Famuan Correspondent Mcquisha Smith interviewed nationally syndicated radio personality Michael Baisden. Florida A&M welcomed Baisden and his One Million Mentors Campaign to Save Our Kids tour. Baisden said the tour’s purpose is to encourage one million Americans to mentor children in need. The tour launched in Dallas, TX and Baisden made his way to Tallahassee to host a town hall meeting Tuesday at 7 p.m. in Lee Hall. We got a hold of him after he recorded his show from the studios of WANM 90.5. Check it out.
Why did you decide to make FAMU one of your stops on your tour?
What better place to come to than FAMU? You all have the educational institution and you all should be doing some mentoring with some of these young kids in the community who have probably never seen a university’s campus.
What do you hope to accomplish with you mentoring tour?
We want to recruit one million mentors, and that includes young people, adults, clergy, fraternities and sororities. Everybody needs to get involved.
What spark the idea on the mentoring tour?
Derrion Albert’s death, boy in Chicago—I’m not sure if you remember this, but they were replaying this young man being beaten in Chicago at Fenger High School. George (Baisden’s co-host) and I both are from Chicago and we felt we had to do more than talk about it so we’re trying to do something about it.
What advice do you have for our graduating students?
Give back. Now that you’ve made it out of school, your first priority should be to mentor a young person and get them through it. We’re losing a lot of these kids. You have a 70 percent drop out rate in some of these cities. So it’s very important young people like you all encourage these kids and show them…bring them on to campus and let them hang out with. Let them see what the life is like of a progressive young person because they’re not seeing it.
What advice do you have for students graduating with a degree in broadcasting— those who want to be the next Michael Baisden?
Be the first you because I don’t pattern what I do after anybody. I respect a lot of guys in the business, but you have to have your own style and you have to have your own vision
What do you feel are the two biggest issues in black America?
Education and planned parenting.
How do you feel about black radio?
I think we’re making a huge mistake by labeling ourselves black radio. You don’t hear white radio walking around saying, “we’re white radio,” they just let you listen to it. We have a lot of people of different cultures that love our music, they love our personalities, but by labeling ourselves and only speaking to black people on radio, is going to cause to the demise of black radio.