Feb 27, 2017

Dr. Boyd on the NFL Network in Classic Games in Black History and "The Forgotten Four"

Dr. Todd Boyd on the NFL Network

During the month of February, Dr. Boyd appeared on the NFL Network during the airing of a block of programming titled "Classic Games in Black History."  These were rebroadcasts of several games deemed historically important because of their racial significance.  The games include, Super Bowl XXII, when Washington's Doug Williams became the first African American quarterback to win a Super Bowl. The L.A. Raiders vs. New York Jets from the 1989 regular season, when Art Shell became the first black NFL head coach of the modern era, and Super Bowl XLI where two Tony Dungy faced his former protegee Lovie Smith, as two African American head coaches lead their respective teams on the biggest stage. The network also aired the documentary "Forgotten Four" about the integration of the NFL in 1946.  Dr. Boyd provided both pre and post game commentary for each game, as well as commentary about the history of integrating the NFL prior to the airing of the documentary.   

Steve Wyche and Dr. Todd Boyd on the NFL Network

"The Forgotten Four: The Integration of Pro Football"

"The Forgotten Four: The Integration of Pro Football" seeks to explain why four brave African-American men who re-integrated professional football have been left out of memory when they broke the color barrier in professional football before Jackie Robinson in professional baseball.

Feb 10, 2017

Dr. Boyd featured on "History of Comedy"

 Dr. Boyd will be featured on CNN's new original series "History of Comedy". This new series explores what makes us laugh, why, and how that's influenced our social and political landscape throughout history. Now airing Thursdays at 10 pm PST on CNN.

Jan 25, 2017

Dr. Boyd on NBC Nightly News

Dr. Boyd discusses the diversity in this year's Oscar nominations on NBC Nightly News with Lester Holt. He addresses the overall landscape of hollywood's diversity in comparison to the year to year approach the Oscar's reign in.

Watch the full clip here: 2017 Oscar Nominations

Jan 13, 2017

At All Costs streaming now on Netflix

Executive Producer Dr. Todd Boyd's newest project At All Costs is now streaming on Netflix. This documentary follows the lives of the individuals who are entrenched in the competitive field of AAU basketball.

Nov 28, 2016

"Louis Armstrong" feat. Dr. Boyd on The History Channel

USC Professor Dr. Todd Boyd talks about Louis Armstrong, Armstrong's love of weed and his feelings on Eisenhower. This segment is featured on History Channel's Night Class.

Nov 17, 2016

Dr. Boyd answers The Question part. II

Was Barack Obama a liberal president?

 Dr. Boyd: Well, these terms are all relative. If you compare Barack Obama to Donald Trump, he seems especially liberal. If you compare him to Karl Marx, perhaps not so much. I think of Obama as a Democrat who had some liberal tendencies, but more often than not he tended to be a Democrat who had a more moderate approach in his manner and temperament. Obama seemed early on to reject the assumptions some people had that he was overtly to the left – ‘liberal’ is maybe not the best way to encompass what he represented on the political spectrum.

If we go back to Obama’s entrance on the national stage, in 2004, when he gave that famous speech at the Democratic convention when he was running to be the senator from Illinois, his said there was no red America, no blue America, but one America. It was not a liberal speech – it was a Democratic speech, a speech which suggested that he could bring the country together. Democrats are generally thought to be more liberal than Republicans, but I think Obama saw himself as a pragmatist – maybe a liberal pragmatist, but he seemed uncomfortable when the conversation became too leftist. I think he’s a bit annoyed with the left, actually, and he demonstrated that frustration on numerous occasions.

"It was not a liberal speech – it was a Democratic speech, a speech which suggested that he could bring the country together"

When the Senate wouldn’t confirm his Supreme Court pick, what he did was, I think, typical Obama. They weren’t going to confirm anybody, but he put forward a moderate to make it look like he was trying to be reasonable. Someone more closely identified with the left would have said: I’m going to put forth the most idealistically leftist candidate I can, because they won’t confirm them anyway. But Obama decided to play the game, and it didn’t make any difference. One of the things that makes it hard to label him a liberal is that he seemed to be chasing the approval of conservatives for a significant amount of his presidency.

When I look at Barack Obama, he’s a guy who has had to negotiate two competing racial identities in terms of his own background. His entire life, he had used his personality to bridge divides, and he had been very successful in doing that. But realised, a bit late in his presidency, that not everyone was open to being charmed by him. His pragmatism – that’s who he is. The only election he ever lost was to Bobby Rush, a former Black Panther, when he ran for Congress in 2000. During that contest, many people saw him as this Ivy League-educated outsider who wasn’t part of the community – and in many ways wasn’t black enough.

He became much more assertive and aggressive in the last two years of his presidency, which I think were the strongest for that reason. We started to get a better idea of what his real passions were. That moment when he said he wasn’t getting any co-operation from Congress, so he would do what he could on his own, through executive orders, on issues like immigration.

He’s a Democrat, and he’s associated with liberal politics, but I’ve never seen him as a dyed-in-the-wool liberal like Bernie Sanders.     

Dr. B answers "The Question"

The Question asks Dr. Todd Boyd:

Even after Obama, does race still determine America's choice of President?

It comes down to this. A bunch of people woke up one day and saw that America had elected a black president. Maybe they were asleep, maybe they were distracted, but they woke up, America had a black president, and they didn’t know how this happened. And a lot of those people have now made the correction to what they saw as a mistake.

So race is as pertinent a factor now as it was the day Obama got elected. We can’t ignore the fact that we’ve had these real  high-profile incidents  where police have killed African-Americans during Obama’s presidency – it’s not, to me, lost that this happened during the reign of the first black president. A lot of people don’t want to admit it, but what animated a lot of Trump supporters was racism.

You can tell yourself it's not racism, it’s economic anxiety. I’m sorry: the people who voted for Trump in droves have never used the phrase ‘economic anxiety’ in their life. The people who were shown at those rallies chanting ‘Jew-S-A’, ‘Kill the bitch’. . . these people embraced racism, sexism and homophobia, and they don’t want to feel bad about it. They want to do it and feel proud to be Americans in doing so. Trump gave them that opportunity.

I know a lot of people don't like it when you criticise his supporters. People were angry at Hillary Clinton when she called them 'a basket of deplorables'. They are deplorable, and they hold deplorable ideas, and Trump appealed to this. And it is especially pronounced in the era following the nation's first black president. It's not a coincidence, at all.