Category: African American history
A Tribute to Claudia Jones



Thursday 26 October 7pm

Marx Memorial Library, 37a Clerkenwell Green, EC1R 0DU

Book tickets here

  • Claudia Webbe, Islington Councillor and member of the Labour Party’s National Executive Committee in the Chair
  • Winston Pinder, friend of Claudia, on Claudia’s life as socialist, organiser and writer
  • Meirian Jump, Archivist & Library Manager, on Claudia’s archives at the MML

Claudia Jones (1915-1964) was a political activist and tireless anti-racist campaigner. Her activity as a member of the Communist Party USA – during a period of McCarthyite attacks on the left in America – led to her imprisonment and deportation in 1955. She moved to the UK where she was instrumental in founding the Notting Hill Carnival in 1959 and established the first major black British newspaper The West Indian Gazette. She was an inspirational speaker, addressing numerous peace and trade union meetings. At her funeral in 1965 Paul Robeson gave the following tribute ‘It was a great privilege to have known Claudia Jones. She was a vigorous and courageous leader of the Communist Party of the United States, and was very active in the work for the unity of white and coloured peoples and for dignity and equality, especially for the Negro people and for women’.


Marx Memorial Library & Workers’ School

37a Clerkenwell Green
Marx Memorial Library
United Kingdom
A New Joke – “Jim-Crow Helps The Negro Race”

J.R. Johnson

A New Joke – “Jim-Crow Helps The Negro Race”

(5 May 1941)

The Negro’s Fight, Labor Action, Vol. 5 No. 18, 5 May 1941, p. 4.
Transcribed & marked up by Einde O’Callaghan for the Marxists’ Internet Archive.

“Oh, Judgment! thou art fled to brutish beasts,
And men have lost their reason.”

This, is what Shakespeare makes Mark Anthony (that great faker) say in the famous speech over Caesar’s dead body. Often when one looks at capitalist politics today one is tempted to say the same thing.

Friends, Americans and countrymen, lend me your ears. This war is a war for “democracy.” It is a war to preserve “a way of life,” it is a war against tyranny, persecution, aggression. It is a war for freedom. So our modern Mark Anthony, Franklin Roosevelt, says. And all the liberals and the labor leaders follow him shouting “Hosannah!”

State Attorneys Give Their View

Now one of our most precious “free” institutions is Congress, and in this Congress is one solitary Negro, Representative Arthur W. Mitchell. Brother Mitchell tried to travel in a Pullman coach in the South and was kicked out and made to go into another carriage. He filed an action. The case is before the Supreme Court. So far, nothing unusual. This happens regularly. (Since this column, was written, the Supreme Court has upheld the right of Negroes to travel in Pullmans. We will comment on this decision next week. – Ed.)

But note now what has been the result. The attorney generals of ten states, Alabama, Kentucky, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi, Tennessee, Texas and Virginia, these men who are the expounders of the laws of democracy, they drew up an appeal and sent it to the Supreme Court, asking it not to take any decision on this question. These lawyers of democracy say that the Jim Crow jungle laws (most elegantly called, “segregation statutes”) “were enacted for the purpose of promoting the welfare, comfort, peace and safety of the people of both races.” And these attorney generals of “democracy” say that “it” is a matter of common knowledge, which this court probably knows, “that in those states which are parties to this brief, where large numbers of both races reside, such statutes do, in truth and in fact, promote the welfare, comfort, peace and safety of the people of both races.”

In other words, these men of “democratic” law say this:

“If Representative Arthur Mitchell or any black man travels with whites, he is personally offensive to the whites. We don’t want him. He offends our welfare and our comfort.

“If he insists on traveling, we southerners are going to beat him up. That will offend his peace and safety. In the course of beating him up of lynching him, he and his friends may hurt some of us. That offends OUR peace and safety. So the laws are for the benefit of both of us. Therefore, Supreme Court, do not interfere.”

These Is a Reason for What They Say

Is it any wonder that Hitler laughs at Franklin Roosevelt’s pretentious to being a defender of “democracy”? There are ten million Negroes in the South whom these and similar laws directly affect. There were only about half a million Jews in Germany. If Hitler had said that the laws against the Jews were passed for their comfort, peace, welfare and safety, how. Mark Anthony Roosevelt would have thundered. Hitler, however, says simply and plainly: “We don’t want you Jews. Get out.” But these southern democrats say that their fascist types of racial laws are FOR the BENEFIT of the Negroes; and the men of law, the attorney generals, write to the Supreme Court and say the same thing.

