Monday, December 15, 2008

Toronto Radio Program Hosted by Norman Otis Richmond, 'Diasporic Music', Featuring PANW Editor, Suspended

For Immediate Release

December 15, 2008

Diasporic Music and Saturday Morning Live Temporarily Laid Off

CKLN-FM 88.1 has given Norman (Otis) Richmond notice of a “Temporary Layoff” effective Monday, December 15, 2008.

Richmond has two shows on CKLN, Diasporic Music and Saturday Morning Live.

Both are Award winning shows. The late-great drummer Max Roach once said,” No one in Canada is doing what Norman is doing.” Diasporic Music is currently commemorating its 25th anniversary on CKLN. Diasporic Music has many relevant features that speak to the African World, like Abayomi Azikiwe, the editor of the Pan-African News Wire and Spoken Word artist Dwayne Morgan.

The show has been hosted by Ryerson students Heather Kere and Saron Ghebressllassie of the United Black Student @ Ryerson, and Hennesseyy and Samih Abdelgadir, senior VP of the East African Students of Toronto.

As a co-founder of the Black Music Association/Toronto Chapter (BMA/TC), Milton Blake and I called on the Canadian Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences (CARAS) to introduce three new categories into the Canadian Juno Awards. We called for Reggae, Calypso and R&B Awards to become part of this prestigious affair.

The BMA/TC began the struggle in 1984 by submitting a brief to CARAS on February 7, 1985. The brief said: "The Toronto Chapter of the Black Music Association (BMA) is respectfully requesting that this esteemed body include Reggae, Calypso and Rhythm 'n' Blues awards in the 1985 Junos.”

CARAS however, refused to create a Calypso/Soca Awards. The BMA/TC did not take this laying down and organized a demonstration in front of the then O’Keefe Centre (now Sony Centre) to register our opposition.

The African Canadian community showed its support for the issue. Itah Sadu, Clifton Joseph, Henry “King Cosmos” Gomez, Ian Jones, the late Monifa Owusu, Milton Blake and myself were among the participates in this demonstration.

I’m requesting that supporters of Diasporic Music and Saturday Morning Live email or snail @ mail: 55 Gould St, Toronto M5B 1E9 or phone 416 979-5251 ext. 383 and let him know how you feel about Saturday Morning Live. Please cc

Saturday Morning Live has been described as CKLN’s flagship news program.

At the time of this writing the show features the world most famous political prisoner Mumia-Abu-Jamal, author of twenty-seven books, Dr. Gerald Horne, who has been doing the show since 1999, the Group for Research and Initiatives for the Liberation of Africa (GRILA) which is commemorating its 10th anniversary, a youth wing of the Black Defence Committee (BADC), the Freedom Ciphers, Rackel Saunders, David McNally, Professor of political science at York University in and chair of the university's political science department, film critic Ayinde Blake, the 18 year old son of Milton Blake, Rakim Shabazz, Stuart Andrews and Ian Brown.

Diasporic Music and Saturday Morning Live have spearheaded Black Music Month, African Liberation (Black History Month), Black August, Black & Brown Unity, Trade Unionism and internationalism. We at Diasporic Music and Saturday Morning Live have always upheld African Internationalism and revolutionary Internationalism.

Both of these shows have interviewed Dick Griffey, Kiilu Nyasha, Kumasi, Chaka, Professor Ron Wilkins, Michael Parenti, Muhammad Ahmad (Max Stanford), Marian Kramer, General Baker, Abdul Alkalimat, Fela Kuti, Gail Davidson, Jack Layton, Olivia Crow, Rupert Lewis, John Cartwright and hundreds, perhaps thousands of others over the 25 years we have served the listeners of CKLN and its global listener ship thanks to the world wide web.

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