Episode 63: Radio Free

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Free Black Press Radio, a new podcast by the avant-garde rapper Busdriver, is half lecture on the history of black resistance, and half freewheeling entropic swirl of cut-up Pharoah Sanders riffs. FBPR expands what's possible in the emerging podcast form, while also hearkening back to programs like Radio Free Dixie by the civil rights leader Robert F. Williams.

Toni Morrison once said that good writing shouldn't be "harangue passing off as art," but Free Black Press Radio (and its civil-rights-era forebears) are good models for how both impulses – the political and the artistic, the polemical and the musical -- can successfully merge (and how that confluence may only be possible within this medium).

What sort of liberation does the “free” in Free Black Press Radio and Radio Free Dixie demand?

CREDITS: Written by Niela Orr. Produced by Myke Dodge Weiskopf. Voice of Mabel Williams provided courtesy of the Freedom Archives, from their documentary Robert F. Williams: Self-Respect, Self-Defense, and Self-Determination.

Banner Image: Watts Towers via Joanna/Flickr