‘NUMBER TWO’ RETURNS – FOR REAL

Cherry II to broadcast on WPUL 1590 AM ‘La Jefa’ (‘The Boss’)

WPUL

BY THE DAYTONA TIMES STAFF

Daytona Times and Florida Courier Publisher Charles W. Cherry II will resume his popular half-hour radio broadcast, “Free Your Mind,” on WPUL-AM 1590 on Tuesday, June 18 at noon. The weekly show will be replayed on WPUL every Thursday at 6 p.m.

His inspiration? First, a conversation in the Beville Road Walmart’s produce section early this year.

“A brother pulled me aside and started talking to me about a show I did in 2014,” Cherry marveled. “I couldn’t believe it. That’s five years ago! We stood up there talking for another 20 minutes.

“It reminded me of so much feedback I would get from people in the community if they bumped into me after broadcasts. They would say, ‘Man, you crazy,’ or ‘Chuck, you were so wrong,’ or ‘You made me think,’ or ‘You had me cracking up in my car today.’ ”

“I used to love that,” Cherry said.

DAYTONA TIMES FILES
Longtime broadcaster Charles W. Cherry II says a conversation at the Beville Road Walmart and the defeat of the half-cent sales tax inspired him to get back on local radio.

Reaction to defeat

Second: The defeat of the half-cent sales text and the way opponents attacked people who supported it.

“I joined a closed Facebook group called Volusia Issues run by Greg Gimbert, a failed County Council candidate. It has about 2,400 members and was supposed to be an online conversation about issues that affect the county.

“I started posting about the deferred maintenance in Black Daytona that could be solved if the sales tax was approved. I got immediately personally attacked for playing ‘the race card,’ ‘being a racist,’ and ‘bringing race into a race-neutral situation.’

Banned from site

“Every sales tax supporter in that group was harshly criticized online. When I defended my position by pointing out the 100-year history of Daytona’s Black property owners’ tax money going to build only beachside infrastructure, I got banned from being able to ever post on the site again.

“Even people who supported my position got banned. Needless to say, I was pissed,” he told the Daytona Times.

“There is a mean, loud, mostly beachside crew of mostly Northern transplants and some locals across the political spectrum who think they can sow conflict, tell lies, be rude, and use verbal and written online aggression – especially toward elected officials – to get what they want.

“They whine and complain to whomever will listen, and they don’t tolerate opposition to their party line,” Cherry explained.

Political targets

“Since the sales tax was defeated, they’ve targeted the County Council for takeover even though they voted those folks in. The Daytona Beach City Commission is next. Can you imagine what would happen if they were in charge?

“They have no solution to fix aging infrastructure anywhere in the county. They said ‘no’ to a small tax increase that tourists would have helped pay to prevent flooding, build sidewalks and fix bad roads. We citizens of Daytona Beach voted ‘yes’ in our own best interests, even though the sales tax provision was imperfect.

“The beachside solution? Cuss out local rich business owners and hike real estate developer fees through the roof. Meanwhile, they ignore the historical legacies of racism and discrimination that caused infrastructure problems in Black Daytona in the first place.”

They know ‘nothing’

Cherry went on to say: “And they know nothing about the Black community, including the fact that Bethune-Cookman University is responsible for $251 million in economic impact just in Daytona Beach. They think it’s just some little Black college they pass by on International Speedway Boulevard on the way to Home Depot.

“Ask them where “PPU’’ is, and they couldn’t tell you even after a Google search.

“It’s time for a strong voice of reason to beat back the foolishness, the egocentricity, the entitlement, the historical ignorance and lack of context, and let these folks know what time it is. Who better to do that than me?

“I’m just getting started on them. As long as we have multiple media voices in this town, we’ll always represent a Black viewpoint, whether they can stomach it or not. And I could give a damn about how they feel about it,” Cherry added.

Cherry’s second return

For 14 years, Cherry broadcast on WPUL-AM 1590, which is owned by the Cherry family. Though Cherry broadcast a few shows on WPUL-AM in 2018, he told the Daytona Times he couldn’t keep up his radio broadcasting schedule “because I had more important things to do.

“Even a single weekly half-hour talk show like mine that doesn’t take phone calls requires preparation. Last year, I just couldn’t carve out the time to get the job done at the high level I demand of myself. This year, things have changed,” he related.

WPUL is back on the air 24 hours a day playing a Latin Hits format while undergoing a signal improvement project. Soon it will be broadcasting on both the FM and AM bands.

Former prosecutor

A Daytona Beach native, Cherry graduated from Seabreeze High School in 1974 and matriculated to Atlanta’s Morehouse College, where he earned a Journalism degree with honors in 1978.

He then graduated from the University of Florida’s Holland Law Center (now Levin College of Law) and Graduate School of Business (now the Warrington College of Business Administration) with both Juris Doctor and Master of Business Administration degrees, respectively, in 1982. He was admitted into the Florida Bar in December 1983.

Cherry is a former Fort Lauderdale city prosecutor and South Florida (17th Judicial Circuit) state prosecutor. For more than 10 years, he served as general counsel to the high-performing Housing Authority of the City of Fort Lauderdale, where he worked closely with its visionary former executive director, the late Dr. William H. Lindsay.

He practiced law for 21 years before returning to journalism and newspaper publishing as his primary occupation upon the death of his father Charles, Sr. in 2004.

Broadcaster, author

For the past 28 years, Cherry has written commentaries, editorials and stories for the Daytona Times. His award-winning weekly column, “Straight, No Chaser,” has appeared in the Florida Courier since 2006.

Cherry is also the co-author of “Fighting Through the Fear – My Journey of Healing from Childhood Sexual Abuse,” written with his good friend and former Morehouse College roommate, C. David Moody, Jr. The book, published in 2016, describes Moody’s harrowing personal journey as a childhood sexual abuse survivor.

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