Thanks to all who wrote…We have decided to use Paypal to distribute the lectures aired on Afrikan Mental Liberation Weekend, August 15th and 16th, 2015 on KPFK, 90.7 FM. We are setting it up now. Keep checking with the “Store” tab for the order form. We are adding a few at a time. These will be digital listens. Our team is not big enough to send burn, label and mail CD’s but let us know if that is your preference. There is always a way.More behind the scenes shots
Behind the Scenes at the Last Afrikan Mental Liberation Weekend 2015
produced by Dr. Kwaku Person-Lynn
The 30-hour radio special, Afrikan Mental Liberation Weekend (AMLW), was an on-air marathon, set for 9 AM til midnight both days. It soared in popularity in the ’90’s and many speak of great memories where it was just them and their radios, for two days straight. They reported that their lives and perspectives changed, and new choices were made. Mental chains were unshackled and eyes were opened. After some controversial broadcasts, the special was was something Kwaku wanted to see through since he started the special in the 1980’s. All he wanted to do was produce this last special.
Earlier this year, then general manager Zuberi Fields green-lighted the Weekend for February. It was preempted until May. Shortly before the air date Mr. Fields was fired. And the special was pre-empted due to the fund drive and the dire straights the station found itself in. It was rescheduled until August. Finally, after a 25 day straight fundraising effort which just ended this week, the dates August 15 and 16 were honored by General Manager Leslie Abrams.
Saturday, August 15
Everything got off to a good start. Kwaku opened as he has always done for these years of AMLW by playing “Family Reunion” by the OJays. He played the scheduled pieces and everything flowed smoothly, thanks to DeAngelo Jones, engineer, who was an unexpected but welcome board operator. After about 2 pm he was relieved by Teddy Henderson. Both were excellent board ops. Kwaku put both days of presentations on one tiny flash drive and the music on CD. Years ago he’d arrive with a box full of cd’s, tapes, sometimes reels. And he ran his board himself.
A couple of presentations in, Kwaku, who had been asked to fund raise, opened the mic and started pitching a special premium for $120 which included Dr. Kwaku’s latest book “First Word.” In yester-years, once he would crack the mic, his weekly program “Spirit Flight” would soar to the top of the fund-raising charts. But the phones didn’t light up. I saw it myself. A big black phone with about 15 phone buttons. All dark. No blinking lights.
We asked our eldest son Ravi to go into the Phone Room to see what was going on. In the meantime, we got a call from a long time friend and wonderful actor and producer, S. Pearl, who married us over 35 years ago. She said she had pledged over 20 minutes prior. That’s when Ravi came back to report that the phones were going crazy in the phone room. The lines for the phone in the studio were NOT the same lines for pledging. I was happy because Kwaku had announced “If you aren’t going to call, I am going to collect my files and go home.” Ravi brought in lists of names from the phone room and we thanked them all on air. That was the vote of confidence Dr. Kwaku needed to keep raising money.
When all presentations had been played for Saturday, Dr. Kwaku’s favorite part arrived. The last hour is for open phones. Again, the phones seemed dead. We started getting text messages and emails at email@example.com saying that people were trying to get through but couldn’t. There are even comments on his website where people told us they could not get through.
I’ve got to say that when things happen like that, you can’t help but think “sabotage.” But then one programmer told me in the hall “Welcome to KPFK .” He then started listing all the power outages common to KPFK. By this time, engineer Teddy Henderson was catching the brunt of the glitches. But enough callers got through to let us know they appreciated what they were hearing.
The irate callers looking for regular programming called us during the presentations. Others started listening.
Youngest son Jaaye stopped by and gave us some energy to get through. Later on friends BJ McCurdy and Sybil McMiller stopped by and brought some much needed food. (Kwaku packed his legendary tuna salad but there is nothing like hot food brought in by friends that can stave off hunger.
