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MTSU’s WMOT Roots Radio joins national remembrance...

MTSU’s WMOT Roots Radio joins national remembrance of George Floyd

Text for the June 9 nationwide radio commemoration of George Floyd, which reads “We remember George Floyd, Tuesday, June 9, 2020, 2 p.m.” with a candle burning above the balck-and-white WMOT-FM Roots Radio 89.5 logo and a photo of protesters during a June 2 event in downtown Chattanooga, Tenn. (Photo courtesy of Kelly M. Lacy/Pexels)

MTSU’s WMOT-FM Roots Radio 89.5 will join a nationwide remembrance of slain Minnesota resident George Floyd this Tuesday, June 9, when the station plays the Sam Cooke classic “A Change is Gonna Come.”

Set to air at 2 p.m. CDT both at 89.5 FM and online at www.wmot.org, the station’s local memorial moment joins those of more than 150 stations coast to coast honoring Floyd.WMOT Roots Radio 89.5 FM logo

Floyd’s gruesome May 25 killing on a Minneapolis street has been the impetus for repeated national and international protests focusing on racial injustice and police misconduct.

The June 9 radio commemoration follows a planned private memorial service set earlier in the day in Floyd’s Houston, Texas, hometown.

“Music is healing and speaks for us when there are no words,” said Val Hoeppner, WMOT executive director. “We’ll come together with stations nationwide to grieve, act and heal as a community and a nation.”

George Floyd, 46, of Minneapolis, Minnesota, is shown in this 2016 Facebook profile photo. Floyd died May 25 after a Minneapolis police officer kneeled on his neck for nearly nine minutes during an arrest on a downtown street.

George Floyd

The National Federation of Community Broadcasters organized the nationwide remembrance using Cooke’s 1964 release, one of the best-known anthems sung by protesters during the U.S. civil rights movement.

“As our country deals with the hurt and outrage of what happened to George Floyd, these stations are in their communities, feeling this sorrow too,” said NFCB Program Director Ernesto Aguilar.

“Stations together will play this song to speak as a unified voice for change, justice and love.”

The official lyric video for “A Change is Gonna Come” from the Sam Cooke YouTube channel, which also includes historic photos and video clips, is available below.

Floyd, 46, died May 25 after a Minneapolis police officer kneeled on his neck for nearly nine minutes during an arrest on a downtown street. Floyd, a black man, was unarmed and handcuffed.

The officer, Derek Chauvin, who is white, has been charged with second-degree murder, third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter. Three other officers who participated in Floyd’s arrest are charged with aiding and abetting the killing. All four have been fired from the department.

WMOT, which broadcasts at 89.5 FM and online at www.wmot.org, is a charter member of National Public Radio and celebrated its 50th anniversary in 2019.

For more information about WMOT Roots Radio 89.5 FM, part of MTSU’s College of Media and Entertainment, visit www.wmot.org.

— Gina E. Fann (gina.fann@mtsu.edu)

People raise their fists, voices and signs in support of the Black Lives Matter movement during a June 2 protest in downtown Chattanooga, Tenn., that drew hundreds of participants to call for racial equality and justice and to pay tribute to George Floyd, who died May 25 after a Minneapolis police officer kneeled on his neck during an arrest. (Photo courtesy of Kelly M. Lacy/Pexels)

People raise their fists, voices and signs in support of the Black Lives Matter movement during a June 2 protest in downtown Chattanooga, Tenn. The event drew hundreds of participants to call for racial equality and justice and to pay tribute to George Floyd, who died May 25 after a Minneapolis police officer kneeled on his neck during an arrest. (Photo courtesy of Kelly M. Lacy/Pexels)


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