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Radio Forum Evolved from Religion to Negro

Radio Forum Evolved from Religion to Negro

(p.37) Chapter Three Radio Forum Evolved from Religion to Negro
Race and Radio
Bala J. Baptiste
University Press of Mississippi

Before the first broadcast of a black show in May 1946, a white local daily, the Times Picayune, identified the program in its radio schedule as the “Religious Forum.” After the first broadcast, the paper unilaterally changed the listing to “Negro Services,” effectively marginalizing the show. Approximately nine months later, WNOE attempted to change the talk show's time slot from 10 a.m.-10:15 a.m. Sundays to 11 a.m. Sundays. Taylor rebuffed. A wave of black support to keep the time slot poured into the station. Management relented. After approximately one year, Taylor changed the show's name to the “Negro Forum of the Air.” More muted Afrocentric topics, such as the significance of the black press, were added to the repertoire. As Taylor expanded to nearby cities and towns, white public officials sent notices to him warning against communist influence infiltrating his broadcasts.

Keywords:   Times Picayune, “Religious Forum”, Afrocentric, “Negro Forum”, communism

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