Callie Crossley to Step Down and Join The Culture Show on GBH 89.7
Boston, MA — October 18, 2023 — GBH News will elevate new voices and perspectives in the 56th anniversary season of Basic Black, the longest-running program on public television focusing on the interests of people of color. Launching on October 20, the season will explore issues that resonate deeply within communities of color while celebrating the achievements of diverse communities in Greater Boston and beyond.
This season, Basic Black will lead insightful conversations spanning health and financial empowerment while amplifying the voices of Black men, women and children and raising issues of critical importance to historically marginalized communities. The show will investigate the impacts of societal violence, explore avenues for self-improvement, and cover COVID's lingering effects while celebrating the cultural achievements and excellence in Black and brown communities. Episodes at the start of the season will focus on Hispanic Heritage Month, Breast Cancer Awareness Month, and the role of community colleges in shaping opportunities for people of color.
The season debuts on Friday, October 20, with Callie Crossley’s final episode as regular host of the program. Crossley, who has hosted the program since 2008, is part of a long line of distinguished journalists of color to host the program. Crossley will join the ensemble cast contributing to The Culture Show, a GBH News radio program debuting on November 3 after Boston Public Radio. She will also continue to host her radio show and podcast, Under the Radar with Callie Crossley, and share weekly commentaries on 89.7 FM.
"For over five decades, Basic Black has been at the forefront of our mission to amplify the diverse voices and perspectives within Greater Boston's communities," said Lee Hill, executive editor of GBH News. "The show is a cornerstone of GBH and public media's commitment to covering and empowering communities of color. I want to congratulate Callie Crossley on her incredible achievements with the program and look forward to the show's continued relevance and impact in shaping a more inclusive and informed society."
In her last regular hosting appearance, Crossley will lead a panel discussion with GBH News Senior Investigative Reporter Phillip Martin, Boston Globe Associate Editor and Columnist Renee Graham and author, journalist, professor, and former Basic Black host Kim McClarin. The panel will celebrate Crossley’s time with the program, and the conversation will center around some of her favorite Basic Black episodes and preview the upcoming season.
"Hosting Basic Black has been an incredible journey and an unparalleled opportunity to shape vital discussions on the issues underpinning the lives of people of color," said Callie Crossley. "After more than a decade with the program, I'm eager to pass the baton to the next host, who will continue the show's important mission. Rest assured, I'm not going anywhere. I will keep sharing stories and leading conversations on Under the Radar with Callie Crossley, and I look forward to my new role, co-hosting The Culture Show in November."
The roster of hosts for the upcoming season spans generations and experience and will include Phillip Martin, a senior investigative reporter at GBH News; Paris Alston, co-host of GBH News’ Morning Edition; Crystal Haynes, an Emmy award-winning journalist and lecturer at Northeastern University; Kristen L. Pope, a trailblazing television host, journalist, and multi-media strategist who also serves as the first Black Woman Select Board member in Natick; and Tanisha Sullivan, an award-winning civil rights leader and corporate attorney who currently serves as the President of the Boston Branch of the NAACP. Additional hosts will be added as the season progresses.
Originally called Say Brother, the show was created in 1968 during the height of the civil rights movement as a response to the demand for public television programs reflecting community concerns. The program has been led by Executive Producer Delores Edwards since 2016 and Kenrick Mercado serves as associate producer. Basic Black airs on GBH 2 on Friday at 7:30 p.m. and can be found on the GBH News YouTube Channel, the GBH News website, as a podcast wherever you get your podcasts, and on Facebook, Instagram, and X.
GBH is the leading multiplatform creator for public media in America. As the largest producer of content for PBS and partner to NPR and PRX, GBH delivers compelling experiences, stories and information to audiences wherever they are. GBH’s local television channels include GBH 2, GBH 44, GBH WORLD and GBH Kids. With a newsroom headquartered in Boston, GBH reaches across New England with GBH 89.7, Boston’s Local NPR; CRB Classical 99.5; and CAI, the Cape and Islands NPR station. From Boston to the Berkshires, from Worcester to the Cape and Islands, GBH is dedicated to connecting the Commonwealth through news, programming, learning tools and events. GBH has been recognized with hundreds of the nation’s premier broadcast, digital and journalism awards. Find more information at gbh.org.