to victory by the youth and Latino votes, as well as large contingents of women, working class, and educated white voters.




(Photo: President Barack Obama, first lady Michelle Obama, Vice President Joe Biden and Jill Biden acknowledge the crowd at his election night party on Wednesday, November 7, 2012.  Source: Associated Press.)
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Basic Black: The "Fiscal Cliff" and Your Wallet

Arts & Culture | Black Boston | Business | Politics


Originally broadcast December 7, 2012.

If no measures are taken, in less than a month the United States will "fall off the fiscal cliff." Among other things, this means that the Bush tax cuts and the payroll tax cut will expire, extended unemployment benefits will end, and Medicare would lose nearly $11 billion from its budget. Many experts believe that going over the cliff would lead to another recession. What does this mean for people of color? The middle class? The poor?

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Basic Black: Invisible Man Comes To The Stage

Arts & Culture | Black Boston | Politics

(January 11, 2013)

Basic Black welcomes actor Teagle F. Bougere to the studio for a conversation on the themes raised in the play Invisible Man, based on Ralph Ellison's seminal work and currently on stage at The Huntington Theatre. Bougere is the lead actor in the production.

Among the many questions on the table:  Does this play have any resonance for a contemporary audience?  What does the play say about the experience of the African American man in particular? What would a contemporary version of the play look like or have as its focus?


(Photo by Astrid Reiken, 2012)

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Basic Black: Invisible Man Comes To The Stage

Arts & Culture | Black Boston | Politics

(January 11, 2013)

Basic Black welcomes actor Teagle F. Bougere to the studio for a conversation on the themes raised in the play Invisible Man, based on Ralph Ellison's seminal work and currently on stage at The Huntington Theatre. Bougere is the lead actor in the production.

Among the many questions on the table:  Does this play have any resonance for a contemporary audience?  What does the play say about the experience of the African American man in particular? What would a contemporary version of the play look like or have as its focus?


(Photo by Astrid Reiken, 2012)

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Basic Black Live: What can we learn from Charles Ramsey?

Arts & Culture | Black Boston | Politics


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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Basic Black Live: What can we learn from Charles Ramsey?

Arts & Culture | Black Boston | Politics


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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Basic Black: American Promise and Crushing the Black Male Achievement Gap

Arts & Culture | Black Boston | Education | Politics

January 24, 2014


The usual stories about African American boys and education most often center on public school systems. But what about the opposite end of the spectrum?  American Promise is a documentary 13 years in the making, following the journeys of two African-American boys and their families from kindergarten through high school graduation. This provocative film provides a rare look into two middle class black families as they navigate the challenges of race, class and parenting within one of the wealthiest academic communities in America.  Filmmaker Joe Brewster joins Basic Black to talk about the making of the film.


American Promise is made possible by a grant from American Documentary | POV, with funding provided by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting.
 

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Basic Black After The Broadcast: African American Young Men and Education

Arts & Culture | Black Boston | Politics

January 24, 2014

After the broadcast the conversation turned to how to mobilize parents, educators, school systems, and the culture in a movement to eliminate the achievement gap for young black children, especially boys.

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