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Another Black Face on MSNBC: Good News For Joy Ann Reid, Not So Much For The Rest of Us

A Black Agenda Radio Commentary by BAR Managing Editor Bruce A. Dixon

If Fox News is the Republican ministry of TV propaganda, MSNBC is the mouthpiece of the White House and corporate Democrats. The last real journalist in an MSNBC host spot was Phil Donahue, fired for letting antiwar lefties on the air once in a while. MSNBC must have a lot of confidence that their new host Joy Ann Reid will carry their water, and leverage her black face to carry their message to us, instead of the other way around.

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CNN's Black In America: What Happens When Popeye's Teaches Chickens History & Current Events

A Black Agenda Radio commentary by Bruce A. Dixon

Comedian Lily Tomlin once said that no matter how cynical you get, it's impossible to keep up. CNN's latest installment of “Black In America” with its focus on the “tragic mulatto” proves her right. CNN's version of history erases the actual origin of North America's “one drop rule.”

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Tavis Smiley Responds to Cancellation of “Smiley & West” in Chicago

 

An Open Letter from Tavis Smiley

Chicago public radio officials felt compelled to add insult to injury when cancelling Tavis Smiley and Dr. Cornel West’s weekly political program. “I do not abide insults to my hard-working and dedicated staff,” said Smiley. “One could argue that it is easier for an African American to be president of the United States than it is to host a primetime radio program on Chicago Public Radio.”

Media's Portrayal of Black Youths Contributes to Racial Tension

 

by Joshunda Sanders

Black guilt is written in the skin, and assumed until proven otherwise. That’s how U.S. society and media operate, pronouncing a negative verdict on a whole people, especially those who are young and male. Black lives in which pathological drama is absent are deemed unworthy of note. “Narratives about everyday lives of black people haven't been a priority in news coverage.”

At Least Some Ministers Tell the TRUTH: Hip-Hop, Social Media and Revolutionary Politic

 

Black Agenda Radio commentary by editor and columnist Jared Ball

Theoretically, “any Black woman or man is a potential revolutionary.” But here’s another truth: No organization, no revo – whether the potential revolutionaries are Internet-connected or not. A wired populace may hold in their hands the tools of mass political action, but those same tools are wielded by huge corporations and the governments that protect them, as San Francisco Bay transit cops showed when they shut down the cell phones of potential “flash” demonstrators. The end requires more than just the technological means.

Huffington Post-AOL “Black Voices” Are Just More Corporate White Noise

 

A Black Agenda Radio Commentary by Bruce A. Dixon

Only a generation ago, seeing or hearing black voices on the broadcast airwaves was a rare treat. Those were the days when segregation created a Jim Crow market that white corporate entities pretty much left alone. But no longer. Corporate media have become expert at targeting black audiences, in using black faces and voices to push its disempowering message of consumption and acquiesance to injustice and empire.

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Mass Media and African Sovereignty

A Black Agenda Radio commentary by BAR editor and columnist Jared Ball

The military and economic superpower attempting to bend the world to its will, is also a communications superpower bent on drowning out all worldviews at variance with its own. “An ability to be sovereign requires an ability to communicate that need, to make it a popular idea among a given community, and to protect against the psychological assaults from hostile entities.” The colonized, including Africans in America, find their representations of sovereignty smothered.

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Time to Grab the Mic: Low Power FM Radio Licensing Window Looms

Without control over some form of mass media, without the ability to speak with and to hear its own voice, no community can long exist.  Commercial media in the hands of for-profit broadcasters can only build markets, not communities.  This year, the FCC will accept license applications for hundreds or thousands of new local low-power FM radio stations in cities and towns across the U.S.  It's an unparalelled chance, and the last chance for local organizers for peace and justice to grab the mics.

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Social Movement: Obama’Laid and the Internet

A Black Agenda Radio commentary by BAR columnist Jared A. Ball, Ph.D.


The recent Netroots Nation conference shows that Obama'Laid is easily dispensed in digital form, inebriating millions. What does it matter if 25 percent of Twitter users are Black, when “by 2012 75 percent of the country will have only one Internet service provider offering high-speed broadband Internet?” Clearly, the revolution will not be Twitterized. A real mass movement is needed.

Beware of Invisible Negroes!

A Black Agenda Radio commentary by Jared A. Ball, Ph.D.

Black people are no longer newsworthy. That's the result of a Pew study, which found "stories defined as significantly focused on Black Americans accounted for only 1.9% of all news coverage." And a majority of that coverage was of the Henry Louis Gates run-in with a Cambridge cop. The lesson: "A defeated people need no coverage."

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Bend It Like Imperialism! The World Cup 1, African Liberation Nil

A Black Agenda Radio commentary by BAR columnist Jared A. Ball, Ph.D.
So many Black American entertainers and luminaries flocked to the World Cup opening ceremonies in South Africa, one veteran activist was prompted to remark that "these folks are crossing the picket line." It is a line that separates South Africa's poor Black majority from the real beneficiaries of the "gold" -  "the soccer elites of FIFA, the elites of domestic and international corporate capital and the political elites who are making billions and who will be benefiting at the expense of the poor."

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Tavis Smiley’s Annual Black “Radical” All-Star Game

by BAR editor and columnist Jared A. Ball, Ph.D.

Event Meister extraordinaire Tavis Smiley gathered his hand-picked Black All Stars for a “Black Agenda” conference, in Chicago, over the weekend. The usual suspects were in attendance, shining and rhyming luminously and voluminously. President Obama’s stock had fallen, but “blind adherence” to the Democratic Party still reigned near-supreme.

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Network Neutrality Should Be The Beginning, We Need Community Control Over Public Media

Cheap, fast and universally available broadband access will be as vital to community economic development in the 21st century as paved roads.  But neither universal access nor a just media propagated over those broadband channels will happen without a sharp struggle for community control over a vastly expanded and democratized public media system.  Network neutrality should be the beginning, not the end of the demands of the media justice movement.

The Titans of Technology: The Internet, Radio and Our Newton’s Laws

newton's lawsby BAR columnist Jared Ball
 
Click the flash player to listen to or the mic to download an audio in MP3 format.

We are constantly told that media fairness and effective access is always just over the horizon, awaiting the maturation of new technology. Yet we never arrive at the technological Promised Land. The internet, for example, will not cure what ails Black-oriented radio. It is quite possible that “the next generation of the internet will be less open than the already less-than-free medium that it is now.”

Untold Stories: Haiti, White Supremacy, US Foreign Policy and Corporate Media

more on haitiby Solomon Comissiong
The U.S. corporate media have a difficult time covering the Haiti catastrophe. “Haiti's poverty and economic desolation were largely made-in-America,” an inconvenient fact to transmit to American audiences. Corporate media's “job is to invoke pity, confusion, and ignorance, as well as to uphold the benevolence of white supremacy.”
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by Dr. Radut