“You’ve got to touch the people!”: Black Power 96 Radio Station

Manager Eddie Maultsby speaks on the importance of connecting with the people

“The people are everything! Black people are powerful and when we all get together, nobody can mess with us but we have to be able to connect with the people to make them want to get together.

“We have to help people see that black people need to build and get organized and that’s part of my job here at the station.

“I let the people know that this station is their station, that this community is their community and that we all need to do our part to fight for this community.

“When I’m raising funds for the station, I’ll get on air and say ‘search your heart and do your part.’ As soon as I say that, someone will come to the station and say ‘Hey Eddie, I heard you say search your heart and do your part on the radio and that’s exactly what I’m gonna do brother. I can donate $10 today and before the end of the month, I’ll come by with another $10. I’m searching my heart and doing my part.’

“We have to get to the people, reach the people. That’s why I like to put my own experiences out there.

“I’m not just some voice on the radio, I’m not just ‘DJ Eddie,’ I’m a person and I put my own story out because I want the people to know me.

“I’m 100 percent blind. I was playing music on the street downtown for 35 years and now I’m the station manager of our own Black Power radio station. I’m the manager of a radio station where my people can say what we wanna say and do what we wanna do.

“That’s my story and the people made that happen. People like the brother coming to donate $10 made that happen.

“What we gotta do is touch the people. That’s what makes the difference between people just listening to the station and people coming in to help support it and help it grow. We have to reach them and meet them where they are.

“You have to say something that our people can relate to and be a part of. For example, we got so many brothers locked up in jail. I’ll go on the radio and say ‘these brothers who are locked up ain’t bad, they’re not bad people.’ Then somebody will hear that and say ‘yeah that’s right, my cousin Levi went to jail and he ain’t even do nothing’.

“We gotta connect to the people. Next thing you know, that person will be calling into the station like ‘Hey DJ Eddie! Yeah, I heard you on the radio and I just want to say that my cousin Levi got pulled over by the police over some BS and you’re right, our brothers locked up aren’t bad people.’

“That’s one way you touch the people because everybody has a brother, nephew, cousin, sister or father locked up. Everyone got someone close to them who’s been messed up by this system of colonialism but ain’t nobody really trying to hurt anybody out here.

“They’re not the problem, the system is the problem, and when we put the message out that these brothers and sisters in jail are good people, that your loved ones are good people, the community will hear that and respond.

“At the station, we’ll have people call in with their own stories. We’ll say ‘hey if you got a brother locked up in jail, call in, we want to hear your story. We want you to tell us how you feel about this system.'”

“Then the people will call in and tell their story. Then we’ll see that his story sounds like her story and her story sounds like my story. We’re all dealing with the same problems and if we see that we’re all dealing with the same problems then we’ll see that we all need to do the same thing to solve those problems and that’s to get united, get organized and fight this system. The station helps people see that we’re all in this together.”

Support the station that connects to the people!

The Black Power 96 FM station is kicking off its February fund drive. We’re calling on you to do your part to keep Black Power on the airwaves. No donation is too large, no donation is too small and every single donation counts toward helping your black community radio station grow. Black Power 96 is so important for our people because we give information, we educate, we help promote and support up-and-coming business owners and musicians but most importantly, Black Power 96 helps to organize our people. We help our people understand that despite what this system tells us, we’re an oppressed people and once African people get organized and build power in our communities, we’ll be a free people.

Donations can be made to blackpower96.org, our Cashapp at $BlackPower96 or by check delivered to Black Power 96, 1245 18th Ave S, St. Petersburg, Florida, 33705. We’re calling on you to support the Black Power 96 radio station. Support the station that supports you!

Support Black Power 96.3 FM radio!

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We’re not just explaining the world, we’re changing it!”

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