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Sneaker Jones

Basim Blunt
Raymond Warden

The Air Jordan basketball shoe is hands down the best selling sneaker in history.  With about $2 billion in sales, the sneaker is more than a consumer product, it's a symbol of status and wealth especially among the hip hop generation.  New Air Jordans go on sale usually twice a year, and unfortunately, there have been news stories of fights, vandalism and shootings associated with the sneaker since they came out in 1985. 

The Air Jordan Blue 11 sneakers went on sale in December

Raymond Warden is a self-confessed "sneaker head."  He's got an app on his cell phone that sends him Air Jordan updates.  He produced this story about two weeks before the new Air Jordan Blue 11 gym shoes were scheduled to go on sale at the Dayton Mall on December 20th.  Raymond is a media arts student at Ponitz Career Technology Center in Dayton.  Students there must wear uniforms - khaki pants and colored shirts - so he feels that his sneakers are the only thing that allow him to express himself. 

In the first part of this story, Raymond tells us why, in today's culture,  if you don't have the shoes, the clothes mean nothing.  In the second part, Youth Radio project manager Basim Blunt follows up with Raymond for his reaction to the shooting of teenager Jawaad Jabbar during a robbery attempt over the sneakers' release. 

Funding for the Dayton Youth Radio Project comes from the Virginia Kettering Foundation, the Ohio Arts Council and The Dayton Foundation.

Basim has worked in the media for over twenty years, as an A&R rep with Capitol Records and as a morning drive show producer. He is a filmmaker, media arts adjunct, and also a digital editing teacher in the Dayton Metro area. In 2012 he joined WYSO as a Community Voices Producer, and his work has earned him a “New Voices” Scholar award by (AIR) Association of Independents in Radio. Basim has produced the award-winning documentary Boogie Nights: A History of Funk Music in Dayton. He also served as Project Manager for ReInvention Stories, a multimedia docu-series produced by Oscar-winning filmmakers Steve Bognar and Julia Reichert. In 2020, Blunt received a PMJA (Public Media Journalists Association) award for his WYSO series Dayton Youth Radio, for which he is the founding producer and instructor. Basim spins an eclectic mix of funk, soul, and classic R&B every Thursday night from 8 p.m to 10 p.m., as host of the 91.3 FM music show Behind the Groove.