Tuesday, July 24, 2012


Lately, I've been using the urban slang werd, to express my affirmations.  However, I realized I didn't know where this expression came from or what its etymology was.  So I googled and found its origin is based in remembrance of WERD 860 AM, the first black-owned and operated radio station.

WERD was founded in Atlanta, Georgia in 1949 by Jesse B. Blayton, a university professor and accountant.  Its programming was marketed toward the black community and served as an important means of media exposure for Dr. Martin Luther King, who had his Southern Christian Leadership Conference headquartered in the same building.
In the segregated south of the 1950's and 60's, I'm sure WERD was an important and needed mouthpiece for black culture and popular expression.  It's no wonder that the tribute slang werd is used as a declaration of positivity.

One of the most spirited DJ's of WERD was no doubt James "Alley Pat" Patrick, who screamed and ad-libbed over many of the AM broadcasts, as heard in this clip for Holts Auto....

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