In 1947, WOOK AM was launched in Washington, D.C. as the first U.S. broadcast radio station to feature African-American broadcasters serving African-American audiences. Originally located at 1580 on the AM dial, the station swapped call letters and channels with WINX AM, moving to 1340 AM in 1955. According to the Stepfather of Soul blog, WOOK battled with WUST AM and WOL AM during the classic soul era for dominance of D.C.’s airwaves until 1975.
The legacy of 1340 AM and OK 100.3 FM has been re-imagined as WOOK Radio DC, a low-power community radio platform featuring emerging art and culture of metropolitan Washington. Streaming online since July 2013, wookradiodc.org is a tribute to the original stations. 1640 AM’s footprint will serve neighborhoods in the District’s Ward 8 and greater Oxon Hill from studios located in the Southern Marketplace on Southern Ave SE. Over-the-air coverage will be expanded as community demand warrants.