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Black Women in Radio Honor Their History and Future

BWIR announces a new oral history project and celebrates its "Inaugural 30" leaders

In an effort to preserve and honor the voices of Black female broadcasters in America, and their contributions to Black radio culture and digital media, the organization Black Women in Radio (BWIR) announced its Black Women in Radio Historic Collection and Oral History Project. The project — which centers around a group known as the “Inaugural 30” — was announced during the Radio Preservation Task Force Conference, held at the Library of Congress in April. 

The “Inaugural 30,” now with a final total of 39 radio professionals, shines a spotlight on each woman’s unique contributions to radio on a local, regional, and national scale. Members include Cathy Hughes, founder and chairwoman of Radio One Inc., radio personality Lady Edie Bee, radio host and professor Pat Prescott and program director and radio host Carla Ferrell. 

The BWIR’s radio collection and oral history project will be America’s largest historical collection representing women of color in contemporary commercial radio roles. This collection is the result of a partnership with the Library of Congress’ Radio Preservation Task Force (RPTF) and the Atlanta University Center Robert W. Woodruff Library, which is the nation’s largest consortium of historically Black colleges and universities in Atlanta.

BWIR is a media content provider founded by radio veteran Felesha Love, who produces radio, TV, podcasting, streaming events and other digital media outlets to help change the way minorities are perceived in media. 

The 2023 Radio Preservation Task Force was held on Capitol Hill and featured talks and panels with more than 300 individuals. During the conference, attendees met with Karine Jean-Pierre, the first Black woman to serve as White House Press Secretary.

White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre (center) with members of “The Inaugural 30.” (Photo courtesy Black Women in Radio)

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