African American Radio Research Paper

1475 Words6 Pages
Introduction The 21century radio is a melting pot of different creeds and nationalities; however, the social norms that we are accustomed to have not always been widely accepted. The African-American community has been suppressed and barely heard throughout the radio airways in America. As early as the 1920s, African-Americans have been behind the scenes in popular music on radio. For many, the idea of change introduced into society gave way to inevitable backlash from others who didn’t agree with African-Americans having a voice on the radio. This continued into the late 70s, according to the (National Association of Black Owned Broadcasters [NABOB]); there were “30 African-American owned broadcast facilities in the United States. Today there…show more content…
During this time, African-Americans were excluded from public transportation facilities, juries, jobs, and neighborhoods. Many Southern and bordering States did not honor the rights of African-Americans, even with the passing of the 13th, 14th, and 15th Amendments. African-Americans assumed the roles as singers and/or comedians; they were only allowed to perform on air but could not talk. (Miller, 2006, p 72) talks about Jack L. Cooper was a comedian on the air in WCAP/Washington DC. With his determination, Cooper became the first African-Americans radio announcer. Many African-Americans were hired as a temporary freelance voice coach or programming consultants, but never as permanent staff (Rothenbuhler & McCourt, 2002, p. 373; Barlow, 1999). Cooper left Washington DC in 1929 and moved back to Chicago where he worked in WSBC/Chicago, becoming the host, producer and announcer of The All-Negro Hour, a variety show. The show contained African-American music, comedy, religious messages, and skits written by himself to elevate African-American performers that sought to change the negative racial stereotypes (Newman, "On the Air"…show more content…
Only whites could be control-board operators. Working in two separate rooms divided by a glass window, the white man running the board and cueing up the music would open the black DJ 's mike, enabling him or her to speak (Isaksen, 2012 p.765). With dedication and determination, Williams’ program convinced the owners to make “WDIA America’s first Black radio station with an all African-American on-air staff programming black music all day long” (Isaksen, 2012p.766). Within the African-American community, radio was the connection between the harsh realities of inequality, but gave way to a glimmer of hope that equality is closer. Symbolizing change in the American culture. More blacks had a reason to listen to radio, have ambitions to become entertainers, moreover providing opportunities for many young African-Americans to showcase their

More about African American Radio Research Paper

Open Document