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Basic Black; Marital Infidelity


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Basic Black
Marital Infidelity
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

Harvard Psychologist Dr. Jessica Henderson Daniels looks at the issue of adultery in marriage and ways to build a stronger and more intimate relationship.

What happens when someone commits adultery in a marriage? Is marital infidelity about love, or is it an issue of power, insecurity, or lack of self-esteem?

Dr. Jessica Henderson Daniel, a psychologist at Judge Baker Children’s Center, guides this discussion of commitment, trust, and infidelity. The program aims to raise questions about relationships that spark a discussion of the complex issues that surround marital infidelity. "We go beyond the chuckles and sneers of the Clintons’ situation to take a serious look at how and why infidelity happens, whether couples can recover from it, and how they can work together to prevent it," says producer Debra Farrar-Parkman.

Actors reenact an instance of infidelity to explore the roots of infidelity, backtracking to the signs that their relationship was in trouble. Lester and Terri Nelson, a husband-and-wife co-counseling team which specializes in relationships and couples seminars, talk to Basic Black about the different types of infidelity. Chronic infidelity involves one partner who is a life-long "cheater"; intermittent infidelity occurs mostly in long-term relationships where one partner strays after many years of commitment; and rare infidelity is a reaction to an external event, such as health problems or one mate reconnecting with an old flame.

"Infidelity severely impacts a relationship. It erodes the foundation of trust," says Terri Nelson. "For the wounded mate, the one of the receiving end of the infidelity, there’s a decrease in self-esteem. There can be depression. There can be anxiety."



Asset Type

Broadcast program

Media Type


Race and Ethnicity
Social Issues
Chicago: “Basic Black; Marital Infidelity,” 02/10/2000, GBH Archives, accessed February 22, 2024,
MLA: “Basic Black; Marital Infidelity.” 02/10/2000. GBH Archives. Web. February 22, 2024. <>.
APA: Basic Black; Marital Infidelity. Boston, MA: GBH Archives. Retrieved from
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