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Basic Black Podcast

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 discusses the upcoming Super Tuesday primaries/caucuses and the presidential election. While the 2024 election cycle is underway, it is hard to tell. Will voters turn out, given voter fatigue and low enthusiasm? Questions about Biden’s age (Trump’s too), whether Biden can hold on to Black and young voters are a growing concern. Plus, many people believe the presidential candidates have already been decided, so why bother to vote. How can the candidates and political parties energize Black and Brown voters and why voting matters? Panelists: Renée Graham, Associate Editor, Opinion Columnist, and author of the weekly newsletter, Outtakes, The Boston Globe. Diana Hwang, founder and executive director of The Asian American Women’s Political Initiative (AAWPI). Phillip Martin, Sr. Investigative Reporter, GBH News Center for Investigative Reporting. State Senator Liz Miranda, representing the Massachusetts Senate's 2nd Suffolk district. Tanisha Sullivan hosts.
  • The new GBH News podcast, What is Owed?, a 7-part podcast examines reparations in Boston, nationally and internationally. The first episode, When a City Tries to Heal Itself was recently released. Panelists: Jerome Campbell, senior producer for the GBH News podcast, "What Is Owed?" Saraya Wintersmith, politics reporter for GBH News, and host of the new podcast, "What Is Owed?" Kellie Carter Jackson, Chair of the Africana Studies Department at Wellesley College, and author of, "Force and Freedom: Black Abolitionists and the Politics of Violence." George “Chip” Greenidge, member of the Boston Task Force on Reparations and the Founder and Director of Greatest MINDS. Phillip Martin hosts.
  • Black dolls have been around since the 1800’s, created in different shapes, sizes and styles, but Black or multiethnic dolls were hard to come by. Over the years finding a Black or multicultural doll has improved. Children of color seeing and having a doll that looks like them in skin tone and hair texture is empowering and celebratory, as dolls can aid in a child’s development, their ability to imagine and comprehend their individuality. Dolls can also offer a reflection or point of view in society. The well-known doll study by Kenneth and Mamie Clark was pivotal during the Brown v. Board of Education case. In this episode celebrating Black History Month, this episode discusses the history of dolls, dollmakers, dolls in pop culture, beauty, race, gender and identity. Panelists: Widline Pyrame, Founder and CEO of Fusion Dolls. Debra Britt, Founder and Executive Director of the National Black Doll Museum of History & Culture in North Attleborough, Mass. Lisa Simmons, Artistic Executive Director of the Roxbury International Film Festival. Dr. Tahirah Abdullah-Swain, Associate Professor of Psychology, UMass Boston. Kristen L. Pope hosts.
  • October 27 Basic Black: Black and Brown Women Surviving Breast Cancer October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month, and this week on Basic Black, we bring together survivors and experts to discuss Included in this episode is a piece by host Crystal Haynes getting a follow up mammogram. According to the American Cancer Society, Black women are about 40% more likely to die of breast cancer than white women. They are often diagnosed with a more aggressive form of the disease and sometimes at a younger age. Panelists: Dr. Naomi Ko, Associate Professor, Chobanian and Avedisian School of Medicine, AND Medical Oncologist at Boston Medical Center Nekia Clark, Director of Patient Services and Outreach at the Ellie Fund AND Co-Chair of the Boston Breast Equity Coalition...Nekia is also a breast cancer survivor. Jani Raynor, Patient living with breast cancer AND a former patient of the Ellie Fund. Karen Burns White, Deputy Associate Director, Initiative to Eliminate Cancer Disparities, Center for Cancer Equity and Engagement at Dana-Farber/Harvard Cancer Center. Crystal Haynes hosts.
  • Nov. 17 Basic Black: Phillis in Boston There is a new play in Boston about poet, writer and author Phillis Wheatley. Phillis in Boston centers around Wheatley returning to Boston from London in 1773, after her getting her book published. However, copies of her book are stuck on the Dartmouth--the ship that also transported tea from Britain embroiled in the Boston Tea Party conflict. The play and our episode highlight other moments of Wheatley’s life including her relationship with her enslaver, Susanna Wheatley. Performances of Phillis in Boston are at the historic Old South Meeting House. It's the same gathering place where Wheatley was a congregant. Later in the program, we also feature a series of banners in Roxbury and Dorchester that honor other notable Black women including Marita Rivero, GBH’s former Vice President and General Manager. Panelists: Adeola ‘Ade’ Solanke, Playwright of, "Phillis in Boston" and founder and director of Spora Stories. Kyera Singleton, Executive Director of the Royall House and Slave Quarters in Medford. Joshua Olumide, Actor who plays Prince Hall. Adreyanua Jean-Louis, Actor, who plays Phillis Wheatley. Kristen Pope hosts.
