That’s what station owner Tavis Smiley tells The Los Angeles Standard Newspaper. Tavis says his radio station is unapologetically Black and in the interview he details exactly what he wants his radio station to be.
Smiley told the paper he got his radio start on KABC in Los Angeles. And the problem with talk radio in the United States, he says, is that the lineups are all white and that has to change. “How is it that in a city that is this multi-cultural, multi-racial, multi-ethnic, we have never had a talk station that is Black owned, or that is geared toward Black people and people of color?” Smiley is setting out to change that.
One of his host recruits is Dominique DiPrima from Radio Free 102.3 KJLH-FM. Smiley tells the paper on his radio station DiPrima can be her authentic self.
KBLA-AM is also a home for Black Lives Matter Los Angeles. Melina Abdullah, founder of Black Lives Matter Los Angeles hosts “This is Not a Drill” on Saturday mornings. Smiley said that Black Lives Matter is the greatest civil rights movement since the Civil Rights era of the 1960s, and he told the newspaper it was important to give them a platform. “Why hasn’t anybody stepped up to give Black Lives Matter their own program? They need a weekly platform to express themselves and give us updates and marching orders of what we ought to be doing.”
Adbullah told the paper that FOX L.A. had her on once per week at the height of the Black Lives Matter movement. “And then when the uprising began to fade, they said that Black Lives Matter doesn’t have anything more to say. I didn’t realize what a difference it would make being a part of the KBLA family that does have a politic; that does have a basic ethic of Black people having to be able to speak from our own perspective and in our own voice.”
Read the fullprofile piece on KBLA Radio HERE.