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Basic Black; Poetry and Conversation With Afaa Michael Weaver


CC Master Conversation and Poetry with Afaa Michael Weaver Show #4004

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Basic Black
Poetry and Conversation With Afaa Michael Weaver
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

"Drive careful and watch out for the fresh tar." Afaa Michael Weaver remembers his father, the son of sharecroppers, telling him this long ago, before he drove his father's car into town. "It was a metaphor for life," Weaver says.

Hearing Southern proverbs like this, which flowed easily in the Weaver household, inspired the young poet's early love of language and moved him visually and emotionally. When he writes, "Sometimes the words just roll around the way I imagine a musician hears sound," he says.

Today, Weaver is one of the most celebrated African American poets of his generation. Currently an Alumnea Professor of English at Simmons College in Boston, Weaver has been named a Pew Fellow in Poetry and has published 10 collections of poetry.

In this edition of Basic Black, Weaver speaks with host Kim McLarin about the life stories that inspire his work. He also reads from his latest collection, the 2008 Pushcart Prize-winning The Plum Flower Dance: Poems 1985 to 2005, which draws on his decades-long study of Chinese culture and philosophy. line

Asset Type

Broadcast program

Media Type


Social Issues
Race and Ethnicity
Chicago: “Basic Black; Poetry and Conversation With Afaa Michael Weaver,” 12/18/2008, GBH Archives, accessed July 23, 2024,
MLA: “Basic Black; Poetry and Conversation With Afaa Michael Weaver.” 12/18/2008. GBH Archives. Web. July 23, 2024. <>.
APA: Basic Black; Poetry and Conversation With Afaa Michael Weaver. Boston, MA: GBH Archives. Retrieved from
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