A Basic Black Special: Race and Ferguson Beyond The Headlines
Original broadcast date: August 21, 2014
It's been almost two weeks since 18 year old Michael Brown was shot and killed by Ferguson, MO police officer Darren Wilson, but the reverberations from police and protestors surrounding his death continue. Brown's death was the fourth this summer in as many weeks in which an African American man was killed by law enforcement. In a special conversation this week, Basic Black goes beyond the headlines to explore the racial, historical, and cultural underpinnings of the relationship of law enforcement to communities of color and the meaning of protest in a post-civil rights movement era.
Photo: A man is moved by a line of police as authorities disperse a protest in Ferguson, Mo. early Wednesday, Aug. 20, 2014. On Saturday, Aug. 9, 2014, a white police officer fatally shot Michael Brown, an unarmed black teenager, in the St. Louis suburb. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel)
"We Who Believe In Freedom:" 50 Years After Freedom Summer and the Civil Rights Act
June 6, 2014
Fifty years ago this summer, the modern civil rights movement was front and center on the nation's headlines, President Lyndon Johnson signed the Civil Rights Act of 1964 into law and Freedom Summer was in full swing in Mississippi. But the struggle for racial equality, by law and in the voting booth, was from over and activists persisted in the fight often against systematic violent attacks including beating, arson, and murder. This week on Basic Black we acknowledge the 50th anniversary of the pivotal events of that summer and examine its impact on contemporary movements for racial, social and economic quality.
Basic Black: Remembering Maya Angelou
May 30, 2014
This week on Basic Black-- we pause to remember Maya Angelou—cultural icon, global artist, and wise elder who died this week at the age of 86. Angelou’s first book, I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings became a bestseller 30 years ago. We'll talk about her seminal works and later in the discussion, a conversation we hope Angelou would have appreciated, our favorite books and authors we're taking with us into the summer.
Author Maya Angelou delivers a tribute to South African Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu at the J. William Fulbright Prize for International Understanding Award Ceremony at the State Department in Washington, Friday, Nov. 21, 2008. (AP Photo/Gerald Herbert)
Victory At Home & Abroad: Race in the U.S. Armed Services
May 23, 2014
From the valor of the 54th Massachusetts regiment, to the commanding presence of General Colin Powell, to the overwhelmingly African American, Asian, and Latino volunteer troops -- people of color have had a complicated experience in America’s military. Tonight on Basic Black, a Memorial Day conversation about historical and contemporary experience of people of color and serving in the US armed forces.
(Photo source: Army OneSource)
Basic Black: Brown v Board and the Return of Segregation?
Original broadcast date: May 16, 2014
This week on Basic Black, we take a look at the lasting impact of Brown v. Board of Education as we approach the 60th Anniversary of the Supreme Court decision in the case.
Additional reading: The Pro Publica Series, Segregation Now.
We'll also turn our lens on Nigeria in the wake of the kidnapping of over 300 schoolgirls. The crime has attracted international attention including rallies held here in the Boston area and prompted US intervention in an effort to find the girls.
Top photo: Students, parents and educators rally at the Supreme Court in Washington, Tuesday, May 13, 2014, for the 60th anniversary Brown v. Board of Education decision that struck down the “separate but equal” concept established under Plessy v. Ferguson that kept schools segregated. (AP Photo)
Basic Black - Affirmative Action: Slippery Slope Or Uphill Battle...?
May 2, 2014
This week on Basic Black, we take a look at the recent Supreme Court ruling upholding Michigan's ban on affirmative action as a consideration in admissions to the state's public universities. The majority and dissent opinions mirrored the national debate on achieving racial diversity in higher education, but we'll discuss how that debate intensified with the backdrop of Donald Sterling's audiotaped disdain for the company of "black people," Cliven Bundy's remarks on the merits of slavery, and African American students at Harvard creating the "ITooAmHarvard" campaign.
9/14/14 8:00 AM
9/14/14 4:00 PM
June 21, 2013
This week "Black Twitter" erupted after the news of Food Network chef Paula Deen admitted to routinely using the n-word ("Yes, of course…" replied Deen when asked) and dreamt of creating a slave-themed wedding party. What takes this out of the realm of private conversations between friends is that the admissions came during a deposition in which Deen and her brother are being sued for racial discrimination and sexual harassment. It's also ironic that this episode occurred on Juneteenth. Within hours, #paulasbestdishes was the leading trend on Twitter. At first glance, it looked like an any other active Twitter feed. But a longer look leads to deeper questions including:
- What would this story have looked like 10 years ago, before the advent of social media?
- Because the response to Paula Deen's acknowledgement rose out of social media, does that make the response less serious? Especially since were talking about the n-word...
- Is social media best suited to cultural themes, or can it be pushed into creating real-time action (and what could this mean for New England's communities of color?)
- In order for any of the tweets to have impact beyond humor, the reader has to have some sort of knowledge or connection to history, otherwise, "Nat Turnip Greens" has no meaning for you…
Panel (l to r):
Phillip Martin, senior reporter, WGBH News
Callie Crossley, host, Under the Radar, 89.7 WGBH Radio
Michael P. Jeffries, assistant professor of American Studies, Wellesley College
Kim McLarin, author, Divorce Dog: Men, Motherhood, and Midlife
News updates from WGBH