Basic Black: Politics and Prose
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
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
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
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
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...
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?
4/3/15 7:30 PM
4/4/15 11:00 PM
4/5/15 8:30 AM
4/10/15 7:30 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