We began by quoting the passage from Shakespeare, saying that men had lost their reason. Have these southerners lost their reason? Oh, no! They want to keep the Negro where he is in order to exploit him, to work him hard and pay him cheap. That is why they tell these abominable lies and talk this abominable legal nonsense. They SEEM to have lost their reason. In reality they have very good reasons for saying what they do. But the Negroes have very good reason for saying:

“You and your holy war against fascism may suit you, but they don’t suit me! I have my war. And it is against you, Messrs. Attorney Generals, to break that system which is so rotten that it compels its defenders to talk like men who have just come out of a lunatic asylum.”

George Padmore interviews Ho Chi Minh in Paris (1946)


Experts: Impact of ongoing NFL protests unclear

Experts: Impact of ongoing NFL protests unclear

10073km to Beijing

2017-09-29 18:21 GMT+8

‍Almost a year after then-49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick took a knee to protest police brutality, similar protests swept the National Football League (NFL) and are set to continue, with experts describing the past week as one of the most significant displays of athlete activism in decades, but doubts about the long-term impact remain.

More than 150 NFL players – mostly African-American – chose to kneel or sit during the playing of The Star-Spangled Banner on Sunday in an unprecedented protest following a tirade by President Donald Trump.

Trump created an uproar in America’s most popular sport by attacking players who symbolically refused to stand during the national anthem in an effort to draw attention to racial injustice.

Members of the Detroit Lions take a knee during the playing of the national anthem on September 24, 2017 in Detroit, Michigan. /AFP Photo

The US leader’s remarks were widely condemned by NFL chiefs and billionaire team owners — several of whom had donated to Trump’s election campaign — before the players staged their day of action.

Yet as a fresh round of NFL games kick off this week, it remains unclear whether last Sunday’s protests will gather momentum or slowly fizzle out. Some players who knelt last weekend have already said they do not plan to repeat the protest. Oakland Raiders tackle Donald Penn said his protest was intended as a riposte to Trump’s remarks.

“I’m not going to do it again next week,” he told reporters. “I didn’t want to do it this week. This all had to do with President Trump’s comments.”

Tennessee Titans wide receiver Rishard Matthews meanwhile said he would continue to kneel “until the president apologizes.” The Green Bay Packers have urged fans to link arms in solidarity when they face the Chicago Bears in what is intended to be a “display of unity.”

US President Donald Trump reacts at the White House in Washington DC, US September 27, 2017. /Reuters

The mixed messages have created debate about the long-term effectiveness of the protests.

Losing the meaning?

For some analysts the meaning of the demonstrations has been lost.

Trump has reframed the debate as a question of patriotism, accusing those players who choose to kneel or sit as being disrespectful of the military and the United States.

Orin Starn, a professor of cultural anthropology at Duke University who has written about sports and society, sees the protests as continuing a tradition of activism started by black athletes in the 1960s.

“There’s a thread connecting Tommy Smith and John Carlos in 1968 to what we saw on Sunday — black athletes using sport to protest racial injustice, to say to America that it doesn’t have its racial house in order,” Starn told AFP.

Eric Reid and Colin Kaepernick (R) of the San Francisco 49ers kneel in protest during the national anthem in 2016. /AFP Photo

Starn is uncertain though how effective the NFL protests will be in the long-term, suggesting that the opposing viewpoints in the latest round of America’s culture wars remain too deeply entrenched.

“About such a pivotal matter for American culture like racism and police brutality, people already have their opinions,” Starn said. “I doubt many minds have been changed one way or the other by this weekend or by Kaepernick’s initial, courageous protest.”

“This is a divided country. One part of it thinks that African-Americans have been given too many breaks; the other, a big segment of America, thinks we have real problems with racism and police brutality and wants to do something about it. But it is not clear to me that the status quo is changing.”

Going to ‘next step’

Members of Arizona Cardinals link arms during the National Anthem before the start of the NFL game on September 25, 2017 in Glendale, Arizona. /AFP Photo

Mary-Frances Winters, who heads The Winters Group, a consulting firm which specializes in diversity and inclusion programs, praised the protests as “symbolic.”

“But now it needs to go the next step,” she told AFP. “People need to sit down and have a proper dialogue. When you look at history, people who are protesting are often persecuted. It’s not until 50 years later that they are viewed differently.”

