A Conversation with Ahmed Kathrada

Recent Episodes

Basic Black: Politics and Prose

Basic Black: Politics and Prose

Basic Black

February 27, 2015

This year’s Oscar© ceremony has been described as one of the most political in recent memory, as winners acceptance speeches included history lessons and calls to action on women’s issues and immigration.  We’ll take a closer look at comments on equal pay for women, feminism, and the civil rights movement coming out of the Oscars© winners circle.  Later in the show, as Black History Month comes to a close, we pause to remember the artistry of writer James Baldwin, whose provocative essays on race and identity in America still resonate.

 

(Image source: CNN, Patricia Arquette, Common, and John Legend, @Academy Awards, February 22, 2015)

Basic Black: Rediscovering Black History in Color

Basic Black: Rediscovering Black History in Color

Basic Black

February 20, 2015

The African American experience is taught in many forms from songs to films to performance, but one of the latest forms to grow in popularity is the graphic novel.  We’ll talk with author Joel Christian Gill about his newest work, Strange Fruit: Uncelebrated Narratives From Black History.

Later in the show, on the eve of the 50th anniversary of the death of Malcolm X, we look at the last years of his life and the meaning of his movement for contemporary times.

 

Image: From Bass Reeves, Tales Of The Talented Tenth, Vol 1., by Joel Christian Gill, 2014.

 

Basic Black: After the Storm... Beverly Scott and the MBTA

Basic Black: After the Storm... Beverly Scott and the MBTA

Basic Black

February 13, 2015

Back to back storms in as little as two weeks dropped record amounts of snow on New England.  The capacity of the MBTA’s equipment was put to the test, but the system buckled under the weight of the weather.  In the face of widespread train delays and mounting criticism, MBTA General Manager Beverly Scott responded with a fiery press conference that’s not likely to be forgotten anytime soon.  The day after her press conference, Scott submitted her letter of resignation. We’ll take a look at her tenure and immediate task at hand to get the trains back to normal.

Later in the show, as the Bay State Banner celebrates 50 years of reporting the news of New England’s communities of color, we discuss the continuing evolution of journalists of color.

 

Basic Black News of the Week: On-Screen Families and the Vaccination Question

Basic Black News of the Week: On-Screen Families and the Vaccination Question

Basic Black

February 6, 2015

This week on Basic Black’s roundtable:

    •    With the rise of television shows like Black-ish and Empire and the newly-released movie Black and White, we ask if Hollywood is on the way to realistic portrayals of families of color.
    •    A measles outbreak earlier this week at Disneyland in California re-ignited the debate over vaccinations - with oftentimes limited access to healthcare are children of color at particular risk?

 

Basic Black: Portraits of Purpose

Basic Black: Portraits of Purpose

Basic Black

January 30, 2015

The pictures and stories of Bostonians whose stories have been sidelined are now highlighted in a book more than 20 years in the making. Now in 107 portraits coupled with narrative profiles, the contributions of some notable Bostonians of color are preserved for all time. The book is Portraits of Purpose: A Tribute to Leadership and we’re joined by photographer Don West and writer, Kenneth Cooper.

 

Basic Black - Boston: Going for gold...

Basic Black - Boston: Going for gold...

Basic Black

January 23, 2015

Boston won the opportunity to represent the United States in a bid to host the 2024 Summer Olympics, erupting a host of opinions, with very few opinions coming down the middle, but all of them mentioning the cost.  What will be the impact good or bad, for Boston's neighborhoods?  Later in the show, we review Boston Mayor Marty Walsh¹s first State of the City address.  What do his plans mean for the future of race relations, economic development, and public safety?

 

Schedule

Friday
3/27/15 7:30 PM
WGBH 2
Sunday
3/29/15 8:30 AM
WGBX 44
Friday
4/3/15 7:30 PM
WGBH 2
Sunday
4/5/15 8:30 AM
WGBX 44
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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