MARMIA has partnered with the Chesapeake Heartland to record oral histories on the experiences of Black Americans who have worked in broadcasting on the Eastern Shore of Maryland. Chesapeake Heartland is a collaboration between the National Museum of African American History and Culture, Washington College, and a diverse array of local organizations, including Sumner Hall, Kent Cultural Alliance, and Kent County Public Library. Its mission is to preserve, digitize, interpret, and make accessible materials related to African American history and culture in Kent County, MD and beyond. With this partnership, we aim to preserve this unique and under-documented history of the Black experience on the Eastern Shore. 

Using the video storytelling platform, TheirStory, we recently interviewed four people affiliated with WKHS 90.5, which is a student public radio based in Worton, Maryland. It was founded by the Kent County Public School System in 1974 and is one of the most powerful high school stations in the country, reaching 60 miles in any direction. The program trains future broadcasters during the day and features community members in the evenings. We interviewed Sam Ringgold who is a graduate of the radio program and made a career in television and radio in Delaware, Pennsylvania, and Maryland. After, he became the spokesperson for the Baltimore Police Department, and now works in crisis and reputation management. We also interviewed Yvette Hynson (DJ Lady Praise), Sam Moore (DJ Whisper), and Milford Murray (DJ King) who are three community members behind WKHS’s “Sunday Jazz Experience.” Listen to excerpts of their interviews below and check out our small but growing Broadcasting Oral History Collection online.

Sam Ringgold
Sam reflects back on his beginnings at WKHS.
Sam discusses local and national TV and radio and how it has changed over time.
Sam shares about being on local news and being invited back to Kent County High School.

Yvette Hynson
Yvette shares her feelings about being the first African American woman to have a show on WKHS.
Yvette on bringing diverse perspectives to WKHS.

Sam Moore and Milford Murray
Milford and Sam reflect on how local and national news have changed over time.
Milford and Sam discuss Yvette inviting them to be on the “Sunday Jazz Experience.”
Milford and Sam reflect on what the “Sunday Jazz Experience” means to them.

This project is ongoing and if you’d like to be interviewed, please send us an email at avtech@marmia.org or start recording your own oral history now with TheirStory.