Put down the Sunday paper. For informative commentary and insight affecting the African-American community, turn the dial.
Deneen Busby and Keith Antone of Majic 105 offer up "Sunday Morning Live" weekly from 10 a.m. until noon, and their line-up of guests and upcoming calendar events gives a broader perspective to news across the region. As moderators, Busby and Antone might start the show highlighting fundraisers and charity events. However, they can quickly switch gears for guests to promote black causes, and later ask for listeners to call in to add comments on current topics about race, crime and politics in St. Louis.
"The show is basically a two-hour public affairs show," Busby says. "We feature not only local events that affect the African-American community, but also focus on topics at the national level. We try to inform in a way that is different." Previous notable guests were civil rights activists Jesse Jackson and the Rev. Al Sharpton, and a San Jose Mercury News reporter who undertook an investigation of the CIA's involvement with crack cocaine.
Last summer, "Live" featured a panel including St. Louis Police Chief Joe Mokwa and St. Louis Circuit Attorney Jennifer Joyce. The two discussed crime policy and answered questions in reference to African-American concerns like racial profiling and the shooting deaths involving St. Louis police officers. Callers asked questions about procedure and why cases are handled as they are. This particular show was a preview for other forums that Busby (and an ad hoc committee she serves on) is setting up in the community.
"(Listeners) are able to interact with people who ordinarily might be difficult to connect with," Busby says. "The point is to give people the opportunity to address some issues."
Discussions span from plugs for future benefits to entertainment news. Cedric the Entertainer's movie "Barbershop" was discussed one Sunday, with callers giving mixed reviews about the black comedy that makes jabs at Martin Luther King, Jr., and Rosa Parks. Antone officiated callers, noting that other black comedians made jest of King's personal flaws. However, the radio show brought an aspect not found in other critiques or reviews of the movie. Regular people called in to express their views based on similar experiences at the barbershop. Some dissed the film, others gave accolades.
Another show in October discussed local blood drives, using sickle cell anemia a disease found among black populations as its focus. Later on, rapper Nelly's foundation for kids was discussed along with an upcoming fundraiser for black sorority Delta Sigma Theta.
The "Let's Go Vote" campaign is a frequent effort for "Live." On Nov. 3, the show will broadcast from Harris-Stowe State College, with a plan to encourage voters to get out, along with noting local and statewide ballot issues, Busby says. That particular show will air from 9 a.m.-noon.
Traci Angel is a St. Louis-based writer and editor.