Winters agreed that the point of Kaepernick’s original protest — launched in response to several killings of unarmed black men by law enforcement who subsequently received little or no punishment — has been forgotten.

“There is a misunderstanding what this is about,” she said. “It’s not about the flag, it’s not about the anthem — it’s about racial inequities.

Indianapolis Colts players kneel during the playing of the National Anthem before the game against the Cleveland Browns at Lucas Oil Stadium. /Reuters Photo

“If you look at the history of our country, we’ve always had protesters who love their country but who also see the flaws in their country and simply want the country to be better.”

Starn, meanwhile, was uncertain about the significance of the number of team owners who joined players linking arms, noting that there appeared to be a division on racial lines between players kneeling and those who chose to stand.

“They (the owners) were linking arms with the players — but they were linking arms with the players who were not kneeling,” Starn said. “There seemed to be a pretty clear racial divide. I didn’t see many white players kneeling.”

Source(s): AFP
The peculiar patriotism of Confederate monument huggers | Opinion

Updated on September 25, 2017 at 2:05 PM

In “Bart-Mangled Banner,” a 2004 episode of The Simpsons, 10-year-old Bart Simpson offends the town of Springfield when it appears to them that he’s mooning the United States flag.  It’s all a big misunderstanding, one that can only be understood by watching the whole episode which includes Bart going temporarily deaf, Bart taunting a donkey at a donkey basketball game and that donkey ripping Bart’s shorts off with its teeth right before the flag is displayed for the national anthem.  The people of Springfield are outraged at Bart’s apparent disrespect.

“How dare he?!” a character of obvious Southern extraction yells.  “That’s the flag my grandpappy rebelled against!”

I think we need to stop pretending that episodes of The Simpsons don’t predict the future.  “Bart-Mangled Banner” aired more than 13 years ago, and, yet, it seems to precisely predict the contradictions being noisily aired in 2017:  so-called patriots shedding tears over the erasure of Confederate iconography from the public landscape while simultaneously professing allegiance for the flag the Confederates opposed.

Consider Beth Mizell, the Republican state senator from Franklinton who failed in her attempts to protect four Confederate monuments in New Orleans from being removed.  In June, she released a 4-minute video explaining her opposition to the monument-removal trend.  It includes this doozy: “No real citizen was screaming for those monuments to be torn down, but now they’re gone.”

You’re a citizen of the United States at birth if you were born in the United States or one of its territories; or if you were born abroad to parents who were citizens. You can also be foreign-born and apply for naturalization.  Everybody I know personally who was opposed to the monuments to Robert E. Lee, Jefferson Davis, P.G.T. Beauregard and the White League is a citizen, a real citizen.

Mizell is doing that thing that so many conservative politicians do: dismissing people who disagree with their opinions as phony or fraudulent Americans, as inauthentic. She doesn’t even concede that the anger at the monuments might be real, vowing to keep fighting to protect disputed monuments “regardless of who wants to pretend to be offended.”

In her mixed-up worldview, being an American means honoring those people who took up arms against America to perpetuate the enslavement of black people.

If Mizell were by herself, we could respond to her comments real citizens with a laugh and a “whatever.” But she’s not by herself. She’s one of many who have expressed the peculiar belief that reverence for the Confederacy and its symbols is part and parcel of reverence for the United States.

Even the president of the United States falls within that group. Donald Trump has criticized those who protest “our beautiful (Confederate) statues and monuments,” and he’s criticized those who, he says, are disrespecting the American flag by declining to stand respectfully as the national anthem is played.  On which side would Trump have fought in the Civil War?  Or would he have taken his morally evasive “bad people on all sides” approach?

It certainly is confusing to hear people declare allegiance to the United States flag at the same time that they’re weeping at the removal of Confederate flags and monuments. Some people might believe that some black people are sending mixed messages when they criticize they, say,  properly criticize the Confederate battle flag as treasonous and racist and at the same time support professional athletes who kneel during the national anthem.  But it should be fairly easy to understand:  Most sensible black people hate the Confederacy and its images and find it foolish that anybody would expect them to harbor anything other than hatred for the army that fought for their ancestors’ enslavement. Protests that intersect with displays of the United States flag aren’t coming from a place of hatred but disappointment:  How come America isn’t as good as she claims to be? Why won’t Americans collectively demand that everybody be treated fairly and justly?  In a country that has a Constitution and says it follows the rule of law, how is that police officers, government agents, get to kill black people with near impunity?

