All in the Family

Joe Madison 

Joe Madison is featured in Season 5, Episode 10: All in the Family (check local listings).    

Joe Madison is a groundbreaking radio personality and civil rights activist who has devoted his career to raising awareness about issues around the world, encouraging dialogue among people of different backgrounds, and raising money to support multicultural education and institutions. Known as “The Black Eagle,” Joe can be heard weekday mornings on SiriusXM’s Urban View.

While majoring in sociology at Washington University, Joe was an All-Conference running back and baritone soloist with the University’s concert choir.

As a young adult, Joe worked in urban affairs at Seymour & Lundy Associates and was active in the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP). At age 24, he became the youngest executive director of the NAACP’s Detroit branch, then rose to the position of director of the NAACP Political Action Department in 1978 before becoming a member of the national board.

Joe’s radio career began in 1980 at Detroit’s WXYZ-AM. In the early 1990s, he joined an otherwise white lineup at WWRC-AM. There, he worked to develop crossover appeal while discussing racial and other issues with the station’s multiracial audience. In the late 1990s, Joe started his own online talk show before moving to Washington, D.C.’s WOL-AM. The popularity of this led to syndication on the Radio One Talk Network and its XM satellite channel.

Joe uses his show as a platform for inspiring action on critical issues affecting the African American community. In 2013 and 2014, he hosted a series about the 1960s civil rights movement, featuring guests like the Reverend Bernice King, daughter of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., and Luci Baines Johnson, daughter of President Lyndon Johnson. In 2015, Joe set a Guinness World Recordfor the longest on-air broadcast, 52 hours, which raised more than $200,000 for the National Museum of African American History and Culture.

Joe has also brought international attention to the struggles of the Sudanese people through 90 days of peaceful protests outside of the U.S. Embassy in Washington, D.C. He delivered survival kits to refugees and freed Sudanese people being held as slaves. In 2015, he led a campaign to secure a star on Hollywood’s Walk of Fame for comedian, activist, and former St. Louisan Dick Gregory.

A Fellow of the William Greenleaf Eliot Society, Joe has generously supported scholarships, athletics, and the Gephardt Institute for Civic and Community Engagement at Washington University. He has interviewed students for admission to Washington University for over 20 years.

Joe lives in Washington, D.C., with his wife, Sharon. The couple has four children and five grandchildren.

Season 5 Finding Your Roots

 

Season 5 

Discover the surprising ancestral stories of 25 fascinating guests, including Marisa Tomei, Felicity Huffman, Laura Linney, S. Epatha Merkerson, Michael K. Williams, Andy Samberg, Chloe Sevigny, Kal Penn, George R.R. Martin, Christiane Amanpour, Ann Curry, Joe Madison, Lisa Ling, Sheryl Sandberg, Seth Meyers, Michael Strahan and more in season five of Finding Your Roots. Learn more here.

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Finding Your Roots - The Seedlings