History Of KCBLR 91.1 FMKansas City Black Liberation Radio (KCBLR) 91.1 FM is a grassroots community radio station that came to being on June 1, 1997. I met Brotha Sauti Nokware during the first Gulf War under the first Bush. Brotha Sauti was the host of Nighthawk program on a so-called community radio in Kansas City, KKFI 90.1 FM. I began listening to this Brotha because he was knowledgeable, articulate and compassionate. At this time I was beginning my journey of re-educating myself and coming into consciousness of who we are as Afrikan people and what it is I have been ordained by the creator to carry-out while I have life.
During this time I was learning about political prisoners/prisoners of war held here in the US and about the US prison industrial complex. I began to call into Brotha Sauti's program informing listeners about Sundiata Acoli and other PP/POW's. Brotha Sauti invited me to be his co-host which I gladly accepted. I became a volunteer at the station and worked along with Brotha Sauti. We volunteered at KKFI five (5) days a week Sunday - Thursday from 12:00am - 5:00am.
We were the voice of the Afrikan Communities locally and nationally. We were exposing police brutality, corrupt politicians, prison abuse in US prisons and teaching the communities how to fight bogus traffic tickets and the list goes on. Brotha Sauti ran a tight ship with "NIGHTHAWK" programming. He trained us on our volunteer duties as required by the station, engineering, how to document the logs required by the FCC and the station. Eventually Brotha Sauti gave me a day, Sunday to produce my own program which was "Talk of the People".
What we were doing through radio was educating and empowering the people to act on their on behalf with the support of the community. When someone had to go to court, we put their story on the air and pack the courtroom in support of them. This is what real community radio is suppose to be about, yet on August 21, 1994, two white volunteers stopped me from entering the studio to do my program. We were given a letter informing us that our volunteer services were no longer needed.
This letter stated that we could not come to the station, we could not be guest on any shows, we could not participate in any of KKFI's functions and we could not host any shows. This letter did not state any rules or regulations of KKFI or FCC that we violated. We knew it was coming because we were effecting change in Kansas City and the powers that be were applying pressure to the KKFI board members. After we were kicked off the air, Brotha Sauti and I decided we must create our own avenues of communication ourselves.
We maintain if Afrikan people story is to be told, it is to be told my Afrikans in our own words. European-Amerikans can have all types of talk radio and TV programs and it doesn't matter that its contents are about perpetrating violence or racism. We spent about 34 months doing research on micro-radio, attending conferences and locating the equipment we needed. We monitored a frequency we wanted for about a month, after we located the frequency, the rest is history. On June 1, 1997, KCBLR 91.1 FM graced the airwaves.
Everything we did with this project was deliberate, from choosing the call letters to the frequency we chose. The frequency 911 was chosen because the Afrikan Communities are in a state of emergency. We believe any oppressed people struggling for their liberation must create avenues of disseminating their information themselves, be it radio, print or TV. In 2004 when we celebrated KCBLR's 7th birthday, we vowed to take KCBLR to cyber space and in 2007 we have arrived at 91.1 on your cyber dial.
Brotha Sauti - Director
Sista Shiriki - Program Manager
P.O. Box 320441
Kansas City, MO 64132-0441
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