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In these extraordinary times, music and music makers have something to say about Black Music and the Black Experience. Check out these meaningful, inspiring conversations with a wide variety of guests about the power of music to transcend our differences and bring us closer together. Also included are stories that deepen our knowledge of Black Music from recent days and the past.

The Power of Music to Transcend Our Differences

Every moment of every day that you listen to WRTI is a shared cultural experience with many people who do not look like you, don’t live in your neighborhood, didn’t go to the same school, may not have voted for the same person, don’t share the same socioeconomic status, and certainly don’t have the same life story.You listen to the same notes and together form a community that reflects the diverse world we live in. I know that you don’t think about that when you listen to WRTI.  But today I’m asking you to consider the enormity of that experience because that’s the power of music to bring us all together—on and off the radio.

As we face a community and country in pain, fear, and turmoil, please know that our community has no place for exclusion or hate.  We love this music and, by extension, every member of this community. It’s that simple. We support the diverse voices and rights of everyone in our community to live without fear or persecution, especially as we collectively try to process centuries-old questions about race and social justice.

The next time you listen, I ask that you stop and reflect on the vastitude of what music has accomplished. It has brought us together through time and space, one note at a time, to remind us that we can transcend all that would divide us.


Bill Johnson is the general manager of WRTI.