WGBH News and Media Relations


September 19, 2013

WGBH’s Basic Black Premieres 45th Season

New season kicks off Friday, September 20 with a look at Boston’s wide-open mayoral race; Globe’s Wesley Lowery joins panel as special guest
BOSTON, Mass. (September 19, 2013) –WGBH’s Emmy Award-winning Basic Black returns for its 45th season with 26 live episodes of panel discussions examining local and national issues from the African American perspective. The new season, premiering Friday, September 20 at 7:30pm on WGBH 2, kicks off with a look at Boston’s mayoral race, the first open race for Mayor in 20 years. Half of the field’s 12 candidates are people of color. With less than one week left for residents of Boston to make a decision on who they will vote for in the preliminary election, Basic Black explores what a new mayor can mean to the vitality of communities of color.
The series’ strong core of rotating panelists includes WGBH News journalist Callie Crossley, WGBH News senior investigative reporter Phillip Martin, Tufts University history professor and founding director of the Center for Race and Democracy Peniel Joseph, Emerson College assistant professor of writing, literature and publishing Kim McLarin, and NECN lead anchor Latoyia Edwards. A guest panelist also is invited each week based on the show’s big topics of the week. Boston Globe political reporter Wesley Lowery, who is one of the paper’s lead reporters covering the race and has reported for the Los Angeles Times, Wall Street Journal, Columbus Dispatch, and the Detroit News, joins Friday’s conversation.
“I’m thrilled to go back into the studio with our team, who each week bring a sharp and provocative perspective to the major issues of the day,” said Valerie Linson, Executive Producer for the series. “Viewers will hear perspectives on local and national issues on Basic Black that they won’t hear anywhere else. And we’re continuing to connect with and reach out to a wider audience via social media and live engagement.”
Viewers willhave an opportunity to interact with the live Friday broadcasts in real time on basicblack.org. The website also features archived episodes from the series—from segments from the ’60s, forever preserved in the “Say Brother Collection,” to more recent episodes featured in the “Studio B” section of the site. “Black Perspectives Now” offers visitors inside reports, essays and videos from across Boston on arts and culture, health, politics, the economy, LGBT issues, and more.
“In a time when audiences are splintered and 24/7 cable is sustained through loud voices, Basic Black continues to provide thoughtful, substantive analysis for all audiences from the perspective of Boston’s African American community,” said WGBH News Managing Director Ted Canova, who oversees production of Basic Black, Greater Boston with Emily Rooney, and WGBH News.
Basic Blackalso will bring back its “Salon” series of intimate gatherings to connect the content and ideas explored on the show with the audiences it serves in a more direct way.
Basic Black has served as a vehicle for African American community empowerment and for the sharing and celebration of its rich history and culture since 1968. Basic Black remains the longest-running program on public television focusing on the interests of people of color.
Get more information at basicblack.org, on Facebookand Twitter.
About WGBH
WGBH Boston is America’s preeminent public broadcaster and the largest producer of PBS content for TV and the Web, including Masterpiece, Antiques Roadshow, Frontline, Nova, American Experience, Arthur, Curious George, and more than a dozen other prime-time, lifestyle, and children’s series. WGBH’s television channels include WGBH 2, WGBX 44, and the digital channels World and Create. WGBH TV productions focusing on the region’s diverse community include Greater BostonBasic Black, High School Quiz Show, and Neighborhood Kitchens. WGBH Radio serves listeners across New England with 89.7 WGBH Boston Public Radio; 99.5 WCRB Classical New England; and WCAI, the Cape and Islands NPR® Station. WGBH also is a major source of programs for public radio (among them, PRI’s The World®), a leader in educational multimedia (including PBS LearningMedia™, providing the nation’s educators with free, curriculum-based digital content), and a pioneer in technologies and services that make media accessible to deaf, hard of hearing, blind, and visually impaired audiences. WGBH has been recognized with hundreds of honors: Emmys, Peabodys, duPont-Columbia Awards and Oscars. Find more information at wgbh.org.


WGBH Media Relations

Emily Balk

Catherine Burke