A Conversation with Ahmed Kathrada

Recent Episodes

Basic Black: A Change Is Gonna Come

Basic Black: A Change Is Gonna Come

Basic Black

May 1, 2015

From anger, to resilience, to a call for calm, this week Basic Black looks at the lessons to be learned from the eruptions in Baltimore on race, class, and rebuilding community.

 
 
 
Photo: A man makes a heart shape with his hands during a peaceful protest near the CVS pharmacy that was set on fire on Monday in Baltimore. Credit Andrew Burton/Getty Images for NPR.
 

Show title from A Change is Gonna Come by Sam Cooke, 1964.

Basic Black: Historical Facts and Uncomfortable Truths

Basic Black: Historical Facts and Uncomfortable Truths

Basic Black

April 24, 2015

Renowned scholar Henry Louis Gates is under fire for giving in to a demand to change content for his Finding Your Roots program. Actor Ben Affleck asked Gates to leave out information about his slave holding ancestors. We'll explore what happens when an historical fact is an uncomfortable truth.
 
Later, Michael Eric Dyson’s 10,000 word, detailed, blistering, take-down of Cornel West, his one-time friend and mentor. Is this a personal spat, or a long overdue reset of the role of  public intellectuals in the age of BlackLivesMatter?
 
And finally join us online to take a look at the road to the confirmation of Loretta Lynch, to become the first African American woman US Attorney General.
 
 

Photo:  Henry Louis Gates Jr., executive producer of "The African Americans: Many Rivers to Cross with Henry Louis Gates Jr.," addresses reporters during the PBS Summer 2013 TCA press tour at the Beverly Hilton Hotel on Wednesday, Aug. 7, 2013 in Beverly Hills, Calif. (Photo by Chris Pizzello/Invision/AP)

 

 

Basic Black: A Thaw in the Cold War?

Basic Black: A Thaw in the Cold War?

Basic Black

April 17, 2015

It was more than just a handshake at the Summit of the Americas last week as President Barack Obama shook hands with Cuba’s President Raul Castro. It has been widely described as the beginnings of a thaw in US-Latin American relations. It’s been welcomed in some quarters as a mark of progress in American foreign policy while condemned by others as a capitulation to a long-standing communist enemy.  

This week, Basic Black looks at the changes in US-Latin American relations and what impact this could have on Latinos living in the United States, immigration reform and economic development for Latin America.

 

Photo: US President Barack Obama and Cuban President Raul Castro shake hands at the Summit of the Americas in Panama City, Panama, Saturday, April 11, 2015. AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)

Basic Black: Urban Renaissance

Basic Black: Urban Renaissance

Basic Black

April 10, 2015

It wouldn't be a stretch to say that Dudley Square is experiencing something of a renaissance.  The dedication of the Bruce C. Bolling Municipal Building and the re-opening of Tropical Foods grocery store are the latest examples of what is hoped to be the beginnings of an economic turnaround for Roxbury and Mattapan.  We’ll talk about  Mayor Walsh’s plans with two chiefs in his administration: John Barros and Daniel Koh. 

Later in the show, in South Carolina and closer to home, a shift in official police responses to the deaths of African American men at the hands of law enforcement.

 

Basic Black: Wealth in black and white...

Basic Black: Wealth in black and white...

Basic Black

April 3, 2015

It comes down to one dollar versus a few cents. A report by the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston reveals that for every one dollar in a Boston white household, black and brown households have only pennies. While this stark reality may not be new to some, the report details the widening wealth gap, and predicts dire consequences for future generations. Later in the show, intense response still pouring in to a controversial column in Deadline Hollywood questioning whether there's too much diversity on network television.  We also get an introduction to Shaun Blugh, Boston's first-ever Chief Diversity Officer.

 

Basic Black: Women's History Month and News of the Week

Basic Black: Women's History Month and News of the Week

Basic Black

March 27, 2015

As Women’s History Month comes to a close we ask, what should be on the agenda for women’s issues as the presidential political campaign ramps up?  Later in the show, we look at why the tide has turned on the Boston’s bid for the 2024 Olympics.  And later, is there anything to be learned from Starbucks’ much criticized “Race Together” campaign?

 

(Callie Crossley, host, Under the Radar with Callie Crossley, WGBH 89.7; Kim McLarin, Associate Professor or Writing, Literature and Publishing, Emerson College)

Schedule

Friday
5/8/15 7:30 PM
WGBH 2
Saturday
5/9/15 11:00 PM
WGBH 2
Sunday
5/10/15 8:00 AM
WGBH World
Sunday
5/10/15 8:30 AM
WGBX 44
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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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