Arts and Entertainment

Radio Shows

What is the importance of radio in African-American popular culture?

Since the 1920s, radio has become one of black America’s most popular and powerful mediums, serving as a source of information and culture in the community. It has helped to shape black communities at the local and national levels. The development of radio in the black community was gradual, however, and the 1930s and 1940s brought more black radio shows that were broadcast alongside mainstream radio; it also helped to erase many of the stereotypical and derogatory images that mainstream radio broadcasts perpetuated. Those who lived in major cities, such as New York, Chicago, or Pittsburgh, found little that they liked on white-run radio; therefore, it was important that black radio shows would take root and flourish in areas where more blacks lived.


This is a web preview of the "The Handy African American History Answer Book" app. Many features only work on your mobile device. If you like what you see, we hope you will consider buying. Get the App