WGBH Openvault

Basic Black; Relations Between Boston’s Black and Irish


Black Irish

License Clip

More material is available from this program at the WGBH Archive. If you are a researcher interested in accessing the collection at WGBH, please email archive_requests@wgbh.org.

Undigitized item: Request Digitization

Untranscribed item: Request Transcription

Basic Black
Relations Between Boston’s Black and Irish
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

Since the early days of busing in Boston, the difficult relationships between the city’s Irish and African American residents have been well documented.

After presenting a brief history of relationships between Boston’s Black and Irish communities, BASIC BLACK tells two stories that illustrate how African Americans and Irish are coming together to celebrate their similarities.

BASIC BLACK goes to Packy’s Pub on Blue Hill Avenue in Roxbury to meet its Irish American owner, Pat "Packy" Connors. For over forty years, African Americans who live in the neighborhood have patronized Packy’s, along with Irish Americans and, more recently, other immigrants. Connors describes the Black community’s outpouring of support for him when he battled cancer several years ago, and agrees with a headline from a Globe story: "If Packy’s can do it, why can’t city?"

Next, BASIC BLACK shows how the Irish Immigration Center, a non-profit organization dedicated to empowering recent Irish immigrants to become socially aware, is reaching out to Boston’s African American community with cross-cultural activities. A drumming class in South Boston pairs traditional African drumming techniques with ancient Celtic rhythms, showcasing the musical traditions of each community. The Center’s Black and Green Coming Together in Boston—an annual Black History Month event which brings people from the African American and Irish communities together for lunch and discussion—further promotes understanding between the two communities.



Asset Type

Broadcast program

Media Type


Race and Ethnicity
Social Issues
Chicago: “Basic Black; Relations Between Boston’s Black and Irish,” 06/03/1999, WGBH Media Library & Archives, accessed April 25, 2019, http://openvault.wgbh.org/catalog/V_910F1D485C6B49FCBB153A55ACC44FF3.
MLA: “Basic Black; Relations Between Boston’s Black and Irish.” 06/03/1999. WGBH Media Library & Archives. Web. April 25, 2019. <http://openvault.wgbh.org/catalog/V_910F1D485C6B49FCBB153A55ACC44FF3>.
APA: Basic Black; Relations Between Boston’s Black and Irish. Boston, MA: WGBH Media Library & Archives. Retrieved from http://openvault.wgbh.org/catalog/V_910F1D485C6B49FCBB153A55ACC44FF3
If you have more information about this item, we want to know! Please contact us, including the URL.