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Basic Black; Racial Profiling


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Basic Black
Racial Profiling
Program Number


Series Description

THe series was formerly known as Say Brother. Series title change as of 1/8/1998. This series is black produced and is one of public television's longest-running series that is rooted in and reflects the culture, concerns, achievements and history of people of African descent. Also includes controversial issues, African American artists, and events of special interest to the African American community.

Series release date: 1/8/1998

Program Description

Are Blacks--particularly Black men--unfairly targeted by law enforcement officers? GREATER BOSTON's Tom Moroney joins BASIC BLACK host Darren Duarte for an investigation of this local and national trend, talking to victims of racial profiling as well as law enforcement officers who have practiced it. The two men open a frank discussion of the personal conflicts that are behind racial profiling.

A black man is stopped by police while driving. Does he fit the description of someone who just committed a crime? Is he speeding or disobeying the law? Or is he simply "driving while black"? BASIC BLACK takes on the complicated subject of Racial Profiling by law enforcement officers. GREATER BOSTON contributor Tom Moroney joins BASIC BLACK host Darren Duarte for a frank, honest, and compelling discussion between two colleagues—one white, one black—of this sensitive, highly-charged topic.

Duarte introduces some black and Latino men who feel they have been victims of racial profiling. Benito Martinez of Chelsea tells of how he was followed for two miles by police. When he was stopped, he was cited with speeding and not wearing his seatbelt. But Martinez claims that knowing the police were following him, he was on his best behavior, not speeding. Dr. Ken Bridges, a physician, tells Duarte that he has been stopped by police several times for no apparent reason. Bridges feels that racial profiling happens to most people of color, regardless of class.

Moroney talks to police officers to present the law enforcement side of the story. Framingham chief of police Brent Larabee says that ensuring that his staff does not profile is his top priority. To him, good policing means giving a good service to the public you serve, and profiling reflects poorly on his department. Natick patrolman Ron Richardson—who is black—has a reputation as a tough officer. He tells Moroney that he gets profiled when he stops black drivers, who label him an "Uncle Tom." Another officer says that although profiling does exists and may be an effective tool to catch criminals, what’s crucial is that victims of profiling are treated better.



Asset Type

Broadcast program

Media Type


Race and Ethnicity
Social Issues
Chicago: “Basic Black; Racial Profiling,” 01/20/2000, WGBH Media Library & Archives, accessed October 23, 2016, http://openvault.wgbh.org/catalog/V_2D4262CE078D4DEBB957CE4067B681ED.
MLA: “Basic Black; Racial Profiling.” 01/20/2000. WGBH Media Library & Archives. Web. October 23, 2016. <http://openvault.wgbh.org/catalog/V_2D4262CE078D4DEBB957CE4067B681ED>.
APA: Basic Black; Racial Profiling. Boston, MA: WGBH Media Library & Archives. Retrieved from http://openvault.wgbh.org/catalog/V_2D4262CE078D4DEBB957CE4067B681ED
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