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Celebrating MLK Day: Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Recognized Black Radio’s Role In The Civil Rights Movement

Posted On January 22, 2020 at 10:33 am by / Comments Off on Celebrating MLK Day: Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Recognized Black Radio’s Role In The Civil Rights Movement

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Dr. King (Photo: Nobel Foundation)

TODAY is MLK DAY, the annual observance of REV. DR. MARTIN LUTHER KING’s birthday. A day to remember his contributions that changed the thinking of our nation and the world.

Local Black radio was on the frontline for DR. KING in the fight for equality and civil rights for African Americans, minorities, and the poor. These stations had full staffs; 24 hr. live air talent, news departments, Promotion Dir., and in some cases a Community Relations Dir.

Last week (NET NEWS 1/14) radio witnessed a massive “employment dislocation” with more to come. Hubs have been created to consolidate programming, marketing, digital, podcasts, sales, and sales support. It’s the result of large financial investments made in technology and artificial intelligence. This means less local staffing and centralized operations from other markets (COACHES CORNER).

Black radio was the Internet and social media of its day for African Americans. Had hubbing occurred in the 60s and 70s it would have lessened the effect for Black radio to rally the masses.

The issues DR. KING fought are still with us; abuse of power, corporations buying out or pricing out small businesses, sexism, import and export issues, wage inequality, reduction in workers, rising mortgage costs, health care discrepancies, billions being spent on war, and the color of a persons skin or nationality still a problem for many. 

In AUGUST 1967, Dr. KING addressed the NATRA (NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF TV AND RADIO ANNOUNCERS) convention in ATLANTA.  His speech addressed the important role Black radio & air personalities played in the Civil Rights Movement.

His words were like music, listen below.

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