The Case for Black With a Capital B


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Basic Black Live: Identity Politics and the Boston Mayor's Race

Black Boston | Politics

April 5, 2013:

With Mayor Menino's announcement that he would not seek a sixth term, the race for the next mayor of Boston has officially begun.  Even as the slate of candidates takes shape, questions are emerging, among them: what is the opportunity for emerging leaders of color; what are the benefits to the city of Boston of new leadership, regardless of race; has the Menino administration left anything undone in communities of color that can now be addressed?

(Photo source: FreeFoto.com)


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.)


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?


Basic Black Live: Politics, Scandals, and Legacies

Arts & Culture | Black Boston | Politics

May 17, 2013

In the headlines this week:  a discussion of the Boston mayor's race and how communities of color are poised to make their coalitions heard.  Also, this is not the first time the IRS has come under fire for targeting political activity; we'll take a look at the IRS, the NAACP and the black church.


Basic Black: The message to black graduates

Arts & Culture | Black Boston | Politics

May 24, 2013

President Barack Obama's address to the graduates of Morehouse College last week drew criticism and praise, not only for what he said but also for how he said it.  Was he talking down to the graduates in pressing for personal responsibility? Does he whip out the "preacher" cadence for black audiences only?  As graduates of HBCU's and other institutions go out into the world, what is the most useful message they need to hear?

(Photo: Official White House photo by Pete Souza.)


Basic Black Live: Black and Green

Arts & Culture | Black Boston | Business | Politics

May 31, 2013

A recent audit by the state revealed that Massachusetts paid welfare benefits to 1,160 dead recipients. In spite of the fact that, in terms of dollars, this is a very tiny fraction compared to the size of the program, and the majority of welfare and food stamp assistance are white, we'll discuss why the stereotype of the "welfare queen" persists.  At the other end of the financial spectrum, we'll look at wealth: a recent report by Nielsen concluded that black spending power will reach $1 trillion dollars by 2015…but black wealth is declining.  What are the factors contributing to the disparity?


Basic Black Live: Higher Ed and Higher Aspirations

Arts & Culture | Black Boston | Education | Politics

June 14, 2013

This week on Basic Black we look at issues in higher education including:
- Affirmative action hangs in the balance at the US Supreme Court - what's at stake?
- What happens when the financial demands of the for-profit college industry intersects the goals African American struggle for education?
- How diverse is the leadership in the halls of the Ivy League?

(Photo:  People supporting the University of Texas rally outside the Supreme Court in Washington, Wednesday, Oct. 10, 2012. The Supreme Court is taking up a challenge to a University of Texas program that considers race in some college admissions. The case could produce new limits on affirmative action at universities, or roll it back entirely. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh) more

Basic Black: Down To The Wire - The Boston Mayoral Primary

Black Boston | Politics

September 20, 2013

Basic Black opens the season with a frank conversation on the Boston Mayor's race and how the outcome impacts communities of color.  We'll also take a look at the historic nature of the race, as race and gender have played out in the campaign leading to the primary and general elections.


Basic Black: Shopping For Obamacare

Black Boston | Health | Politics

October 4, 2013

This week on Basic Black, Obamacare, or the Affordable Care Act, began on October 1st.  The signature legislation of President Obama's administration went live online, with millions attempting to access the applications.  Although its launch was marked by a government shutdown and systems crashing under the weight of consumers eager to learn more, will this health insurance marketplace become a defining moment of President Obama's legacy?  And will the marketplace be the answer to the health care problems of those who need it most?


Basic Black - Not Just The Blues: Race and Mental Illness

Arts & Culture | Black Boston | Health

October 11, 2013

(Video available at a later date but the audio for the entire show is posted above.)

In the wake of the death of Miriam Carey, the woman who was shot to death by police after she led them on a high speed chase through Washington, DC, many questions have been raised about the state of Carey's mental health.  There was also the recent tragedy of Aaron Alexis who murdered 12 people at the Navy Yard before being killed by police.  Those incidents weren't related, but they both highlight the need for a further understanding of the historical and cultural aspects of mental health and communities of color.


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