Black Radio Speaks With Forked Tongue


baisdenby Paul Porter
Black radio owners and those who depend on them for publicity and profits are waging a propaganda offensive against a bill to compensate artists for airplay. Radio One founder Cathy Hughes “and her staff have done a great job of concealing the facts” of the legislation, HR 848, sponsored by Detroit Congressman John Conyers. Hughes has been joined by syndicated hosts Tom Joyner and Michael Baisden, and Rev. Al Sharpton, who is also a radio personality. Radio One is crying economic hardship, but the firm recently awarded CEO (and Hughes' son) Alfred Liggins “a 10 million dollar bonus.”


Cuba, the US and the OAS

john maxwell

by John Maxwell

Even though both Castro brothers repeatedly stated that Cuba has no desire to rejoin the Organization of American States (OAS), Latin America demanded that the ban against Cuba be dropped. “For them the OAS has been a yanki weapon against all of them, from Arbenz to Allende to Aristide to Fidel, Chavez and Morales. It does not end.” The U.S. tried to find a graceful way to accept its diplomatic defeat, and avoid further isolation in the hemisphere it once overlorded like a caudillo.

Sonia Maria Sotomayor -- She's No Clarence Thomas, But No Thurgood Marshall Either

by BAR managing editor Bruce A. Dixon

What is and what should be the story around the nomination of Judge Sonia Sotomayor to the high court?  Is the main story a celebration of how humble origins and hard work won out?  Should we spend all our time and energy refuting the racism of Republican talking heads, and none examining her record, and how she arrived at the door of the Supreme Court?  Is this a good time to explore what a just and democratic society must demand from its courts --- more nonwhite faces in high places?  More rights for corporations?  Or more justice for people?  And if this isn't a good time, is that time ever coming?

Cynthia McKinney Announces Formation of DIGNITY

cynthaby the editors
Which way forward for the Black Left? The path leads in the same direction it always has: agitation, organization, and confrontation with Power. Cynthia McKinney chose a Harlem church to announce formation of DIGNITY, to bring the Black body politic back from its current comatose state. "Dignity is attempting to show real change is possible" - if people fight for it. "We want to organize networks so that we can relay information quickly to a large number of people."

R.I.P. Industrial USA. The Banksters Win, Even When They Fail


A Black Agenda Radio commentary by Glen Ford
Click the flash player below to listen to or the mic to download an mp3 copy of this BA Radio commentary.

General Motors is just the latest in a long line of casualties in the lopsided war between finance capital and manufacturing capital. "The handwriting was on the wall for General Motors and the entire industrial sector of the U.S. economy back in the mid-Eighties, when GMAC, the financial arm of General Motors, surpassed the car-making part of the company in profits." The "crux of the current crisis of capitalism" is finance capital's refusal to invest in productive enterprise "except under conditions of extremely low wage labor.


Obama’s “Af-Pak” War: Destabilizing a Nuclear Nation

A Black Agenda Radio commentary by Glen Ford

President Obama has succeeded in putting his mark on Afghanistan and Pakistan, in ways that will come back to haunt the U.S. Two million people have been displaced by the Pakistiani army's scorched earth campaign against the Taliban - actions demanded by the Obama administration. "The Pakistani people are universally aware that their army was browbeaten, bullied and coerced, superpower-style, to launch a scorched earth attack on Taliban-influenced regions." The administration is destabilizing Pakistan, and deepening its people's hatred for the U.S.

Ivan Van Sertima: Fighting Racism Through Science

A Black Agenda Radio commentary by Glen Ford

"Prof. Van Sertima almost single-handedly introduced and defended the proposition that Africans made significant contact with the people of the Americas, not just before Columbus, but before the birth of Christ." By bringing multi-disciplinary evidence to back up his claims, Van Sertima "debunked" European contentions "that only white people were capable of moving around the world in a methodical manner." Van Sertima labored heroically to break the white choke-hold on the human narrative.

Obama Ordering States to Close 5,000 'Failing' Schools!... Chicago Lies Go National

by George Schmidt

The corporate narrative that public schools in minority neighborhoods are "failing" and must be replaced by unaccountable but often highly profitable "charter schools" is an inheritance from the Bush era that the Obama administration intends to continue and intensify.  Despite any proof of improved educational outcomes, and contrary to the democratic wishes of the American people the push to discredit and privatize public education appears to be a hallmark of the Obama era.

Grand Theft Auto: How Stevie the Rat Bankrupted GM

GM againby Greg Palast
The General Motors bankruptcy is bad news for pretty much everybody - except, the bankers that live charmed lives no matter the economic weather. President Obama's so-called "Car Czar," the financial speculator Steve Rattner, insists on sparing the favored banksters like Morgan Stanley and Citigroup any losses in the GM deal. "Citibank and Morgan, says Rattner, should get their whole enchilada - $6 billion right now and in cash - from a company that can't pay for auto parts or worker eye exams." Meanwhile, workers are expected to accept stock instead of the billions they are owed in health benefits.

Revolutionary Haitian Priest Gerard Jean-Juste, Presente!

father justeby Bill Quigley
He was sometimes called the most "dangerous man in Haiti." Father Gerard Jean-Juste was a tower of moral strength and political principle, who "constantly challenged both the powers of Haiti and the U.S. to stop killing and starving and imprisoning the poor." A practitioner of liberation theology, Father Jean-Juste tirelessly advocated for "justice for the poor. Freedom for those in prison. Comfort for those who mourn." He died May 27 at age 62, in Miami.

