Basic Black Produced live at WGBH Studios in Boston, Basic Black is the longest-running program on public television focusing on the interests of people of color. The show, which was originally called Say Brother, was created in 1968 during the height of the civil rights movement as a response to the demand for public television programs reflecting the concerns of communities of color. Each episode features a panel discussion across geographic borders and generational lines with the most current stories, interviews and commentaries.
Basic Black

Basic Black

From WGBH Radio

Produced live at WGBH Studios in Boston, Basic Black is the longest-running program on public television focusing on the interests of people of color. The show, which was originally called Say Brother, was created in 1968 during the height of the civil rights movement as a response to the demand for public television programs reflecting the concerns of communities of color. Each episode features a panel discussion across geographic borders and generational lines with the most current stories, interviews and commentaries.

Most Recent Episodes

BOOKER T. WASHINGTON VS. W.E.B. DUBOIS

Two giant historical figures in African American history who rose to prominence fighting for the rights of Black Americans. Both men had sharply different visions for African Americans' pathway to full citizenship. Booker T. Washington, born into slavery in the South, urged vocational education and accommodation within the boundaries of segregation, while the Mass. born W.E.B. Dubois pushed for leadership by those deemed most talented, as well as active protests against segregation. Panelists Paula Austin, Ph.D., Asst. Prof. Of History & African American Studies at Boston University. Kim McLarin, Assoc. Professor at Emerson College Tanisha Sullivan, Esq, President of The Boston Branch of the NAACP. She is also a Member of the WGBH Board of Advisors. Phillip Martin, Senior Investigative Reporter, New England Center for Investigative Reporting here at WGBH News.

The N Word

It's recognized as one of the most vile slurs directed at African Americans. But the N word has a complicated legacy. Linked to America's history of enslavement, it is also urban slang used in society and pop culture. Should it be banned or can the movement to reclaim it diminish its sting? And why does the N-word remain relevant today? WARNING: A warning to those of you watching and listening. This is a sensitive topic, so please know that the full word will be used during this discussion. Panelists: Nathaniel McLean-Nichols, program coordinator for teen empowerment, a local youth organization. He is also a senior at UMass Boston. Nicole Dutton is a poet. Managing Editor of "Transition Magazine" and "the Dubois review," at the Hutchins Center for African & African American Research at Harvard University. Susan X Jane, principal of Navigators Consulting. She has over 25 years of experience working in the field of culture, diversity and inclusion. Rahsaan Hall, Director of The Racial Justice Program for the A-C-L-U of MASS.

Nubian Square

Nubian Square is the new name of the Roxbury community formerly known as Dudley Square. The change came after a five-year community campaign, a ballot initiative, and finally, a unanimous approval from Boston's Public Improvement Commission. So now what? Will the name change be more than a point of cultural pride? And will the rebranded Nubian Square offer an economic future for those who live in the community now? Panelists: Phillip Martin, Senior Investigative Reporter, New England Center for Investigative Reporting, WGBH News. Sadiki Kambon, chair of the Nubian Square Coalition and Director of The Black Community Information Center. Marita Rivero, Principal of Rivero Partners. She is also the former president and C-E-O of the Museum of African American History as well as a former Vice President And G-M for Radio and Television, GBH. Richard Taylor, Managing Director, Nubian Square Development.

CRIMINAL JUSTICE REFORM

Supporters of criminal justice reform have fought against policies promoting harsh sentences and mass incarceration. In recent years there has been movement toward new policies on the federal and the state level. Other states are modeling their reforms based on the Massachusetts criminal justice reform bill, passed two years ago, which includes alternatives to prison and re-entry programs. Still, many who are caught up in the system are at risk for wrongful convictions, with people of color at greatest risk. Panelists: Rahsaan Hall, director of the racial justice program for the A-C-L-U of Massachusetts Ivan Espinoza-Madrigal, Executive Director of The Lawyers for Civil Rights in Boston. Phillip Martin, Sr. Investigative Reporter, New England Center for Investigative Reporting, GBH News Sean Ellis. Ellis was wrongfully convicted of a 1993 murder of a Boston police detective. After having spent nearly 22 years incarcerated, his conviction was overturned in 2015.