Sunday, August 16, 2015
The next morning Dr. Kwaku and Ravi got to KPFK and the mental liberation continued. I was listening where over the years I always listened, in bed. But youngest son, Jaaye, stopped by the house to check on things, so I caught a ride with him back to the station. Jaaye and I were pleasantly surprised to see his older brother Jarim already in the studio chatting with eldest brother Ravi. By now, Jaaye and Jarim were using texts, Facebook, Twitter and going ham on promoting this program. Thankfully, on Sunday we weren’t required to fund raise, something that while necessary, totally disrupted the flow of the program.
Jaaye and I had stopped by the Fresh Mexican place on the corner to pick up food for the crew, and when we walked in to KPFK, we noticed that we could not hear the program in the KPFK hallways. I told Teddy but he wasn’t concerned, thinking someone turned the monitor down. But then middle son So Lynn called to ask why we were off the air. That’s when Teddy went into reconnaissance mode. Oddly, the broadcast was off air — someone speculated that it was due to the heat, or a change from Mount Wilson where the broadcast stick is–but we were still streaming online. Our text messages and electronic devices started blowing up but some were comforted knowing that we were still streaming.
Because we were off the radio, but still online, Dr. Kwaku stopped the presentations and I instinctively moved toward to mic to fill. But this time, Jarim Person-Lynn, our second to the youngest son, had stopped by the studio. He and his youngest brother Jaaye both scooted to the mics, grabbed their headphones and we began to banter. Ravi joined us shortly. It was the first time the five of us had been on the air together. But Jaaye, who is actually Attorney Jaaye Person-Lynn, very involved in the community (especially on legal issues) and Jarim Person-Lynn, author of 4 books on finance (including the popular “This is Why You’re broke”) have been frequent guests on Dominique DiPrima’s Front Page on KJLH FM and are very comfortable in front of the mic. I had never seen Ravi Lynn, eldest son and graphic designer on the mic, but it was in his blood, too, and he grabbed a mic as well.
When you are filling time, you don’t really know what you are going to talk about but I knew we could finally thank those who had left messages on our website, and in texts, sent emails and posted on social media. Because of them, for the first time we realized we had listeners Back East, in the Midwest, North, South and beyond. It was the first time people in my East Coast family could hear any of us on the air, because the last time Dr. Kwaku produced AMLW, was before Facebook and texting were as widely used as they are today.
Passing the Baton
And just like that…”poof” Dr. Kwaku disappeared. (He had gone in to master control to wait out the power outtage. He later said he just wanted to listen and thought we were doing fine.) The sons started joking about the Illuminati and things, and Jarim, our highest tech son, whipped out his iPhone 6 and started Periscope, a cool app that allows you to video record (for a long time–but the videos don’t stay online for long)…because remember we were not on the air. By him recording what we said to the online listeners, we have video files that are so special. Jarim was also using SnapChat and newer technologies and brought thousands of followers to the experience.
And the thing that I always wanted to happen started to evolve. See, Dr. Kwaku billed this AMLW as his last. “This is It” he repeatedly said to quote Michael Jackson. But he was leaving a legacy of archives on top of archives of interviews, lectures, and productions. I’d mentioned and hinted to Kwaku that for some reason as African Americans we do not prep the next generation to take over our life’s work. He agreed to the sons interviewing him and it wound up being So and Jaaye representing the 5 sons that we call House of the Rising Sons. But I could never get them together. So as we were talking about their father’s work, Kofi Khemet who was listening from Ohio, asked about the sons taking over. And they were all for it. For almost a solid hour we filled the time and they seriously discussed the passing of the baton. And the Illuminati. And Bill Cosby. And more.
Organically, the very thing that I wanted to happen did happen. The sons summoned their father in to ask him some questions. Not long after he took his seat, though, Teddy displayed a huge message on the studio computer screen:
Back on air!
While Kwaku prepped everything with Teddy, thankfully we did not miss a presentation. By now many wanted to know how they could get copies. Jarim gave us the answer. When they are ready a “Store” tab will appear at the top.
When we got to the open phones that night, the phone calls flowed, but still people said they had to call 10 times before getting through. Although Kwaku fielded calls off the air that were irate (during the presentations because they were looking for the regular schedule), none on the air said anything negative. And many talked about how they really learned a lot by listening all day, both days. And how their lives had been changed. We thank you all for tuning in.
