Basic Black: Immigration Reform and... an Icon Implodes?
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?
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.)
Basic Black: Victory for Baker | Viral Video from NYC
November 7, 2014
On the ground and in the street…
Charlie Baker beat the highly touted Democratic ground game to win the Massachusetts Governor’s race. What does his victory mean for communities of color? And later in the show, the viral video that to date has gotten over 30 million views: men catcalling a woman while she's performing the simple act of walking through the streets of New York City. We’ll talk about what it shows, and why it has sparked a heated debate about street harassment, race, and sexism.
(Image: Screenshot from the video by Hollaback!)
Basic Black: Thomas Menino's Imprint on the "New Boston"
October 31, 2014
In remembering the legacy of former Mayor Thomas Menino, State Senator Linda Dorcena Forry remarked, "He didn't just focus on downtown, it was also our neighborhoods." This week on Basic Black, we look back at the city's longest serving Mayor and the huge imprint he left on Boston's neighborhoods and communities of color.
Basic Black: Cornel West and Black Prophetic Fire
October 24, 2014
In the aftermath of his arrest protesting the killing of Michael Brown, a young black man shot to death by a white police officer, Cornel West sits down for a conversation with Callie Crossley about his new book Black Prophetic Fire, an examination of the lives of historic African American icons and how their courage to speak truth to power still resonates with contemporary activism from the events in Ferguson, MO to taking a stand against the policies of the Obama Administration.
Photo credit: Meredith Nierman, WGBH.
Basic Black: Voting Matters in Black & White
October 17, 2014
Democrat Martha Coakley and Republican Charlie Baker are in a dead heat in the Massachusetts governor's race. The margin of error in the polls for both candidates is slim, but can voters in communities of color fill the margin with a victory, sending one of them to the governor's office? Are the campaigns of the independent candidates resonating with black, Latino, or Asian voters? This week on Basic Black, we look at how the candidates for governor are delivering their message to communities of color in the race to the finish line on November 4.
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