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Basic Black; Celebrity


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Basic Black
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

Meet several celebrities who have performed in the area over the last few months, including South African jazz artist Jonathan Butler, who talks about growing up in a family of performers.

Michael Beach is best known for his roles as less-than-angelic husbands—Al, Gloria Reuben’s HIV-positive husband on ER, as well as Angela Bassett’s cheating husband in the film Waiting to Exhale and Vanessa L. Williams’s unfaithful husband in Soul Food. In the recent television productions Ms. Scrooge and Ruby Bridges Story, his characters—a minister and Ruby’s strong-willed father—were more redeeming. BASIC BLACK talks to Beach about his Roxbury roots, the sports injury that thwarted his high school football career and introduced him to acting, and his life with his wife and four children.

BASIC BLACK caught up with South African singer and guitarist Jonathan Butler at a performance at Scullers Jazz Club this fall. Butler talks about growing up as a professional musician in segregated South Africa, about his 12-year career in London, and about this recent move to Los Angeles, where he recorded his recent album Do You Love Me? in his own studio.

Legendary jazz trumpeter Freddie Hubbard came to the Regattabar this winter after a year-long hiatus from touring. Throughout his 40-year career, he’s played with a who’s who list of jazz greats—Sonny Rollins, Slide Hampton, J.J. Johnson, Quincy Jones, Art Blakey, Herbie Hancock, and Wayne Shorter—as well as with his own quartets and quintets. BASIC BLACK shows viewers why Hubbard is a giant of both classical and contemporary jazz.



Asset Type

Broadcast program

Media Type


Race and Ethnicity
Social Issues
Chicago: “Basic Black; Celebrity,” 02/19/1998, WGBH Media Library & Archives, accessed December 14, 2018, http://openvault.wgbh.org/catalog/V_EF9BA2C079994B85A8099803894652CC.
MLA: “Basic Black; Celebrity.” 02/19/1998. WGBH Media Library & Archives. Web. December 14, 2018. <http://openvault.wgbh.org/catalog/V_EF9BA2C079994B85A8099803894652CC>.
APA: Basic Black; Celebrity. Boston, MA: WGBH Media Library & Archives. Retrieved from http://openvault.wgbh.org/catalog/V_EF9BA2C079994B85A8099803894652CC
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