WGBH News and Media Relations


October 6, 2017

WGBH’s Basic Black Premieres 50th Season

New season kicks off Friday, October 6th with a look at the impact of Hurricane Maria on Puerto Rico


BOSTON, October 6, 2017 – Basic Black, WGBH’s Emmy Award-winning weekly public affairs show featuring issues that impact communities of color, returns for its 50th season on Friday, October 6th at 7:30pm on WGBH 2. The new season kicks off with a discussion about the recent Hurricane Maria and its impact on Puerto Rico, including the humanitarian efforts there, questions about how the country will rebuild and an examination of the U.S. territory’s future.

Produced live at WGBH Studios in Boston, Basic Black is the longest-running program on public television focusing on the interests of people of color. The show, which was originally called Say Brother, was created in 1968 during the height of the civil rights movement as a response to the demand for public television programs reflecting the concerns of communities of color. Each episode features a panel discussion across geographic borders and generational lines with the most current stories, interviews and commentaries.

“Fifty years later, in the midst of another historical political shift, the mission of Basic Black remains strong,” says Series Producer Delores Edwards. “This season, we’ll continue to bring together experts and leaders to examine issues and discuss solutions impacting communities of color.”

Julio Ricardo Varela, co-host of the political podcast “In the Thick,” Pedro Reina-Perez, Director of Harvard’s Puerto Rico Winter Institute, Professor of Geology Marcos Luna of Salem State University, and Phillip Martin, Senior Investigative Reporter at WGBH News join Friday’s conversation, which will be hosted by Callie Crossley, host of WGBH’s Under the Radar with Callie Crossley and a weekly commentator on WGBH's Morning Edition. Past show guests include Muhammad Ali, Anita Hill, Cornel West, former Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick, Rev. Jesse Jackson, and Halle Berry and many more.

"A lot has happened since I first joined Basic Black as a host in 2008 — the historic 2008 presidential race, the reexamination of racial ideologies, the persistence of widespread societal racism — and yet many of those issues still plague our society today,” said Crossley. “I look forward to another season as we continue to explore these concerns with the sharpest thinkers and influencers from Greater Boston’s communities of color.”

Watch Basic Black Fridays at 7:30pm ET on WGBH 2, and engage with the live Friday broadcasts in real time on Facebook @BasicBlackWGBH. Find more information at wgbh.org/basicblack.

About WGBH

WGBH Boston is America’s preeminent public broadcaster and the largest producer of PBS content for TV and the Web, including MasterpieceAntiques Roadshow, Frontline, Nova, American Experience, ArthurCurious George, and more than a dozen other primetime, 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 and High School Quiz Show. WGBH Radio serves listeners across New England with 89.7 WGBH, Boston’s Local NPR®; 99.5 WCRB Classical Radio Boston; 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