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Mbanna Kantako/Human Rights Radio:
A Warrior Not A Man

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Mbanna Kantako

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Mbanna Kantako is much more than a revolutionary; he's also quite a prolific songwriter!

Armed solely with a simple keyboard, Kantako's written hundreds of songs (in his estimation) that he's played on Human Rights Radio.

While they're not the most musically stimulating, they're touching nonetheless - the subject matter ranges from the oppression of Africans in America to his own trials and triulations with the FCC.

What makes Mbanna's songs powerful, though, is that they're from the heart and sung by his daughters and other children from the community. There's something a bit unnerving about listening to what appears to be a seven or eight-year old girl singing about picking up a gun to fight The Man, but it's compelling at the same time.

I came into possession of a CD sampler of Mbanna Kantako's songs after traveling with Pete TriDish of the Prometheus Radio Project on a part of his summer 2000 tour of the Midwest. Pete got his CD from Kantako himself when he visited Springfield, Illinois.

I got my copy from Glenn Austin at the Minneapolis-based Americans for Radio Diversity; he accompanied Pete to Mbanna's home on the earlier part of the tour. There's a total of 14 tracks on the CD.

Track One - 1:17 (606 KB)
Track Two - 5:56 (2.8 MB)
Track Three - 7:27 (3.5 MB)
Track Four - 2:20 (1.1 MB)
Track Five - 2:38 (1.3 MB)
Track Six - 2:40 (1.3 MB)
Track Seven - 5:42 (2.7 MB)
Track Eight - 5:33 (2.6 MB)
Track Nine - 5:31 (2.6 MB)
Track Ten - 5:36 (2.6 MB)
Track Eleven - 5:54 (2.8 MB)
Track Twelve - 5:36 (2.6 MB)
Track Thirteen - 5:49 (2.7 MB)
Track Fourteen - 5:43 (2.7 MB)

The songs were not titled (at least as far as I know).

The album is a musical history of Human Rights Radio's skirmishes with the FCC.  It includes audio of one of the earlier station visits; spoken-word pieces from Mbanna himself, and tributes to people and groups whose struggle Human Rights Radio carries on.