SLY JOCK, THIRD FROM LEFT, WITH CURRENT WAMO ON-AIR PERSONALITY KIKI BROWN, MAYOR ED GAINEY AND TONY MEJIA.
Legendary WAMO DJ Sly Jock is tired of all the violence, like most people in the Pittsburgh area.
Waking up every morning, turning on WTAE-TV (Channel 4), or so, hearing about yet another shooting, Downtown, or in East Liberty, or Monroeville. After all, at age 69, Sly Jock remembers when it was shocking to hear about a shooting in Pittsburgh. He remembers playing outside with his friends, never having to worry about stray bullets.
“You can get a gun (faster) than you can buy a car,” Sly Jock said in an interview on KDKA Radio, July 14. “It’s just bad.”
Sly Jock held his first “Day of Peace” on Sunday, July 16. From 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., Sly Jock, his daughter, Kiki Brown of WAMO 107.3, and others congregated at Salem’s Market and Grill in the Strip District, spreading the message of peace, while selling T-shirts to benefit Iron Cross Ministries.
When Sly Jock talks, people listen. Like a “revolving door,” people came in and out of the Salem’s vicinity on July 16 to speak with Sly Jock and show support for the cause. Pittsburgh Mayor Ed Gainey also came out to show some love.
WAMO LEGENDARY DJ SLY JOCK, WITH HIS DAUGHTER, WAMO 107.3 AFTERNOON PERSONALITY KIKI BROWN.
“I’m not here to say who’s doing the shooting because I don’t know,” Sly Jock told KDKA Radio’s Rick Dayton. “…I just want a day of peace that we don’t have to go through, say, a woman on TV talking about her baby that just got shot or killed.”
There have been 62 homicides in Allegheny County through the first six months of 2023. Usually, the summer months bring on more gunfire, but the Sly Jock “Day of Peace” is one example of a person openly standing up to the violence. It might spur other Black organizations in Pittsburgh to hold more “Days of Peace,” or “Weeks of Peace.”
“I hope we can learn that we can get along with each other,” Sly Jock said when Dayton asked him what he wanted people to take from the “Day of Peace.” “All young people aren’t criminals and you don’t have to be scared of them.”
Sly Jock said that more respect must be shown; from young people to their elders, and from elders to young people. “When I see a young person coming towards me, I don’t cross the street. I speak; ‘How you doing,’ ‘Good morning…’”
Sly Jock also discussed, in a later interview with Dayton, that a young person spoke to him at the “Day of Peace” and told him that kids these days are hooked on the video game, Grand Theft Auto. The young person said there’s shooting, killing, and bloodshed all throughout the game, in addition to stealing cars.
“Then they pick up the real gun and when you got that power in your hand, and then you have no feeling…” Sly Jock said on KDKA Radio.
WAMO’S KIKI BROWN WITH HER NIECE AND NEPHEW
“I don’t know where the blame goes, but sometimes you give your kids something to pacify them (video games) and it’s not good. If you do have small kids, send them outside, and don’t let them play those (violent video) games,” Sly Jock said.
Days before the July 16 Day of Peace, Mayor Gainey issued a statement on the gun violence that occurred in Pittsburgh in mid-July that claimed the life of a 30-year-old man on the South Side, and a 35-year-old woman following a fight at a swimming pool on the North Side.
“Pittsburgh, I ask that you join me in praying for all those who have been impacted by the recent gun violence in our city, which once again is leaving multiple lives forever changed due to the inability to settle personal conflicts peacefully,” the mayor wrote on July 13. “…We need to find ways to end arguments and conflict peacefully and we need our leaders in D.C. to repeal the 2005 Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act, which prevents cities like Pittsburgh from holding gun manufacturers accountable for the harm their products cause every day.”
WAMO’s KIKI BROWN WITH ACTRESS RITA GREGORY
The mayor ended with: “Pittsburgh, it is time to unite as one community to end this pandemic of gun violence. It is going to take all of us working together, to learn how to settle conflict peacefully, to provide resources and support services to all lives impacted by gun violence to heal these wounds caused by those who choose harm over life.”