Obamanity: The Religion of Complicity

by Solomon Comissiong
More than 100 days into Barack Obama's presidency, the "lives of the majority of African-Americans who voted for him are unchanged." Yet, his supporters continue to cling to a thin band of hope. Had John McCain become president and proceeded to vastly expand the "Af-Pak" theater of war, or boycotted a United Nations conference on racism, today's Obama supporters would be outraged. "But the first Black president's legions are caught up in religion: Obamanity."


A Federal Bailout For Black Radio​? Under What Conditions?

By BAR managing editor Bruce A. Dixon

News has surfaced that powerful members of the Congressional Black Caucus are asking for a bailout of minority broadcasters, specifically black radio.  But black radio, like the rest of commercial media, has long dodged any hint of the public service obligations to which it is legally bound.  Is the crisis of black radio a chance to finally impose real public service obligations upon broadcasters?

Our thanks to Davey D for this video...

Freedom Rider Phony Terror and Black America (Part II)

more of the sameby BAR editor and senior columnist Margaret Kimberley

In the wake of 9/11, the Bush regime launched a domestic terror entrapment and provocateur offensive in search of trophy victims. "If Barack Obama's policies and pronouncements to date are any indication, there is little reason to believe that he will put an end to this insidious practice." Four poor and easily manipulated Black men from New York, are the latest foils in this sordid political theater. A paid agent, Shahed Husain, "targeted ‘mostly young black members' of the Masjid al-Iklsa in Newburgh, New York and was so obvious in his methods that he was quickly labeled as an informant." But the targets took the bait, lured by Husain's money.


Confronting Neo-Liberalism In the Age of Obama: Join Us In Harlem NY on Sunday, May 31

cynthiaat St. Mary's Church, 521 W. 126th St. -- between Amsterdam Ave. and old Broadway, 4 PM till 7 PM

 for a stimulating afternoon of political analyses on the need to confront the neoliberal policies of our First Black President, Barack Obama, and pay tribute to the lasting legacy of Harlem's own Hubert Harrison, “The Voice of Harlem Radicalism”  from 1883 to 1918. 

Our very special guest will be the Hon. Cynthia McKinney, longtime member of Congress from Atlanta GA, and former presidential candidate of the Green Party USA, along with


Big Oil on Trial For 1995 Nigerian Executions


children and flares in nigeria's river statesA Black Agenda Radio commentary by Glen Ford
Click the flash player below to listen to or the mic to download an mp3 copy of this BA Radio commentary.

The multinational oil corporation Royal Dutch Shell faces civil charges of complicity in Nigerian government crimes against its citizens, most notably the execution of writer/activist Ken Saro-Wiwa and others in 1995. Shell will no doubt present itself as a victim. "It is a false dichotomy to separate the corruption of Nigeria's governments - military or civilian - from the predatory presence of Big Oil. The two are locked in the deepest embrace." Both the paymasters and the thugs are equally guilty of the crime.


Obama Out-Bushes Bush on Preventive Detention


gitmoA Black Agenda Radio commentary by Glen Ford
Click the flash player below to listen to or the mic to download an mp3 copy of this BA Radio commentary.

Constitutionality aside, Barack Obama's preventive detention proposal is "damn near criminally irresponsible" and "like lighting a match in a room full of gasoline." The United States was founded on the principle that "lesser" or "dangerous" peoples should be "detained" for the good of the nation - on reservations or in slavery. Were it not for "rampant race hatred directed against Arabs and spilling over to all Muslims...there would be no serious discussion of preventive detention in the United States, today." The nation's first Black president is provoking a racial whirlwind.


Racist Symbolism Or Memorial Day Tradition? Obama Honors Confederate Dead


confederate memorialA Black Agenda Radio commentary by Glen Ford
Click the flash player below to listen to or the mic to download an mp3 copy of this BA Radio commentary.

The so-called "tradition" of U.S. presidents honoring the Confederate war dead began with the Dixiecrat Woodrow Wilson, in 1914. Wilson, born in Virginia, brought segregation to Washington's federal bureaucracy, and praised the Ku Klux Klan-celebrating movie, Birth of a Nation. The Confederate Memorial at Arlington was designed to honor those who fought to "save Anglo-Saxon civilization" - meaning, white rule. President Obama carries on the tradition.


Who Killed Black Radio? -- Journalist's Roundtable at Jared Ball's Jazz & Justice, WPFW-FM in DC

jared showEvery Monday afternoon at 1PM on WPFW, Baltimore-DC listeners can hear a fine example of The Other Black Radio -- Jared Ball's Jazz and Justice.  This week the first hour featured HipHop historian, producer and entrepreneur Davey D, Black Agenda Report's Bruce Dixon and longtime radio analyst Paul Porter, now of Industry Ears discussing the state of commercial black radio, and whether it's worth saving.

Tap the flash player below to listen to or the mic to download the show.  About 60 minutes, and worth it.

Find more of Dr. Jared Ball's work at  The latest headlines from are always available right here in the right hand margin of BAR's front page.

Shell. Guilty.

Almost a fifth of the oil imported by the U.S. comes from Africa, and in the decade to come this percentage will rise.  The eastern part of Nigeria, from which Big Oil has pumped more than a trillion dollars worth of black gold since the 1960s, remains the poorest part of the country, and one of the most ravaged and polluted on earth.  Thousands of gas flares have burned for decades, generating acid rains that have poisoned fisheries and crops.  The land is crisscrossed by thousands of miles of leaking pipes and dotted with oil slicks.  The air is unbreathable, cancers are endemic, there are no schools or hospitals and life expectancies are among the lowest on the African continent.  Shell Oil is on trial in a New York courtroom, accused of hiring the Nigerian government to murder its own citizens for protesting the pollution of their environment and demanding a share of oil revenues be spent where the oil is extracted.

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