The People's War Show, Episode #70: Tribute to Glen Ford, African freedom fighter

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This episode of The People’s War show is dedicated to remembering the life and work of Glen Ford, heroic journalist and African freedom fighter, with commentary by:

  • Nia Ford, Glen's daughter
  • Marsha Coleman-Adebayo, Founder of the No Fear Coalition and the Bethesda African Cemetery Coalition
  • New York State Assemblymember Charles Barron
  • Efia Nwangaza, manager of WMXP radio in Greenville, South Carolina
  • Nellie Bailey of Harlem Fight Back Against War at Home & Abroad
  • Zaki Baruti, President General of the Universal African People’s Organization
  • Belinda Parker-Brown, CEO of Louisiana United International
  • Chairman Omali Yeshitela, African People's Socialist Party

Glen Ford was the son of the famed disc jockey Rudy “The Deuce” Rutherford, the first Black man to host a non-gospel television show in the Deep South – Columbus, Georgia, in 1958.

Glen was reading newswire copy on-the-air at age eleven. His first full-time broadcast news job was at James Brown’s Augusta, Georgia radio station WRDW, in 1970 – where ‘The Godfather of Soul” shortened Glen’s last name to “Ford.”

Comrade Glen worked as a newsperson at four more local stations: in Columbus, Georgia, Atlanta, and Baltimore – where he created his first radio syndication, a half-hour weekly news magazine called “Black World Report” – and Washington, DC.

In 1974, Glen Ford joined the Mutual Black Network of 88 stations, where he served as Capitol Hill, State Department and White House correspondent, and Washington Bureau Chief, while also producing a daily radio commentary.

In 1977, Ford co-launched, produced and hosted “America’s Black Forum” (ABF), the first nationally syndicated Black news interview program on commercial television. ABF made Black broadcast history. For the next four years, the program generated national and international headlines nearly every week.

Never before – and never since – had a Black news entity commanded the weekly attention of the news services (AP, UPI, Reuters, Agence France-Presse – even Tass, the Soviet news agency) and the broadcast networks.

In 1987, Ford launched “Rap It Up,” the first nationally syndicated Hip Hop music show, broadcasted on 65 radio stations. During its six years of operations, “Rap It Up” allowed Ford to play an important role in the maturation of a new African musical genre. He organized three national rap music conventions, and wrote the Hip Hop column for Jack The Rapper’s Black radio trade magazine.

In addition to his broadcast and Internet experience, Glen Ford was a national political columnist for Encore magazine; founded The Black Commentator and Africana Policies magazines; authored The Big Lie: An Analysis of U.S. Media Coverage of the Grenada Invasion; and served as reporter and editor for three newspapers.

Comrade Glen was a founding member of the Washington chapter of the National Association of Black Journalists; executive board member of the National Alliance of Third World Journalists; and media specialist for the National Minority Purchasing Council.

In October, 2006, Ford and the former writing team of the Black Commentator launched BlackAgendaReport.com, a reliable and prolific source of information and analysis from the black left. He also partnered with Nellie Bailey to produce Black Agenda Radio, a weekly news program syndicated across the U.S.

In 2008, Comrade Glen become a co-founder of the Black is Back Coalition for Social Justice, Peace and Reparations.

He had been an outspoken critic of Barack Obama from the beginning of Obama’s candidacy. He was in communication with the Uhuru Movement after our 2008 protest at Obama’s St. Petersburg, Florida campaign stop where our demand that he address the question “What about the Black Community?” drew national attention to Obama’s silence on black issues.

For 12 years, Comrade Glen delivered dynamic presentations to the annual Black is Back Coalition’s Marches on Washington, conferences and training schools. His thorough research and insightful analysis brought clarity to the political situation faced by Africans and other oppressed peoples in today’s world.

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