I recently found a copy of a groundbreaking radio show we did more than 15 years ago on my old radio show Street Knowledge which aired on KMEL.. It centered around the crack epidemic and series Dark Alliances which was published by the San Jose Mercury News.. The world was shook when the late journalist Gary Webb connected crack cocaine and how it was widespread in inner cities across America to the CIA and covert operations around the Iran-Contra scandal.
At the time many had suspected there was a hidden hand in the introduction of crack, Webb’s articles confirmed it.. That was especially true for folks in the Bay Area because one of the main players lived in San Francisco.. That was true for folks in LA because the other main player Freeway Rick lived there.
The show that you are about to peep is incredible.. It’s the first radio interview Gary Webb had done after his Dark Alliance piece had ran.. Also on that show is Congresswoman Maxine Waters who called for hearings on this crack-CIA connection..
Long time activist Makani Themba from the Praxis Institute who at that time was with the Marin Institute for the Prevention of Alcohol and Other Drug Problems is on the show as well as Clarence Lusane who wrote a book Pipe Dream Blues: Racism and the War on Drugs which dealt with the emerging drug war.
Minister Keith Muhammad and Brother Ron from the Nation of Islam are on the show. Rounding it all off is young journalist Kevin Weston and activist Troy Nkrumah both are with the then newly formed Young Comrades
It’s interesting hearing all the guests and callers break down how crack was impacting them and their community and the concerns they had with the recent changes in the Hip Hop music around that time…Its also interesting to see how at the time many mainstream outlets tried to ignore Webb and the Dark Alliance series and then when they talk about they tried to dismiss and obscure Webb’s information.. even as much of what he wrote was found to be true.. Webb later ‘killed’ himself in 2004 ..
You can listen to that first interview and peep exactly what Webb had to say about much of this..