The Case for Black With a Capital B


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Basic Black Live: A Conversation on Black Masculinity

Arts & Culture | Black Boston | Health | Politics

(Originally broadcast May 13, 2010)  An exploration on the meaning of "black masculinity."


Basic Black returns October 21, 2010 with live broadcasts and a panel of the region’s sharpest observers of the current news, events, and topics impacting black communities locally and nationally. A simultaneous live stream at www.basicblack.org gives viewers the opportunity to submit comments and questions in real time during the broadcast.


Basic Black: African American Muslims and The Radicalization Hearings

Black Boston | Politics

(Originally broadcast on March 18, 2011)  A Basic Black conversation:  African American Muslims and the Congressional Hearings on Radicalization in Islamic Communities. Were the hearings about minimizing a terror threat or demonizing a specific community? more

Basic Black Live: Uncle Tom in the 21st Century

Arts & Culture | Education | Politics

(Originally broadcast on March 25, 2011) 
Our topic this week: black “authenticity.” Grant Hill of the Phoenix Suns wrote an op-ed piece in the New York Times in response to Jalen Rose, who accused him of being an Uncle Tom when Hill played for the basketball team at Duke University. This episode sparked a heated debate all across the internet; but in a deeper and more important sense, it also touched upon a familiar theme in African American life in regards to the question – what does it mean to be authentically black? And how do class distinctions contribute to the notion of black authenticity? more

Basic Black Live: Navigating The Afrosphere

Arts & Culture | Black Boston | Politics | Science & Technology

(Originally broadcast on April 8, 2011) 
This week on Basic Black: The National Conference for Media Reform is being held in Boston this week so we turn our attention to people of color and social media. We’ll discuss how digital media has replaced or enhanced the work of traditional institutions such as churches or civil rights organizations in encouraging/organizing social activism; we’ll also look at recent trends in how African Americans in particular are using social media. more

Basic Black Live: The War Between the States and Sharpton v. West

Arts & Culture | Politics

(Originally broadcast on April 15, 2011) 

This week marks the official beginning of ceremonies marking the 150th Anniversary of The Civil War. How should African Americans look at the commemorations and historical re-tellings to come? Also, we'll examine the heated exchange between Rev. Al Sharpton and Cornel West over Barack Obama's leadership and whether he's done enough for communities of color.

Basic Black Live: US Policy in Africa - and Barack Obama's Birth Certificate

Arts & Culture | Black Boston | Politics

(Originally broadcast on April 29, 2011) 
This week, a discussion on the US policy in Africa and recent interventions into conflicts on the continent. Later in the show, we'll turn to a conversation on the release of President Barack Obama's long form birth certificate.

Basic Black Live: The Link Between Poverty and Crime; Criticizing Obama

Arts & Culture | Black Boston | Politics

(Originally broadcast on May 27, 2011)

Is there a link between poverty and prison? Also, criticism of President Obama comes from unexpected quarters, prompting the question, "How should people of color hold President Obama accountable?" In our online conversation after the broadcast, we discuss the end of an era and the cultural impact of Oprah Winfrey.


Basic Black Live: Revisiting a "High-Tech" Lynching and The Politics of Language

Arts & Culture | Politics

(Originally broadcast on November 11, 2011)

Recently, conservative pundits have characterized the mainstream media’s treatment of Herman Cain as racist, even invoking the “high-tech lynching” image from the Thomas hearings. The left wing responded with charges of hypocrisy.

Do black conservatives really receive different treatment in the media than black liberals? Are liberals no more post-racial than the conservatives, but more subtle about showing it?

Our regular panel is joined by Ulli K. Ryder, Visiting Professor at Brown and Lecturer in Africana Studies, Simmons College; and Lionel McPherson, Associate Professor of Philosophy, Tufts University.

Basic Black Live: Michelle Obama and Election 2012

Arts & Culture | Politics

(Originally broadcast on November 18, 2011)

This Basic Black conversation is a focus on First Lady Michelle Obama, (and the significance of having a woman of color in that role), as well as what we can expect in regards to her participation in the 2012 election. Related to the 2012 election, we'll also take a look at African Americans and the use of social media.


Basic Black Live: African American Spirituality

Arts & Culture | Black Boston | Politics

(Originally broadcast on December 16, 2011)

In a season of celebration and reflection for many religions and faiths, Basic Black presents "Sacred: African American Spirituality," a live conversation focusing on the spectrum of religious beliefs in the African American community, and how those beliefs have shaped its culture, politics and history. The show will also look at the rise of Islam amongst African Americans, the increasing adoption of Buddhism and Judaism, and the small but growing community of atheists, agnostics, and non-believers.

This special presentation was simulcast live on both WGBH's World channel and The Root, a leading online source of news and commentary from the African American perspective.

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