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The influence of African Americans in broadcasting

By Cyra Watters
On March 24, 2022


African Americans — both women and men — have impacted the media through their contributions to the world, which include writing books, hosting television shows, and on radio stations.  

Writing has inspired other African Americans to speak up on important issues. As well as hosting television and radio broadcasts which have spiked different conversations that needed to be had. 

In addition, radio broadcasts have allowed us to give advice to others about certain issues. The use of the media has encouraged, influenced and inspired women and men all over the world. 

African Americans from all around the world  have come together to reach other minorities so that we can all talk about world issues. In addition, movies, shows and other productions have had an impact on how radio broadcasting is today.  

As well as the history of broadcasting, and what I mean by that is that radio was used as a way to get news out to everyone, it was also used to round up people for rallies and protests. Radio began for Blacks during the 1920s. The influence from shows and things around us happening allowed us to be able to have something to talk about. If we don’t have any news to tell there would not be a radio broadcast. 

Furthermore, in the early days of radio, positive and negative stereotypes characterized who Blacks were.  

Radio shows like "Beulah" and "Amos and Andy" evolved to television featuring Black characters that were free and optimistic. Radio stations showcasing performers like Duke Ellington, artist Paul Robeson offered predominantly white radio crowds programming crafted by skilled and refined Black specialists. Such pictures of Blacks were consistently displayed in early radio broadcasts, yet an empty space remained for Blacks in spots of the chiefs and ownership. Public broadcasts didn't have Black hosts, entertainers, or emcees.

Today, African American radio broadcasting stations serve networks that are underprivileged by business radio decisions. As shown by African American Public Radio Consortium (AAPRC), of the around 10,000 business radio stations in the USA, under 1% are guaranteed by African-Americans. ThevAAPRC website also communicated that Public radio stations serving the African-American social class basically increase social, news and information programming for these crowd individuals. Seeing the recorded background of broadcasting has allowed us to make it to where we are today. 

Lastly, reading and researching this topic has allowed me to become inspired. Furthermore, it has helped me to learn how radio came to be, the importance of it and lastly how amazing my culture really is. I enjoyed researching and learning about how these pioneers paved the way for so many shows and radio hosting. And I am glad  to say that today we do have Black emcees, DJs and women radio hosts. 




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