Devoted activist-communicator J.D. Livingston passes

Herb Boyd | 3/20/2014, 12:56 p.m.
J.D. Livingston, the producer for Imhotep Gary Byrd’s radio shows, joined the ancestors last Friday at Lincoln Hospital in the ...
J.D. Livingston

“We were right in sync from the beginning, and later when our then producer Monifa White moved on, J.D. volunteered to work with the ‘GBE’, by that time back in the studio as a daily broadcast on 1190AM WLIB.

“We became more than close,” Byrd continued. “We became family, realizing we were ‘cousins’ over the course of those 18 years in the struggles of our community locally, nationally and internationally, forging a style based on being ‘24/7 No Limit Soldiers’ on the battlefield of ‘The Global Black Experience.’”

Byrd said he taught and trained Livingston in the fundamentals of radio broadcasting and in the special “flow” of advanced programming represented by the “GBE” concept, and “he got it.”

The rest of that story is known by thousands of folks who tuned into those shows. “We developed a system and language of our own as executive producer and producer for handling issues, from politics, to housing, to health, culture, education and justice,” said Byrd.

Whether it was their astrological conjunction as Pisceans or “brothers from different mothers,” they complemented each other from the beginning to the end.

“When J.D. became crisis manager at the National Action Network, it accelerated our on-the-air work to an even greater level. J.D. developed a natural love for our people into a determination to be of service that was unparalleled,” said Byrd.

“In the last year of his life, which he lived in my home, even with the health problems he was enduring, it was common for me to walk past his room and hear him after midnight giving someone advice on which attorneys to use or how to file a document, or who to contact to protect their rights,” Byrd recalled. “On top of it all, J.D. was a kind man, always thinking of the other person and always willing to sacrifice himself.

“Brother J.D. died on my birthday, and rather than think about it in a morbid way, I see it as a gift from God to him and to me, in that on my whatever birthdays I have remaining, I will also celebrate the life and memory of a dedicated soldier of the movement whose loyalty, dedication and commitment lives on in my heart forever. Perhaps one day when we are both gone, the history of Black radio will show producer extraordinaire J.D. Livingston died on March 14, the day Imhotep Gary Byrd was born. Clearly a message from the Most High on the brotherhood that united us … May he rest in peace for a job more than well done.”

As we go to press, funeral and memorial services are still in the planning stages.