Tag: White Citizens Council
“The Black Arts Movement and Its Influences” conference will be going down with a host of legendary Black artists who have contributed to the liberation of our minds over the last 50 years. People like Askia Toure, Umar Bin Hasan of the Last Poets, Emory Douglas, the Minister of Culture of the Black Panther Party, Avotcja, Ayodele Nzinga, Ras Baraka and Ishmael Reed, to name a few, will be participating.
Tracy Rosenberg is the executive director of Media Alliance, an action and resource organization in Oakland advocating just, accountable and diverse media. She has been a listener representative on the KPFA Local Station Board since 2007 and a member of the Pacifica National Board of Directors since 2010. We asked her to comment on the situation from her perch as an insider. Here’s what we talked about.
Who is this terrorist, this big bad JR Valrey who poses some sort of threat to the whole Pacifica network of five major radio stations around the country? First, he’s my friend and comrade at the Bay View, where we’ve worked together for over a dozen years, all his adult life. JR is our associate editor. During the same period, he’s also volunteered at KPFA radio, where his hard and highly acclaimed work finally won him a prime time show – Wednesdays at 8-9 a.m. – starting in May 2011. Immediately, listeners flocked to KPFA to hear this exciting new show.
Ever since the George Zimmerman verdict was read finding him “not guilty” and justice for a murdered Trayvon Martin was denied, there’s been a nationwide outcry for us as a country to sit down and have a serious conversation about race. President Obama encouraged us to have these conversations on race locally at home, amongst friends, at church and amongst our colleagues at work.
KPFA is not living up to its own creed when it ignores the fact that there are more Black people in prison now than were in slavery in 1850. The station is vacillating on whether or not to grant three hours of special coverage to the California prison hunger strike. Pacifica and KPFA are definitely ruining their brand of “progressive” radio with this racist activity. I want to thank all of you who signed the petition to restore me to the airwaves and contacted management at the station and the network on my behalf. But we can’t stop. We must loosen the grip of racism that is killing KPFA.
Juneteenth, a day signifying freedom, has been celebrated in San Francisco for 63 years – the largest annual gathering of Blacks in Northern California. This year also marks the 150th anniversary of the Emancipation Proclamation, a strategic move to free slaves to join the Union army to help defeat the Confederacy. The 2013 San Francisco Juneteenth will be held Saturday, June 15, on Fillmore Street between Sutter and Turk from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. The event is free!
On April 11, a large number of people affiliated with KPFA radio station convened at Laney College in Oakland to discuss a number of issues that have been plaguing the station for decades and are threatening to rip it apart with a race and class civil war. Unaddressed racial and class disparities at KPFA have caused a number of Black broadcasters to abandon ship.
On March 6, the Bay’s “Free Speech Radio” aka KPFA suspended one of the best broadcasters and shows that they had on the air because The People’s Minister of Information JR Valrey of Block Report Radio, who’s also the associate editor of the SF Bay View, reported on the fact that members of management and of the CWA union, aka the “White Citizens Council” inside of KPFA, have been engaged in racist activities.
For the second week in a row, one of the largest audiences for any show on KPFA was disappointed not to hear the People’s Minister of Information JR Valrey and his Block Report on the air Wednesday at 8 a.m. Instead we heard an announcement by interim general manager Andrew Phillips that JR has been suspended. Getting punished for doing “too well” happens to Black folks much too often. Sign the two petitions to end the suspension of JR Valrey from KPFA and attend the Town Hall Meeting, Thursday, April 11, 6 p.m. at Laney College. This story is constantly being updated with new signatures and comments.
The fiery writing of JR Valrey began appearing in the Bay View a dozen years ago. JR made our original vision for the Bay View reality: to inspire Black youth to build a powerful Black community. As the Bay View’s associate editor and one of KPFA’s most popular programmers with his provocative Block Report Radio shows, JR and the youth who grew up on his empowering words and pictures are growing in influence, making a difference every day – and they’re just getting started.
Although America’s Declaration of Independence and Constitution are premised on the principles of democracy, the historical treatment of America’s citizens of color is replete with racial dichotomies. Today’s youth need to know that Dr. King was only 25 when he began to fight back with the year-long Montgomery bus boycott.