Burning Spear News
Themba Tshibanda takes post of Black Power 96 FM Station Manager!
Black Power 96 FM Station Manager Themba Tshibanda outside the Black Power 96 studio in St. Petersburg, FL
Black Power 96 has enlisted Themba Tshibanda to serve as its new Station Manager. WBPU 96.3 FM is a project of the African People’s Education and Defense Fund, whose mission is to defend the human and civil rights of the African community and to address the grave disparities in health, education and economic development faced by African people.
A brainchild of African People’s Socialist Party Chairman Omali Yeshitela, Black Power 96 FM radio is an important independent media institution in the hands of the African Nation. It’s part of the Party’s strategy for dual and contending power.
Since its launch in early 2017, the FM radio station has become a popular staple in the lives of African people throughout the southside of St. Petersburg, Florida, a black community under siege from gentrification, police violence and economic exploitation.
Themba Tshibanda was instrumental in helping get the station off the ground. He has hosted WBPU live shows and trained volunteers in studio operations.
He organized the station’s first MLK Day “Free da Mic” concert where local artists performed on the Black Power 96 outdoor sound stage at the Uhuru House.
This powerful event challenged the white downtown theft of Martin Luther King’s legacy that rerouted the parade away from the black community and resulted in vicious police attacks on community vendors and celebrants.
Themba will now lead a talented volunteer staff that is contributing its collective efforts to transform Black Power 96 into a showcase of black music from around the world and across the decades, and a guiding light of news and information to unite and liberate the African Nation.
The Black Power 96 team includes established local radio personalities DJ Heavy Love, Mr. Eddie “Florida Blind Boy” Maultsby, Mr. Larry Fayson and #NoKlass Iquan, along with Comrade Robert from Orlando who is busy seeking business underwriters to contribute to the station.
The team has recently been joined by programmers Nkole and Imani, and by volunteers including Deandre and Ben who are working with Themba to grow the station.
As the new Station Manager, Themba Tshibanda is poised to take this dynamic African liberation radio station to a whole new level in 2019.
His plans include adding new voices to build morning and afternoon drive-time shows, launch a news and public affairs training program and weave the message of Black Power creatively throughout the programming day.
Tshibanda is adamant. “Black Power 96 is more than a great music mix—it must serve the African Nation as the premiere source of breaking news and Vanguard analysis that can guide our people to freedom and independence.
“It must become the place where anyone in our local St. Pete black community can come to tell their stories and connect with their neighbors.
“It’s where they can find the Movement and help to create the solutions to the problems we face.”
Tshibanda’s professional training and previous work experience have prepared him well to achieve the goals of the station.
He holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Broadcast Communications, worked for a popular radio station in Chicago, organized shows at the Rap Factory and served on the Pacifica Radio National Board of Directors.
He also worked as a youth football coach and assistant teacher in the Chicago Public Schools—experience that will help him to serve as trainer and mentor for young people coming to Black Power 96 to gain skills in audio engineering, live hosting, news production and all aspects of operating a successful radio station.
Most importantly, Comrade Themba has demonstrated his unwavering loyalty to the Uhuru Movement and his love of the African working class since he joined the African People’s Socialist Party in 2015.
At the Seventh Congress of the African People’s Socialist Party in October, Themba was recognized as the top seller of The Burning Spear newspaper, voice of the international African Revolution and oldest Black Power journal in continuous publication since 1968.
In St. Petersburg, Themba is well known as a defender of the rights of the African community. He was arrested last year after standing up for an African woman who was assaulted by a parasitic merchant.
After a public outcry, the charges against him were dropped and the merchant apologized to the victimized woman and the African community.
Station Manager Themba is calling on all supporters, from throughout the U.S. and the world, as well as from the local St. Petersburg community, to join and support Black Power 96.
“Black Power 96 belongs to the African community. It’s your station and we need your help to make it grow and succeed!” says Station Manager Themba.
Black Power 96 is preparing for its February “Black History” Supporting Member Fund Drive and is seeking new members as well as volunteers to help build the station. Anyone can become a sustaining member by visiting blackpower96.org.
The station is also seeking news and public affairs volunteers to write headlines for a daily newscast and produce informative and dynamic features on current events of importance to the African community.
For more information, visit blackpower96.org, email [email protected] or call 727-914-3614. You can also download the Black Power 96 app on your smart phone!
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