Internet Talk Radio Rainbow Soul

Internet Talk Radio Rainbow Soul


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Black folks spend all that money on hair care products we don’t control, drugs, cigarettes, bling

and sex but won’t send us a few dollars to help keep the station on the air. I’ve literally

spent thousands of dollars of my own money trying to keep this station going



Internet Talk Radio Rainbow Soul Pulled the Plug

Lack of Financial Support of Black Alternative Media

 By Junious Ricardo Stanton


Culture is essentially a way of thinking, perceiving, evaluating, and interpreting the world; a way of relating to others and to the physical-metaphysical world and involves an explicit and implicit set of rules of conduct which orders the overall social relations, arrangements and attitudes of a society. The power generated by such social arrangements, (alignments) and attitudes is utilized for maintaining and enhancing the well-being and integrity of the society; for procuring, processing and producing the material and non-material products characteristic of the society; and for substantiating its abilities to defend and advance its interests in cooperation with or in opposition to other societies or groups.”—Amos N. Wilson Blueprint Black Power A Moral, Political and Economic Imperative for the Twenty-First Century, p. 67


I played phone tag with Neil Blake the founder of the Blake radio network for two days before we were finally able to hook up. When we spoke, Neil shared he was pulling the plug on Rainbow Soul the twenty-four hour, seven day a week Internet talk radio channel he started six years ago. It was ironic he made this decision only a few weeks after winning a 2007 Black Award for the best Politics, Culture and Talk Internet radio station  During our conversation Neil expressed his disappointment at having to struggle to pay the costs to operate the station out of his own pocket over the years. The station has built a loyal following over the six years it has been in existence.  In addition to being a pioneer in black Internet talk radio Rainbow Soul is one of the most popular black stations on the Internet, but for some reason the listeners eschewed financially supporting Neil’s efforts. “We get over 50,000 hits a month, many of these are first time listeners, while others are repeats but if every listener gave one dollar every other month we would have the necessary revenues to keep the station alive,” Blake lamented.

I have been associated with several Internet radio stations since 2000 when Internet radio first took off. They went belly up for varying reasons. As a pioneer in Internet talk radio I’ve seen talk stations like The Black World Today talk channel which I helped start and New Black City which I joined after it was well established cease operations due to the Dot Com bust, lack of advertising or a decision to go in another direction.

Neil Blake offered me the opportunity to come on Rainbow Soul after New Black City ceased operations. It has been a very enjoyable and uplifting experience and relationship. Neil gave me the opportunity to produce a show on a conscious station designed for African people that was committed to our upliftment, redemption, empowerment, and liberation. This is what makes Neil’s situation and decision all the more tragic. The pitiful reality is, supposedly conscious African people, refused to support the station.

Rainbow Soul was a pioneer in talk radio programming. It provided an eclectic blend of quality programming created by serious community minded hosts who provided a variety of quality shows as was recognized by the 2007 Black Awards voting. None of us got paid. It was a labor of love. But the global African community, supposedly conscious black folks, failed to support a unique and viable venue that was specifically created and designed strictly for our good. Something is definitely wrong with this scenario.

In 2007 I’ve seen the demise of several outstanding black media print and Internet that I have been involved with over the years, The Philadelphia New Observer, the Black Suburban Journal and now Rainbow Soul. If this trend continues we will be left with no viable media options to as the publishers of Freedom’s Journal the first black newspaper in AmeriKKKa, said, “plead our own cause.” The paper was founded on March 30, 1827 and only lasted a year or so. One of the causes of the papers demise was lack of support although its publishers Samuel E. Cornish and John B. Russwurm eventually split over philosophical/policy differences mainly over the notion of colonization to Africa. Russworm did, in fact, migrate to Liberia in 1829. Cornish remained in AmeriKKKa and started another publication in 1829 called The Rights of All. No doubt his new publication faced the same barriers and major problem as the original, lack of financial support. So this is not a new phenomenon. 

What’s so lamentable about the demise of Rainbow Soul is Negroes (need to grows, mentally dead people) are not in the same physical bondage as our ancestors who lived when Freedom Journal was founded and could not support it like we can support black media today. What in my opinion is even worse is so called conscious Africans spend billions of dollars annually on activities, food, gizmos and gadgets that are literally killing us, degrading us and keeping us in mental bondage but won’t spend a dime to support our own liberation. For the so called conscious community to not support Rainbow Soul a vehicle created and constructed to inform us and facilitate our mental decolonization and transformation is especially galling given the reality we are bombarded daily by a corporate white supremacist media whose programming dummies down, distracts the masses, promotes lies and openly supports an increasingly militaristic and repressive police state.

