13 September 2009

Basic Black

Last night I stumbled onto a great program on Boston's public tv station WGBH, "Basic Black", where host Kim McLarin talked for half an hour with Tavis Smiley and Cornel West about life in the Obama era (I was particularly taken with West's suggestion that Obama himself is "reluctant to step into the Age of Obama" and with the discussion of the meaning and implications of the terms "black" and "negro".)  The entire show is available as a streaming video.  (I've only recently discovered my tv gets WGBH, so I'm sure some regular viewers are thinking, "What, Cheney, have you been living under a rock?!"  Until a year ago, I hadn't ever owned a tv, so, well, yes...)

The website includes past shows as video or audio podcasts, and scrolling through the archives, I see lots of programs I'll be looking at soon, because the topics and guest lists are of the sort that are rare on U.S. television: thoughtful conversations with artists and intellectuals.  A roundtable on black theatre in Boston.  Poets Elizabeth Alexander and Major Jackson.  The great dancer Bill T. Jones.  Anna Deavere Smith.  Sweet Honey in the Rock.  Patricia Williams.  Wole Soyinka.

And lots more.