PS: As you can imagine we have a stack of emails to reply to, but the answers to the questions are the availability of the presentations.
Note: Only the presentations are available. The music is not for sale. It is listed because some wanted to know the names of songs, the musicologist, Dr. Kwaku, played.
This items on this list can be ordered on the “Store Page” when ready.
Saturday AMLW Presentations
(The music listed is not for sale. Titles are included to answer listeners who asked: “what was that song?”)
9:30am Eraka Rouzorondu ~ Female Consciousness
10:35am John Henrik Clarke Lecture 58:41 (1) The Crown – Gary Imhotep Bird 10:47
11:35am Pamela Samuels Young ~ Crime Thriller Writer | 56:00 (2) Testify Dianne Reeves 4:31
12:40 Bobby Blue Bland ~ His Life & Blues Music 25:40
1:10 Susan Taylor ~ Growing Spiritual Consciousness | Growing & Flowing 43:32 (3) At Peace With Woman The Jones Girls 4:22 | (4) Woman Of Color – Gary Taylor 5:40
3:25 Zaid Abdul Muhammad ~ Community Entrepreneur | 62:38 | (5) People Get Ready 1:25 y People Get Ready Curtis Mayfield & the Impressions 2:29
4:30 Oprah Winfrey ~ On Black Women | 28:42 (6) My Life Mary J. Blige 4:18
5:10 August Wilson by Evan Washington 55 mins | Waited all my Life (live)
6:15 Erin Washington ~ Black Inventions 15:00 (8) Bisa Room 2:32 Thinker’s World, (9)All That You Have Is Your Soul 5:15 Tracy Chapman
6:20 Kwaku Person-Lynn ~ Interviewed By Sons 53:00 | (10) A Song For Mama Boys To Men 5:03 7:25 Jaime Nieto ~ Olympic High Jumper 28:03 (11) Exodus Eddie Harris 2:03
8:05 Mark Ridley Thomas ~ Chair, LA County Board of Supervisors
:05 42:06 (12) I Have A Dream Donnie McClurkin 7:07
8:50 Quincy Troupe ~ On Miles Davis | 53:41 | (13) So What 9:25
9:55 George Washington Carver
10:00 Frances Cress Welsing Interview (15) Black Butterfly Denise Williams 4:28 11:00 Open Phones
Sunday AMLW Presentations
9:05am Candid Moments 63:00mins
10:15 Charles Copher – Black People In The Bible 56:14 Don’t Give Up Florida Mass Choir 7:00
11:20 William Larue Dillard – Black Biblical History 65:13 Save Me R Kelly 6:10
12:35 Legrand Clegg – Afrikan Royalty In Hawaii 53:06 Hawai’i Israel Kamakawiwo’ole
1:35 Queen Afua – Spiritual Healing 25:14 Never Say Never 4:32 Brandy
2:15 Na’im Akbar – Black Psychology 60:07 I Can’t Stop Loving You Kem 5:26
3:20 Ivan Van Sertima Afrikan Presence In Ancient America 58:19 Thank You Master Donny Hathaway 5:51 (and America” Daniel Valdez)
4:40 Debra Maat Moore – Afrikan Origin of Mathematics 47:06 The Secret Garden Barry White, James Ingram, El DeBarge, Al B. Sure 6:39
5:30 Anthony Browder 41:32 Brother Ms Dynamite 3:35
6:20 Violet Palmer ~ First NBA Woman Referee 52:01 This Woman’s Work Maxwell 4:26
8:00 Yosef ben Jochannan – The Nile Valley 68:14 Afrikan Peter Tosh 3:42
9:05 Iyanla Vanzant – Womanist Crusader 68:11 Brown Skin India Arie 4:57
10:15 Asa Hilliard – The Last Interview 59:32 Film Review 2:31 Hearts Of Longing”Ramsey Lewis, Grover Washington, Omar Hakim, Victor Baily
11:20 Open Phones
End Song Always In My Head India Arie 4:41
We will continue to update and link the presentations with Paypal. Thank you for your patience! We’re just learning this method!