The news that we are no longer being broadcast on a local radio station in Chicago has caused many people to react exactly the way black radio advocacy trained generations to react — by recognizing the power of their pens and their voices. But even knowing that we had millions of listeners and supporters, I have been overwhelmed by the enormous number of people who have called, written and sent e-mails and text messages. Members of Text Tom have been getting their messages right through to me, and some of you are so committed to the cause, its downright scary! But hey, keep texting me, and I’ll keep reading! My blog is another way to keep me up to date on what your thoughts are and another way for us to keep the line of communication open.
BlackAmericaWeb.com is here to serve our audience day or night and has been the lifeline between us and fans in Chicago and other parts of the country where we aren’t heard. The number of people tuning into “The Tom Joyner Morning Show” continues to grow and will grow even larger as more people realize they can use their computer at work to do more than play Solitaire! And, as old-school as I am, I have to quickly become up to date with all the social media outlets and the creative ways you all are using to make yourselves heard and read — Facebook and Twitter — yes, I said Twitter. Y’all better recognize! I’ve gone from a plain-paper-fax man to a Tweeter in record time, and I’m looking forward to hearing about the next person who started a write-in campaign and the next person who announces that he’s about to step into the shower —what the heck is that about? Anyway, my point is, I appreciate everyone of you who has taken a stand, in whatever form you’ve chosen to take it.
Alpha Kappa Alpha Inc.’s national support of the TJMS indicates that our audience is not as easily pegged as members of mainstream media would portray it. When they round us up and label us black radio listeners, it gives people the idea that we will simply exchange one black thing for another. We all are guilty of giving ourselves sweeping labels that are easy to remember but don’t really tell the whole story. If you check out the views expressed by AKA International President Barbara A, McKenzie, she explains in an e-blast sent to the organization’s 225,000 members worldwide that African-Americans represent a wide spectrum of viewpoints and interests and can’t be lumped into one listening pool.
Thank you, AKAs, for stepping out there and showing so much love to not only the TJMS, but love for the belief that African-American listeners deserve to have choices, just as mainstream media does.
What if suddenly on mainstream media, the audience was told that they would have one television program, “The Tonight Show” with Jay Leno, and one radio show – Rush Limbaugh? Why would it be a problem? After all, aren’t Jay and Rush white men, and isn’t the audience they serve made up of mostly white people? Shouldn’t they be satisfied? Shouldn’t they feel represented? Shouldn’t they accept it? Absolutely not. Slowly but surely, though, black audiences are being stripped of their choices in the media, and we don’t have to accept it. The movement that is growing is less to do with saving our show and more to do with preserving our rights as consumers, as radio listeners and as Americans.
Keep forwarding, texting, emailing, calling, Tweeting — and yes, even faxing me. I want to hear and read your opinions so that “The Tom Joyner Morning Show” can keep super-serving the more than 115 radio markets where we are heard loud and proud — and on BlackAmericaWeb.com, as well. The beat continues and won’t be silenced. Not as long as we have each other.