Martin Luther King Jr. expressed that disappointment the night before he was assassinated when he said, “All we say to America is, ‘Be true to what you said on paper.'” After pointing out the promises explicitly guaranteed by the First Amendment, King declared that “the greatness of America is the right to protest for right.”

A Gallup poll conducted two years before his assassination revealed that a large majority of Americans had a negative opinion of King. That should let us know that anybody who points out that America isn’t what she says she is, anybody who demands that America stop doing black people wrong, is going to be criticized – reviled even.

But somebody’s got to point out the hypocrisies: the hypocrisy of lingering racism in a country with a Declaration of Independence and a Constitution and the hypocrisy of so-called patriots championing the Confederacy and its imagery.

Jarvis DeBerry is deputy opinions editor for NOLA.COM | The Times-Picayune. He can be reached at or at

Report on the Negro Question:

Report on the Negro Question:

Speech to the 4th Congress of the Comintern, Nov. 1922.

by Claude McKay

Published in International Press Correspondence, v. 3 (Jan. 5, 1923), pp. 16-17.

Comrade McKay: Comrades, I feel that I

would rather face a lynching stake in civilized

America than try to make a speech before the most

intellectual and critical audience in the world. I

belong to a race of creators but my public speaking

has been so bad that I have been told by my

own people that I should never try to make

speeches, but stick to writing, and laughing. However,

when I heard the Negro question was going

to be brought up on the floor

of the Congress, I felt it

would be an eternal shame if

I did not say something on

behalf of the members of my

race. Especially would I be a

disgrace to the American

Negroes because, since I

published a notorious poem

in 1919 [“If We Must Die”],

I have been pushed forward

as one of the spokesmen of

Negro radicalism in America

to the detriment of my poetical

temperament. I feel

that my race is honored by this invitation to one

of its members to speak at this Fourth Congress of

the Third International. My race on this occasion

is honored, not because it is different from the

white race and the yellow race, but [because it] is

especially a race of toilers, hewers of wood and

drawers of water, that belongs to the most oppressed,

exploited, and suppressed section of the

working class of the world. The Third International

stands for the emancipation of all the workers of

the world, regardless of race or color, and this stand

of the Third International is not merely on paper

like the Fifteenth Amendment of the Constitution

of the United States of America. It is a real


The Negro race in the economic life of the

world today occupies a very peculiar position. In

every country where the Whites and Blacks must

work together the capitalists have set the one

against the other. It would seem at the present day

that the international bourgeoisie would use the

Negro race as their trump card in their fight against

the world revolution. Great Britain has her Negro

regiments in the colonies and she has demonstrated

what she can do with her Negro soldiers by the

use that she made of them during the late War.

The revolution in England is very far away be-

cause of the highly organized exploitation of the

subject peoples of the British Empire. In Europe,

we find that France had a Negro army of over

300,000 and that to carry out their policy of imperial

domination in Europe the French are going

to use their Negro minions.

In America we have the same situation. The

Northern bourgeoisie knows how well the Negro

soldiers fought for their own emancipation, although

illiterate and untrained, during the Civil

War. They also remember how well the Negro soldiers

fought in the Spanish-American War under

Theodore Roosevelt. They know that in the last

war over 400,000 Negroes who were mobilized

gave a very good account of themselves, and that,

besides fighting for the capitalists, they also put

up a very good fight for themselves on returning

to America when they fought the white mobs in

Chicago, St. Louis and Washington.

