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Art Gilliam’s WLOK radio stations still stand for activism

Art Gilliam owns the corner of South Second and Talbot. For 46 years, in a small brick building there, he’s amplified the voice of Black Memphis through WLOK-AM 1340/WLOK-FM 105, the only Black-owned broadcasting company the city has ever had.

As media conglomerates through the years bought up independent stations, Gilliam, now a week from turning 80, has persevered — with a sales force of three or four — to maintain the clarity of that voice, the power of free discussion and media access.

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