THE 2020 OUTLOOK

A new decade and a new year. In 2020 America will experience a major demographic shift. Americans under 17 years old who are minorities will become the majority. What are the other indicators – economic, cultural, political — which may predict how this new decade will impact communities of color? Guest Panelists: Dr. Numa Perez, a surgical resident at mass general hospital and healthcare innovation research fellow at the health care transformation lab. Glynn Lloyd, Executive Director of The Foundation for Business Equity Renee Graham Associate Editor and Opinion Columnist at The Boston Globe Dr. Renee Richardson Gosline, senior lecturer at M-I-T. She is also a principal research scientist at M-I-T'S initiative on the digital economy.

Success in Education: Boston Public Schools and Students of Color

This week, Massachusetts state legislators approved a big boost in K-12 school funding. Now awaiting Governor Baker's signature, the Student Opportunity Act would pump 1.5 billion dollars in schools which have been chronically underfunded. The history of education has been ripe with controversy...from the legacy of busing and issues around disparity to opportunities to attend exam schools and reports of re-segregation. How do educators build success for students and close the achievement gap? Callie Crossley hosts Phillip Martin, Sr. Investigative Reporter, NECIR and WGBH News Edith Bazile, President of BEAM - Black Educator's Alliance of Massachusetts Milly Arbaje Thomas, C-E-O of Metropolitan Council for Education Opportunity Inc, or METCO Dr. Brenda Cassellius, Superintendent, Boston Public Schools.

Review and analysis of The Impeachment Hearings

Will the impeachment hearings make a difference in the mind of citizens and will it impact the upcoming election? Panelists: Phillip Martin, Sr. Investigative Reporter, WGBH News Marcus Walker, a humanities and history teacher at Fenway High school. He also teaches at Harvard University Prof. Paul Watanabe, Professor of Political Science and Director of the Institute for Asian American studies at UMass Boston Ivan (EVON) Espinoza- Madrigal, Executive Director of the Lawyers for Civil Rights Callie Crossley hosts

Winning the Votes of Black Women

The courting of the Black Women's vote. Both Democrat and the President are looking for votes from women voters — in particular female voters of color. Will both parties take this important voting bloc serious of merely take them for granted? Parson Hicks. She was a 2016 elected At-Large Massachusetts Delegate to the R-N-C Convention and is currently a Registrar for the City of Manchester. Sharon Stout, Deputy Treasurer for the Mass. Dems. She is also the co-chair for the Newton Democrats and a board member of the Emerge Massachusetts chapter, an organization that helps women prepare and run for office Kim McLarin, Assoc. Prof. of Writing, Literature and Publishing, Emerson College Callie Crossley Moderates

The history of 1619 and the film, "Harriet"

The 400th anniversary of the first enslaved Africans to arrive to America and Harriet Tubman — the most well-known conductor on the Underground Railroad, and her amazing story, now portrayed in a newly released film, "Harriet." Panelists: Marita Rivero, President and C-E-O of the Museum of African American History. She is also a former VP and General Manager of Radio and Television, here at WGBH Dr. Kellie Carter Jackson, Asst. Prof. of Africana Studies at Wellesley College. She is the author of, "Force & Freedom: Black Abolitionists and the Politics of Violence" Renee Graham, Assoc. Editor and Opinion Columnist for The Boston Globe Kim McLarin, Assoc. Prof. of Writing, Literature and Publishing, Emerson College. She is also a columnist, for the Washington Post's "The Lily." Callie Crossley, hosts.

Horror Noire

Recent films like "Get Out," "Us," "Ma" and the upcoming remake of "Candyman" Black horror genre is on the rise. Now, with the explosion of the genre has come new opportunities for actors of color and for Black filmmakers to express their visions and for audiences of all kinds to see new and complex reflections of Black life, all through the lens of horror. Guest Panelists: Actor, Naheem Garcia. He is also a Director & Educator Arjun Singh, Producer, WGBH, Boston Public Radio, 89.7 Lisa Simmons, Founder and artistic director of the Roxbury international Film Festival. She is also the President of the Color of Film Collaborative Filmmaker and Director, Vladimir Minuty Kim McLarin, hosts