But more than the fact that the American

capitalists are using Negro soldiers in their fight

against the interests of labor is the fact that the

American capitalists are setting out to mobilize the

entire black race of America for the purpose of

fighting organized labor. The situation in America

today is terrible and fraught with grave dangers. It

is much uglier and more terrible than was the condition

of the peasants and Jews of Russia under

the Tsar. It is so ugly and terrible that very few

people in America are willing to face it. The reformist

bourgeoisie have been carrying on the

battle against discrimination and racial prejudice

in America. The Socialists and Communists have

fought very shy of it because there is a great element

of prejudice among the Socialists and Communists

of America. They are not willing to face

the Negro question. In associating with the comrades

of America I have found demonstrations of

prejudice on the various occasions when the White

and Black comrades had to get together: and this

is the greatest difficulty that the Communists of

America have got to overcome-the fact that they

first have got to emancipate themselves from the

ideas they entertain towards the Negroes before

they can be able to reach the Negroes with any

kind of radical propaganda. However, regarding

the Negroes themselves, I feel that as the subject

races of other nations have come to Moscow to

learn how to fight against their exploiters, the

Negroes will also come to Moscow. In 1918 when

the Third International published its Manifesto

and included the part referring to the exploited

colonies, there were several groups of Negro radicals

in America that sent this propaganda out

among their people. When in 1920 the American

government started to investigate and to suppress

radical propaganda among the Negroes, the small

radical groups in America retaliated by publishing

the fact that the Socialists stood for the emancipation

of the Negroes, and that reformist America

could do nothing for them. Then, I think, for the

first time in American history, the American Negroes

found that Karl Marx had been interested in

their emancipation and had fought valiantly for

it. I shall just read this extract that was taken from

Karl Marx’s writing at the time of the Civil War:

When an oligarchy of 300,000 slave holders for

the first time in the annals of the world, dared to

inscribe “Slavery” on the banner of armed revolt, on

the very spot where hardly a century ago, the idea of

one great democratic republic had first sprung up,

whence the first declaration of the Rights of Man was

issued, and the first impulse given to the European

revolution of the eighteenth- century, when on that

spot the counter-revolution cynically proclaimed

property in man to be “the cornerstone of the new

edifice” — then the working class of Europe

understood at once that the slaveholders’ rebellion

was to sound the tocsin for a general holy war of

property against labor, and that (its) hopes of the

future, even its past conquests were at stake in that

tremendous conflict on the other side of the Atlantic.

Karl Marx who drafted the above resolution

is generally known as the father of Scientific Socialism

and also of the epoch-making volume

popularly known as the socialist bible, Capital.

During the Civil War he was correspondent of the

New York Tribune. In the company of Richard

McKay: Speech to the 4th Congress of the Communist International 3

Published by 1000 Flowers Publishing, Corvallis, OR, 2005. • Free reproduction permitted.

Transcribed by William Maxwell for the Modern American Poetry website.

PDF version published here by permission.

For further information on Claude McKay and his role, see Dr. Maxwell’s book,

New Negro, Old Left: African-American Writing and Communism between the Wars.

(New York: Columbia University Press, 1999).

Cobden, Charles Bradlaugh, the atheist, and John

Bright, he toured England making speeches and

so roused up the sentiment of the workers of that

country against the Confederacy that Lord

Palmerston, [the] Prime Minister, who was about

to recognize the South, had to desist.

As Marx fought against chattel slavery in

1861, so are present-day socialists, his intellectual

descendants, fighting wage slavery.

If the Workers Party in America were really a

Workers Party that included Negroes it would, for

instance, in the South, have to be illegal, and I

would inform the American Comrades that there

is a branch of the Workers Party in the South, in

Richmond, Virginia, that is illegal — illegal because

it includes colored members. There we have

a very small group of white and colored comrades

working together, and the fact that they have laws

in Virginia and most of the Southern states discriminating

against whites and blacks assembling

together means that the Workers Party in the South

must be illegal. To get round these laws of Virginia,

the comrades have to meet separately, according

to color, and about once a month they

assemble behind closed doors.

This is just an indication of the work that

will have to be done in the South. The work among

the Negroes of the South will have to be carried

on by some legal propaganda organized in the

North, because we find at the present time in

America that the situation in the Southern States

(where nine million out of ten million of the Negro

population live), is that even the liberal bourgeoisie

and the petty bourgeoisie among the Negroes

cannot get their own papers of a reformist

propaganda type into the South on account of the

laws that there discriminate against them. The fact

is that it is really only in the Southern States that

there is any real suppression of opinion. No suppression

of opinion exists in the Northern states

in the way it exists in the S outh. In the Northern

states special laws are made for special occasionsas

those against Communists and Socialists during

the War — but in the South we find laws that

have existed for fifty years, under which the Negroes

cannot meet to talk about their grievances.

The white people who are interested in their cause

cannot go and speak to them. If we send white

comrades into the South they are generally ordered

out by the Southern oligarchy and if they do not

leave they are generally whipped, tarred and feathered;

and if we send black comrades into the South

they generally won’t be able to get out again —

they will be lynched and burned at the stake.

