July 4th Block Party to celebrate African families, music and art

ST. PETERSBURG – Next Tuesday, July 4, WBPU Black Power 96.3 FM will host a day of activities called the “African Nation Family Reunion Block Party” to celebrate and unify south St. Petersburg’s African community.

The festivities will begin with an awards brunch at 10 a.m. to honor African community leaders in the field of media and journalism that have carried on the tradition of Marcus Garvey and Ida B. Wells-Barnett in building independent black owned and controlled media institutions. Popular local caterer Heavy’s will provide a delicious soul food home-style breakfast.

July 4th Block Party, communityAt noon, the outdoor fun begins. Families are invited to spend their day together with outdoor kids’ activities, indoor card games and enjoying the BBQ, tacos, desserts, arts, jewelry and body care products offered by community vendors. Later in the afternoon, local singers, rappers and musicians will take the stage to provide live entertainment.

WBPU Black Power 96.3 FM radio is south St. Petersburg’s only black-owned radio station. The newest project of the non-profit African People’s Education and Defense Fund, the station is dedicated to defending the human and civil rights of the African community and addressing the grave disparities in health, education and economic development faced by this community.

Black Power 96 serves the interests of St. Petersburg’s black community, not the far away big corporate interests of iHeart or CBS. This small station with studios at the Uhuru House provides free training in professional broadcasting and access to the radio airwaves for our local talent, organizations and businesses.

The great African orator and abolitionist Frederick Douglass asked: “What to a slave is the 4th of July? A day that reveals to him, more than all other days in the year, the gross injustice and cruelty to which he is the constant victim.”

According to station manager Diakiesse Lungisani, “Black people are still brutalized and oppressed by this system. Let’s turn this 4th of July into a day where we can come together and build the strength of our community so that we can really get free!”

Diakiesse encourages families throughout St. Petersburg to “come by the station on July 4th. Tour the studio. Get involved. Sign up for training. Support your local black community radio station!”

The African Nation Family Reunion Block Party will take place at the Uhuru House, located at 1245 18th Ave. S in St. Petersburg. For more information on the July 4th celebration, to get Brunch tickets or to volunteer with the radio station, visit blackpower96.or, call 727-914-3614 or stop by the station Monday to Friday between 9-5 p.m.

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