A Conversation with Ahmed Kathrada

Recent Episodes

Basic Black: Soul Food and Soul Power

Basic Black: Soul Food and Soul Power

Basic Black

December 20, 2014

As we head into the festivities of the holiday season, we talk about the good, the bad, and the ugly of soul food.  We’re joined by Frederick Douglass Opie, author of Hog and Hominy: Soul Food from Africa to America.  Later in the show, as the #BlackLivesMatter protests continue, we pause to consider what’s next for the movement and what happens after the die-ins, the shut-downs, and the walk-outs.

 

Basic Black: Beyond the headlines this week

Basic Black: Beyond the headlines this week

Basic Black

December 12, 2014

We take a quick run through of the week’s headlines including:
- Latino representation in Boston city government leadership roles
- Pardons and commutations currently up for review in Massachusetts
- Updates on the DJ Henry case and the connection to Ferguson
- Department of Justice renewed guidelines on racial profiling
 

 

Basic Black: From Montgomery to Ferguson

Basic Black: From Montgomery to Ferguson

Basic Black

December 5, 2014


December 1st marked the 59th anniversary of Rosa Parks refusing to give up her seat on the bus to a white passenger, setting in motion the Montgomery Bus Boycott and the emerging modern civil rights movement.   We observe this anniversary amidst a wave of protests: online, on the streets, and in the marketplace… actions in response to the deaths of several African American men and boys at the hands of law enforcement.  This week on Basic Black, we consider the changing face and force of future social justice movements.??

 


Photo:  Students and community members hold their hands up on campus at Boston University in Boston, Monday, Dec. 1, 2014 to show solidarity with protesters in Ferguson, Mo. (AP Photo/Elise Amendola)

 

Basic Black: From Montgomery to Ferguson...

Basic Black: From Montgomery to Ferguson...

Basic Black

December 5, 2014

December 1st marked the 59th anniversary of Rosa Parks refusing to give up her seat on the bus to a white passenger, setting in motion the Montgomery Bus Boycott and the emerging modern civil rights movement.  We observe this anniversary amidst a wave of protests: online, on the streets, and in the marketplace… actions in response to the deaths of several African American men and boys at the hands of law enforcement. This week on Basic Black, we consider the changing face and force of future social justice movements.

 

Students and community members hold their hands up on campus at Boston University in Boston, Monday, Dec. 1, 2014 to show solidarity with protesters in Ferguson, Mo. (AP Photo/Elise Amendola)

 

Basic Black: Immigration Reform and... an Icon Implodes?

Basic Black: Immigration Reform and... an Icon Implodes?

Basic Black

November 21, 2014

This week on Basic Black: President Obama has thrown down the gauntlet to his detractors on immigration reform in the form of an executive action. Who does it impact and does this signal the beginning of a battle with Congress?  Later in the show, the unmaking of an icon, as up to 13 women have come forward with accusations of sexual assault against comedian Bill Cosby.
 

 
Photo: President Obama delivers an address on immigration reform from the East Room of the White House, November 20, 2014.  (Official White House photo by Pete Souza.)

Basic Black: A Hyphenated Life?

Basic Black: A Hyphenated Life?

Basic Black

November 14, 2014

Identity is an ever evolving, some would say elusive concept in American culture:  Grammy award-winning artist Pharrell declares himself part of the “new black” generation… The US Army only last week eliminated “Negro” as a racial designation… “More Hispanics declaring themselves white” was a New York Times headline in May… and Asian American and Pacific Islander students at Harvard recently held a forum to bring their issues to the forefront.  This week on Basic Black we look at the common thread through these and other stories identity, and what it means on a personal level and the global landscape.
 

 

(Photo: Pharrell/Jonathan Short - Invision- Associated Press, 2014.)

 

Schedule

Friday
12/26/14 7:30 PM
WGBH 2
Saturday
12/27/14 11:00 PM
WGBH 2
Sunday
12/28/14 8:30 AM
WGBX 44
Friday
1/2/15 7:30 PM
WGBH 2
TBA TBA TBA TBA

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The history of South Africa's struggle for freedom from racial segregation and oppression would be incomplete without the story of Ahmed Kathrada.

 

Born in 1929 to Indian migrants, Kathrada gravitated toward the antiapartheid movement at age 12. In his teens, as a member of the African National Congress, a nonviolent civil rights group, he participated in peace rallies alongside Nelson Mandela, the group's leader. But on March 21, 1960, a turning point occurred when police opened fire on a peaceful antiapartheid rally in the Sharpeville township, leaving 69 people dead and 180 injured. After the Sharpeville massacre, the ANC started questioning its nonviolent tactics. In 1961, the ANC formed an armed wing, mobilizing attacks against white establishments. A year later, both Mandela and Kathrada were arrested and were later among those sentenced to life imprisonment on Robben Island, off Cape Town.

 

Upon his release in 1989, at age 60, Kathrada entered a new South Africa. In 1990, South African president F.W. de Klerk released Mandela and lifted the ban on apartheid. In 1991, Mandela became ANC president, and the once banned group became the predominant political party. In the country's first democratic elections in 1994, Mandela was elected as the country's first black president. And when forming his cabinet that year, Mandela appointed Kathrada as his presidential adviser.

 

In this episode of Basic Black, hosted by Howard Manly, Kathrada shares events highlighted in his 2004 autobiography, Memoirs, as well as his current mission to educate the public about human rights and South Africa's liberation movement as chair of the Robben Island Museum Council.

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