25.2.16

Black is Beautiful 21-KDIA radio station (Oakland)

Every weekend almost as a kid I would go to San Francisco from the East Bay to visit my grandparents in the city. We would cross the old Bay Bridge and on the way we'd pass this radio station on the right of the freeway. I didn't know it at the time, but it is one of the first stations to play black music in the Bay Area alongside KSOL and KPOO. "Kdia Lucky 13", was founded in 1959 and covered Alameda, Contra Costa, SF, Solano, Sonoma, Santa Clara, and reached almost out to Stockton. You would hear songs like "the midnight hour" by Ray Charles, "tell it like it is" by Aaron Neville, or Bay Area musicians like "Confunkshun" and "Marvin Holmes and The Uptights".  I consider it part of this months history because for over 30 years this radio station not only played Black Music but hired Black DJs and was awarded for some of their reporting and/or segments. There were DJs there like Roland Porter, Belva Davis, John Hardy, Jay Sweet, Diane Blackmon, and later would be owned by Adam Clayton Powell, journalist Chauncy Bailey, Elihu Harris, and Willy Brown. I was reminded of KDIA by the African American library on 14th st. in Oakland recently. Why is media black owned or directed media important? You tell me! Shout out to Hard Knock Radio and Block Report Radio.

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