I hope that as a symbol that the Negroes of

the world will not be used by the international

bourgeoisie in the final conflicts against the World

Revolution, that as a challenge to the international

bourgeoisie, who have an understanding of the

Negro question, we shall soon see a few Negro

soldiers in the finest, bravest, and cleanest fighting

forces in the world — the Red Army and Navy

of Russia — fighting not only for their own emancipation,

but also for the emancipation of all the

working class of the whole world


The night Dr. Daddy-O forever changed New Orleans radio

Pioneering New Orleans radio personality Dr. Daddy-O, aka Vernon Winslow, works the mic in an undated file image. In May 1949, Winslow became the first black deejay to get his own full-time radio show in New Orleans. The airwaves were never the same.
Pioneering New Orleans radio personality Dr. Daddy-O, aka Vernon Winslow, works the mic in an undated file image. In May 1949, Winslow became the first black deejay to get his own full-time radio show in New Orleans. The airwaves were never the same.(The Times-Picayune archive)

The Times-Picayune is marking the tricentennial of New Orleans with its ongoing 300 for 300 project, running through 2018 and highlighting the moments and people that connect and inspire us. Today, the series continues with the on-air arrival of Dr. Daddy-O, who would change the face of New Orleans radio for generations.

300 for 300 logo.jpg

THEN: It was the late 1940s and it was the South, so while Vernon Winslow was hired to help create the soon-to-be iconic Poppa Stoppa radio show on New Orleans’ WJMR, he — as a black man — wasn’t allowed to go on the air. Rather, he was brought on as a writer and programmer, coaching white deejays on how to “sound black” and picking hip new R&B records for them to spin. Then, one night in 1948, he decided to read one of his own scripts on the air. He was fired immediately. But within six months, in May 1949, the folks at Jax Brewery and Fitzgerald Advertising, eager to market to New Orleans’ black consumers, offered to sponsor a show for him to host, titled “Jivin’ with Jax,” on competing station WWEZ. New Orleans radio had officially been integrated, and a local broadcast icon was born.

NOW: Winslow, who later in his career focused more on spinning gospel music than R&B, died in late 1993 and was buried in Lake Lawn Cemetery. His legacy lives on across New Orleans’ radio dial, however, as the man who influenced generations of on-air talent, from Poppa Stoppa to Jack the Cat to Okey-Dokey Smith and beyond. “It was like the Berlin Wall. He broke down the walls,” legendary New Orleans recording engineer Cosimo Matassa is quoted as having once said.


  • Winslow was first invited to visit the WJMR studios — at that time in the Jung Hotel — based on a phone call. When he went up to meet station management in person, however, the light-skinned Winslow had a rude awakening. “They said, ‘Are you a n—-r?,'” Winslow remembered in a 1977 interview with The Times-Picayune. “I said, ‘Yes.’ So they said, ‘You can’t be a disc jockey, but you can write our copy.'”
  • Dr. Daddy-ONew Orleans radio pioneer Vernon Winslow, aka Dr. Daddy-O, at the console in December 1986.

    “Jivin’ with Jax” broadcast from the Hotel New Orleans. It being the Jim Crow era, Winslow had to take the freight elevator to the studio. He later moved his operation to Matassa’s J&M Studios, first pre-recording his show for broadcast and later broadcasting live from J&M with Dave Bartholomew’s house band providing background music.

  • Jax billed Winslow as “New Orleans’ first sepia disc jockey” and had him train deejays in other markets.
  • Born in Ohio and raised in Chicago, Winslow earned a fine arts degree from the University of Chicago before relocating to New Orleans. “Had things worked out for me in a way that my talent could support me, I would have been a painter,” Winslow told The Times-Picayune in a 1986 interview.
  • Before his radio days, Winslow earned a master’s in education from Tulane, which helped him land a job teaching art at Dillard University.
  • In the late 1950s, Winslow went to work for New Orleans radio station WYLD, where he stayed on and off for more than 30 years hosting a gospel show.


Much is made in the music world about “the New Orleans sound.” But before Dr. Daddy-O signed on, that sound was decidedly muted for the simple reason that “race” records received limited play at best on local radio stations. “Other stations were too dignified to play rhythm and blues,” Winslow said in a 1987 interview with The Times-Picayune. That would soon change. By the end of 1949, the city had its first true black radio station, in the form of WMRY, which broadcast from the Court of Two Sisters restaurant. It would later become WYLD. A second black station, WBOK, signed on about a year later. Those stations have been credited with helping to put local R&B on the map — and on the air. With musicians eager to be heard, and audiences eager to listen, it would lead to a boom in New Orleans-styled R&B that would all but define the radio waves for decades to come.

By: Mike Scott, staff writer
Sources: The Times-Picayune archive; “The Death of Rhythm and Blues,” by Nelson George; “New Orleans Radio,” by Dominic Massa; staff research