Black Power 96 radio responds to its grant being revoked by Pinellas County Commission

St. Petersburg City Council candidate
Akile Anai, file photo. At the time she went by Eritha "Akile" Cainion. By Seán Kinane / WMNF News (25 Sept. 2019).

In February the Pinellas County Commission voted to take away funding that it approved last year for a radio station that serves Black communities in St. Petersburg. It’s called Black Power 96 – WBPU 96.3 FM and it broadcasts from the Uhuru House.

Akile Anai spoke about it on WMNF’s Tuesday Cafe. Anai is the director of media and communications for the African People’s Socialist Party. She is also the editor of The Burning Spear newspaper and a former St. Pete City Council candidate.

Federal funding awarded to Black Power 96 radio

Last year the radio station applied for and was granted money by Pinellas County. The $37,000 came from the American Rescue Plan Act — COVID-19 relief money. It was for computers and broadcast equipment.

But this year Republican Pinellas Commissioner Chris Latvala raised concerns about Black Power 96’s association with the Uhuru Movement.

Later Latvala suggested that the funding was cut because he thinks radio equipment isn’t a good use of COVID relief funds — that it should go instead toward social services to help people.

Listen to the full show here:

2022 at the Uhuru House

In early July, 2022, a man with a flame-thrower set fire to the flag flying over the Uhuru House.

Later that month, the Uhuru House was raided by the FBI. Federal agents suggested that the Uhuru Movement had connections to a Russian national, Aleksandr Ionov, who they accused of working with American groups. The alleged goal was to interfere with U.S. elections and to amplify pro-Russia propaganda.

No Uhuru members were indicted or charged. Anai told WMNF that she and former St. Pete Mayoral candidate Jesse Nevel were among a group considered by the FBI to be “unindicted co-conspirators.”

Anai denied any allegations of interference by Russians.

Watch the interview here:

Also: the mother of a transgender child will move her family out of Florida

Also on the show: a Tampa Bay area mother, Heather St Amand, says she is moving out of Florida with her transgender daughter because of policies championed by Governor Ron DeSantis and the Republican-led state legislature.

WMNF’s Tuesday Café

Tuesday Café airs weekly on WMNF beginning at 10:06 a.m. ET.

You can listen live on 88.5 FM in Tampa Bay, on or on the WMNF Community Radio app.

You can listen anytime on demand on or by subscribing to the Tuesday Café podcast on your favorite podcast platform. – WMNF’s Tuesday Café with Seán Kinane.

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