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Basic Black: The Week in Local Headlines

Arts & Culture | Black Boston | Politics

This week on Basic Black we take a look at recent local headlines including the Occupy The Hood movement, the anniversary of the death of DJ Henry and what it says about the challenging relationship between young black men and the police, and the redistricting of Massachusetts' political map.

Our panel this week:  Latoyia Edwards, anchor, New England Cable News; Phillip Martin, senior investigative reporter, 89.7 WGBH Radio; Kevin Peterson, director of the New Democracy Coalition; Jamarhl Crawford, editor The Blackstonian.com and organizer of Occupy The Hood; and Meghan Irons, reporter, The Boston Globe.

CLICK HERE FOR THE LIVE CHAT AT 7:30PM

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Basic Black: Occupy The Hood and Redistricting

Black Boston | Politics

(Originally broadcast November 4, 2011)

This week on Basic Black we take a look at recent local headlines. We start with Occupy The Hood: what makes it different than the larger Occupy Movement?  Later in the show we turn our attention to the subject of redistricting and how it will change Massachusetts political landscape.

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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: Gun Control and Communities of Color

Arts & Culture | Black Boston | Politics

February 1, 2013

As 2013 begins the national debate on gun control is in high gear.  Advocates from all sides  have descended on Washington, DC to sway a divided Congress to their side.  But the action isn't limited to the halls of government; the persistent issue of gun control is also being debated in local communities across the country.  And for communities historically battered by gun violence, the conversation takes on an increased intensity.



Image source: Chang Liu/Flickr

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Basic Black Live: Teenage girls and violence

Black Boston | Health | Politics

April 13, 2013

Some very high-profile crimes, including the stabbing of a mother pushing her baby in a stroller, have heightened the awareness of young girls as perpetrators of violence; this within the month of April, which is also Sexual Assault Awareness Month and we're at the end of International Anti-Harassment Week.  This week on Basic Black, our conversation will look at young women on both ends of the spectrum of violence.


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Basic Black Live: History in the Headlines

Arts & Culture | Black Boston | Politics


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.)

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Basic Black: Where We Live and Vote

Arts & Culture | Black Boston | Politics


June 28, 2013

This week on Basic Black, we take a look at two major issues as we head into the summer.  On the local front, the number of shootings in Boston has surpassed last year's tally.  We'll talk about causes and strategies to combat the violence.  In national headlines, the Supreme Court this week struck key provisions of the Voting Rights Act of 1965, a critical victory of the civil rights movement. We'll discuss the impact on upcoming elections and shaping voter turnout.


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Basic Black: A Revolutionary Who Championed Reconciliation

Arts & Culture | Black Boston | Politics


December 6, 2013

Today the world mourns the passing of Nelson Mandela. The 95 year old former South African president died peacefully at home surrounded by family on Thursday night.  Basic Black pauses to remember the man who brought democratic rule and an end to apartheid to South Africa, and who embraced the city of Boston as a partner in the struggle for human rights.



(Photo:  In this Dec. 7, 2005 file photo, former South African President Nelson Mandela, 87, is in a jovial mood at the Mandela Foundation in Johannesburg, where he met with the winner and runner-up of the local "Idols" competition. AP Photo/Denis Farrell, File.)

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Basic Black: A Revolutionary Who Championed Reconciliation

Arts & Culture | Black Boston | Politics


December 6, 2013

Today the world mourns the passing of Nelson Mandela. The 95 year old former South African president died peacefully at home surrounded by family on Thursday night.  Basic Black pauses to remember the man who brought democratic rule and an end to apartheid to South Africa, and who embraced the city of Boston as a partner in the struggle for human rights.



(Photo:  In this Dec. 7, 2005 file photo, former South African President Nelson Mandela, 87, is in a jovial mood at the Mandela Foundation in Johannesburg, where he met with the winner and runner-up of the local "Idols" competition. AP Photo/Denis Farrell, File.)

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Basic Black: Rap, Race, Free Speech and Crimes

Arts & Culture | Black Boston | Politics

January 17, 2014

On Monday, the New York Times featured an Op-Ed entitled, "Rap Lyrics on Trial".  As the title suggests, the issue at hand is whether rap lyrics can be used as evidence of a crime.  That question will be before the New Jersey State Supreme Court next week, and there was also a case closer to home in Massachusetts a little over a year ago.  This week on Basic Black, we'll look at what happens at the intersection of rap, race, free speech, and the criminal justice system.


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