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 http://www.wmot.org, the station’s local memorial moment joins those of more than 125 stations coast to coast honoring Floyd.
Floyd’s May 25 death on a Minneapolis street has been the focus of 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."
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 at https://youtu.be/wEBlaMOmKV4.
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 http://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 http://www.wmot.org.