“Black folks spend all that money on hair care products we don’t control, drugs, cigarettes, bling and sex but won’t send us a few dollars to help keep the station on the air. I’ve literally spent thousands of dollars of my own money trying to keep this station going,” Blake shared. “But at some point you have to cut your losses and move on. I’m proud of what I’ve done. It hurts me to do this because this is what the white man wants, they want us to shut down and I know the potential of Internet radio.”  

Rainbow Soul offered a variety of programming and was an example of how to blend cutting edge technology with eclectic content that can both educate and entertain. Rainbow Soul offered a creative and educational venue over the years to broadcasters, leaders, activists and educators like Bob Law, Queen Afua, Professor James Smalls, Deadra Shuler, Kanya Vashon McGee, Ted Terry, Manu Ampim, Dora Jones, Khaazra Maaranu, Eyele Yetunde, Robin Rose Bennett, Dora Jones, Brother Jamaal, Keid Obi Awadu, Jim Clingman, myself and a host of others. Neil Blake was a pioneer but more importantly he was a man of vision, character and commitment. He assisted a slew of folks as they launched out in Cyberspace. Now there are numerous conscious Internet radio stations serving a variety of audiences and tastes, thanks to Neil’s efforts and his generous support.

While Rainbow Soul was the most popular Internet radio station out there, these new stations are beginning to find their own voice and audiences. Unfortunately they too are struggling to survive, having a hard time keeping up with the technology while simultaneously cultivating the financial support needed to stay alive. The Western model of media supported by commercial advertising has never worked well for black media, conscious or otherwise. Black newspapers, magazines and radio stations do not get the advertising dollars they need, even if they are “top rated” to survive and prosper. If they are conscious, corporate advertisers shun them like the plague. “White advertisers are not going to support conscious media.” said Blake. “They just aren’t going to do it, even if the shows are non threatening.”  But by definition conscious Black programming is a monumental threat to the status quo of Eurocentric white supremacist, anti-African programming. So to expect whites to support us in our mental and socio-economic liberation from them is unrealistic.

What lessons can we take from the demise of Rainbow Soul?  We have to realize we must support our media and institutions. If we don’t support LIBradio or Innerlight radio, Harambee or any of the other conscious stations and Websites like ChickenBones they too will go under. When will we learn and fully comprehend we are in a war for the hearts, minds, and souls of African people. Conscious media, media that challenges us to throw off the yoke of Eurocentric white supremacist thinking is a necessity.

The only way media of this type can/will survive is if we support it. When will we accept this reality and this challenge and act accordingly? Are we too far gone, so brainwashed and programmed against ourselves we will no longer fight? Are we ready to just lay down and die?   Each one of us must look deep into our souls and psyche to answer this question. Billions of dollars pass through our hands annually, how much of that money are we spending with black businesses? How much are we donating to causes that have our best interests at heart? Someone once observed, “where your heart is there your treasure will be also.” From the looks of things our hearts are exocentric (outside our ethnic group) because 97% of our money goes outside our community.  Our hearts must be towards bondage and degradation because that’s where and how we spend our money, to degrade ourselves to mimic and support our oppressors.

Will we ever learn? Will we ever change? Insanity is doing the same thing over and over, with the same people expecting different results. Are we so negatively programmed, are we so brain-dead we hold on to our slave mentality repeating the same behaviors, oblivious to the both the process and the consequences? If so, we will continue to get the same counterproductive results and vehicles like Rainbow Soul will continue to starve for lack of support from the very people it was designed to reach, uplift, inspire and empower.

Source: From The Ramparts

posted 21 December 2007

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Mockingbirds at Jerusalem (poetry Manuscript)

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Blacks in Hispanic Literature: Critical Essays

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Ancient African Nations

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Negro Digest / Black World

Browse all issues

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The Death of Emmett Till by Bob Dylan  The Lonesome Death of Hattie Carroll  Only a Pawn in Their Game

Rev. Jesse Lee Peterson Thanks America for Slavery /

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The Journal of Negro History issues at Project Gutenberg

The Haitian Declaration of Independence 1804  / January 1, 1804 — The Founding of Haiti 

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update 15 December 2011




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