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Basic Black; Conversations With Iyanla Vanzant


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Basic Black
Conversations With Iyanla Vanzant
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

Best-selling author and frequent Oprah guest Iyanla Vanzant talks to BASIC BLACK series producer Cynthia Johnson about her latest book, in the Meantime. Vanzant, whose personal struggles provide a backdrop for her popular books, talks about the challenges inherent in developing and maintaining male-female relationships.

To millions of Americans, Iyanla Vanzant is more than a best-selling author and frequent Oprah guest. She is a heroine whose spiritual guidance has transformed lives. BASIC BLACK talks to Iyanla Vanzant about her most recent book, In the Meantime, and also catches up with some Bostonians who have felt the impact of Vanzant’s work.

Vanzant, whose personal struggles as a single mother on welfare provide a backdrop for her books, has created a buzz in the self-help and publishing worlds with the popularity of her eight books, her regular appearances on Oprah, and her current musical lecture tour, In the Meantime. A trained lawyer and an ordained minister, she talks to BASIC BLACK about "the meantime," the subject of her book. The meantime, she says, is "the chapter of ‘I don’t know,’ where things aren’t necessarily moving forward but they’re not standing still. It’s a really uncomfortable place for many people because the truth is, you don’t have any control," she says.

Several local African Americans tell BASIC BLACK about how Vanzant’s writings and teachings have helped them transform their lives. A teenage girl talks about the confidence she gained after reading Vanzant’s books. A single dad describes how her book Acts of Faith helped him turn his life around. A high school teacher, he now uses her books with his class. A group of women at a retreat talk about the impact of her writing on their lives and relationships.



Asset Type

Broadcast program

Media Type


Social Issues
Race and Ethnicity
Chicago: “Basic Black; Conversations With Iyanla Vanzant,” 02/24/2000, WGBH Media Library & Archives, accessed January 20, 2019, http://openvault.wgbh.org/catalog/V_F0C1EB95D8294E71AE54DAE9E8E7E00A.
MLA: “Basic Black; Conversations With Iyanla Vanzant.” 02/24/2000. WGBH Media Library & Archives. Web. January 20, 2019. <http://openvault.wgbh.org/catalog/V_F0C1EB95D8294E71AE54DAE9E8E7E00A>.
APA: Basic Black; Conversations With Iyanla Vanzant. Boston, MA: WGBH Media Library & Archives. Retrieved from http://openvault.wgbh.org/catalog/V_F0C1EB95D8294E71AE54DAE9E8E7E00A
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