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Basic Black; Parent Loss


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Basic Black
Parent Loss
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

When 18-year-old Amin Lewis was shot on July 21, 1995, his parents’ lives were changed forever. Since then, Walter and Loretta Lewis have worked to ensure that their loss also changes their Roxbury community—for the better—forever.

As their son entered his teen years in Roxbury, Walter and Loretta Lewis did their best to protect him from the dangers of the streets. When Amin fell in with a crowd they didn’t like, they pulled him out of the neighborhood, first by sending him to the Department of Social Services, then by having him live with his uncle, New Edition’s Ricky Bell, in Los Angeles. By age 18, Amin had returned to Roxbury, where he was a peer leader and football coach at the Orchard Park Community Center. It was in Orchard Park, in July of 1995, that he was the random victim of a drive-by shooting.

BASIC BLACK talks to the Lewises—as well as friends and neighbors—about the impact that Amin’s death has had on the community. In an effort to turn their loss into something positive for the community, Walter and Loretta Lewis moved into the Orchard Park housing development after Amin’s death and became community activists. Each year, on Amin’s birthday in April, they host a memorial dinner at the community center there. In addition to celebrating Amin’s short life, they present awards to others working to combat youth violence.



Asset Type

Broadcast program

Media Type


Race and Ethnicity
Social Issues
Chicago: “Basic Black; Parent Loss,” 06/11/1998, WGBH Media Library & Archives, accessed October 26, 2016, http://openvault.wgbh.org/catalog/V_5BD0FFEC5EE14CD09EB5E20352405BE7.
MLA: “Basic Black; Parent Loss.” 06/11/1998. WGBH Media Library & Archives. Web. October 26, 2016. <http://openvault.wgbh.org/catalog/V_5BD0FFEC5EE14CD09EB5E20352405BE7>.
APA: Basic Black; Parent Loss. Boston, MA: WGBH Media Library & Archives. Retrieved from http://openvault.wgbh.org/catalog/V_5BD0FFEC5EE14CD09EB5E20352405BE7
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