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By Dr. Ron Daniels —

I received the stunning news that Joe Madison, the legendary Black Eagle, was our newest Ancestor in Dallas, TX at the magnificent Installation Ceremony of the Rev. Dr. Frederick Douglas Haynes as the new President/CEO of the Rainbow/PUSH Coalition founded by Rev. Jesse L. Jackson. Noticeably filled with emotion, the message was delivered by Roland Martin as he mounted the podium to pay tribute to Rev. Haynes. The jammed packed auditorium paused for a moment of silence in honor of the Black Eagle.

Joe Madison was a towering figure in the storied annals of Black Talk Radio. In the early days of his career, when he burst onto the stage in Washington, D.C. hosting his show on Kathy Hugh’s WOLW/WOLB, Joe rapidly gained the respect of the audience as an uncompromising advocate for Black People who intentionally and famously dressed in Black. His stanch defense of the interests and aspirations of Black people were frequently accompanied by calls to action to advance issues of vital concern to our people. Going out on a picket line was not unusual for the Black Eagle.

Some folks may not be aware or may have forgotten that Joe Madison was a Member of the National Board of Directors for the NAACP who hailed from Detroit, MI.  Hence, he was not just a talk show host, he was a racial and social justice activist hosting a radio show on SIRIUS XM. On an interview with Joe some years ago, I called him a “radioactivist.”  He loved it and embraced it.

The Black Eagle became the must listen to talk show host in the 6:00 AM – 10:00 AM morning drive time slot for Black America and anyone friend or foe who wanted to know “what’s going on” with Black folks in America and the world. The Black Eagle would frequently adopt a cause and strenuously advocate for it on his national and global platform until victory was won. He recently went on a prolonged fast to call attention to the urgent need for Congress to pass the John Lewis Voting Rights Bill to counter voter suppression acts enacted by Republican dominated legislatures across the country. His listeners responded because he had the gift of putting it “where the goats could get it” as Joe would say.

I have fond memories of the Black Eagle going to Haiti with the Haiti Support Project after the devastating earthquake that rocked the First Black Republic. He broadcast live reports from people affected on the ground. Upon our return, Joe turned the interviews from his journey with us to Haiti into an award-winning documentary. Such was the commitment and talent of the Black Eagle

We take comfort and inspiration in knowing that the legacy of our newest Ancestor is secure. Joe Madison was/is one of the greatest and most effective radioactivists of all time. The Black Eagle will never die; he will always fly, soar in the memories of a grateful people. We proclaim, long live the life and legacy of Joe Madison, the Black Eagle!

Dr. Ron Daniels

Dr. Ron Daniels is President of the Institute of the Black World 21st Century and Distinguished Lecturer Emeritus, York College City University of New York. His articles and essays appear on the IBW website and His weekly radio show, Vantage Point can be heard Mondays 3:00 PM – 4:00 PM on WBAI, 99.5 FM, Pacifica in New York, streaming live via To send a message, arrange media interviews or speaking engagements, Dr. Daniels can be reached via email at