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Basic Black; Conversations With Don King


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Basic Black
Conversations With Don King
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

Almost no one is neutral about boxing promoter Don King. But love him or hate him, it's hard to deny that he's been remarkably successful in the cutthroat world of boxing. BASIC BLACK's Darren Duarte talks to King to present a personal profile of a man whose life story in many ways represents the American dream.

Boxing promoter Don King is bigger than boxing. He has been called an American icon, a sports legend, a promotional genius, a cheater, a thief.

King’s well-known catch-phrase, "Only in America," is prominent in this interview. He tells Duarte of his rise from a Cleveland, Ohio, ghetto to become one of professional sports’ greatest promoters. With over 400 championships fights to his credit, King has been featured in all major media and has been honored with the NAACP’s highest honor, the President’s Award.

He talks to Duarte about his achievements, boasting about his role in revolutionizing the pay scale in the field of boxing. He also claims responsibility for the creation of the nation’s exclusionary rule, which prohibits law enforcement from illegal search and seizure; King brought this issue to the U.S. Supreme Court.

About the controversies that surround him and his career—two murder charges and a jail sentence, alleged connections with the mob, cheating boxers out of their winnings—King is philosophical. "You have some setbacks but you deal with them," he tells BASIC BLACK. "I eradicated the word ‘failure’ from my vocabulary." While he served a prison sentence for beating a man to death in Cleveland in the 1960s, he took college courses. "I went in with a pea shooter…when I came out, I was armed and dangerous" with knowledge, he says.



Asset Type

Broadcast program

Media Type


Social Issues
Race and Ethnicity
Chicago: “Basic Black; Conversations With Don King,” 02/17/2000, WGBH Media Library & Archives, accessed April 23, 2019, http://openvault.wgbh.org/catalog/V_3D008D8035D04C2E825E0DE6E20C8F3A.
MLA: “Basic Black; Conversations With Don King.” 02/17/2000. WGBH Media Library & Archives. Web. April 23, 2019. <http://openvault.wgbh.org/catalog/V_3D008D8035D04C2E825E0DE6E20C8F3A>.
APA: Basic Black; Conversations With Don King. Boston, MA: WGBH Media Library & Archives. Retrieved from http://openvault.wgbh.org/catalog/V_3D008D8035D04C2E825E0DE6E20C8F3A
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