  • Nov. 10 Basic Black: Hispanic and Latin Culture There are more than 800,000 Latinos who call Massachusetts their home. Some reports estimate the number is much higher. But, as we recognize the history and contributions in art, music, food, and entrepreneurship, we cannot overlook on going socioeconomic issues – from housing to putting food on the table for their families. Friday’s episode will discuss the issues, concerns, and opportunities in the Hispanic and Latino community. Panelists: Dr. Celina Miranda, Executive Director of the Hyde Square Task Force. Dr. Lorna Rivera, Director of the Mauricio Gastón Institute for Latino Community Development & Public Policy at U-Mass Boston. Beyazmin Jimenez, Director of Diversity, Equity, Inclusion & Culture at Northeastern University. Betty Francisco, C-E-O of Boston Impact Initiative AND Co-Founder of Amplify Latin X. Kristen Pope hosts.
  • Nov. 3 Basic Black: Free Community College and Black Americans' Trust in the News This week, a recent survey conducted by the PEW Research Center, found that Black Americans said there are a range of issues on how the media reports stories about Black people, and more care is needed. We’ll have a panelist joining us remotely at the top of the episode to discuss some of the findings from the report. Then, a discussion about Free Community College. About 33 states offer free tuition. Now in Massachusetts, residents, 25 and older without a degree can apply to attend community college for free, through Mass Re-Connect, a program Gov. Healey launched. The panelists discuss how the program can help change the economic outlook for many students of color of the newly popular program. Panelists: Ronald Mitchell co-owner, editor and publisher, The Bay State Banner (remote) Jackie Jenkins Scott, Interim President, Roxbury Community College Patrick Tutwiler, Ph.D., Massachusetts Secretary of Education Pam Eddinger, Ph.D., President, Bunker Hill Community College. She is also a member of the GBH board. Nehemie Desulme, Roxbury Community College student currently in the Mass Re-Connect program. Tanisha Sullivan hosts.
  • October 20 Memorable Moments This episode will bring together past guests to discuss memorable and pivotal episodes that had an impact on Black, Indigenous and people of color, here in Boston and around the world. It is also long-time moderator, Callie Crossley’s last show permanently hosting the program. People will still be able to see and hear Callie on her radio program, Under the Radar, GBH News and the new radio program, The Culture Show. Panelists: Renée Graham, Associate Editor and Opinion Columnist, The Boston Globe’s op-ed page. Kim McLarin, Professor and Interim Dean, Graduate and Professional Studies at Emerson College. Phillip Martin, Senior Investigative Reporter, GBH News Center for Investigative Reporting. Callie Crossley hosts.
  • Basic Black at the NAACP National Convention The discussion was about affirmative action and student loan debt. This discussion took place on July 28th, 2023 at the NAACP National Convention in Boston. Panelists: Renee Graham, Associate Editor and Columnist at The Boston Globe. Traci Griffith, Director of the Racial Justice Program for the A-C-L-U of Massachusetts. Dr. Lynn Perry Wooten, President of Simmons University. Dr. Wooten is also a member of the GBH board. Phillip Martin, Senior Investigative Reporter for GBH News. Tanisha Sullivan, Esq, President of NAACP Boston Branch hosts.
  • Across the country, communities of color continue to face the pressures of debt and deal with its impact on their mental health and livelihood. For many, debt can feel insurmountable as the costs of living, housing, and food continue to rise, sometimes it doesn't seem clear how to get out of debt. This week on Basic Black at the Boston Public Library, our discussion is about the significant impact of credit card and other types of debt, plus hear some methods to help reduce debt. Panelists: William Watkins, Vice President of Digital Strategy and Partnerships, Urban League of Eastern Massachusetts Sabrina Antoine Correia, Vice President of Corporate Responsibility at JPMorgan & Chase Paris Alston, co-host of Morning Edition GBH 89.7 hosts
  • Basic Black at the BPL: Skin Cancer Aug 9, 2023 As the summer heats up, it's important to remind everyone about skin safety, especially for people of color. According to research, there has been an increase in melanoma rates for Black and Brown skin complexions, and for those with higher melanin, they are also developing skin cancer at later stages, sometimes with a lower chance of survival rate. This week on Basic Black at the Boston Public Library, a discussion about skin cancer and melanoma awareness for communities of color. Panelists: Dr. Ali Al-Haseni, board-certified dermatologist, The Dermatology Institute of Boston Akou Diabakhate, licensed aesthetician, founder of Bold Skin Babe Paris Alston hosts
  • Basic Black: March on Washington and New Bay state Banner Owners Our show on Friday we will recognize the upcoming 60th anniversary of the March on Washington and the new owners of the Bay State Banner. In many ways the Bay State Banner may have not happened if it wasn’t for the March on Washington. The March for Freedom, Civil Rights and jobs along with the passage of 1964 Civil Right Act, inspired editor and publisher Melvin Miller to start the Banner, covering local and national stories affecting Boston’s African American community. Now the torch has been passed to two new Black owners of the Bay State Banner, and we’ll learn what they have in store for the 58-year-old newspaper. Panelists: Ronald Mitchell, Co-Owner, Editor and Publisher, Bay State Banner. Glynn Lloyd, Executive Director, Mill Cities Community Investments, lead investor for the Bay State Banner André Stark, Co-Owner and C-O-O, Bay State Banner. Callie Crossley hosts.