Being grateful for the stewardship that God has given us
“How beautiful upon the mountains are the feet of him that bringeth good tidings, that publisheth peace; that bringeth good tidings of good, that publisheth salvation; that saith unto Zion, Thy God reigneth!” — Isaiah 52:7 (King James Version)
By Bobby R. Henry, Sr.
Happy Birthday Westside Gazette!
When I use the term I in this piece, I am referring to all of the families of the Westside Gazette, those who are here now and those who have crossed over to eternity. We toil every day to do the best that we can with what God has given us and what He has allowed us to do. Carrying on in the footsteps of those that came before us and stand upon their shoulders looking boldly into the future most humble, grateful and exuberantly proud to accept that honor and most importantly the favor from God.
I could only imagine but one thing that could give so much pleasure and pain at the same time, and that is giving birth to a child. Like a hungry baby drawn to full breasts of mother’s milk with love and the joy, that’s how we cherish what stewardship God has given to us.
It is with this love that I/we passionately put our shoulders to the grinding stone everyday to carry on the legacy of the Black Press.
For 42 years the Westside Gazette has tried to hold fast to the precepts and fundamental strengths and tenets of the Black Press while standing in the gap “Pleading our own cause.”
That gap will forever increase as long as we allow advertising dollars from those businesses that take from our readers their hard earned dollars and spend those dollars to advertise with the ‘Other’ newspapers.
That gap increases when our own try to destroy us. That gap continues to increase as long as the church and the Black Press fail to communicate on common ground.
That gap is increased every time we allow businesses to use us for placing their press releases, but do not spend their advertising dollars with us.
That gap increases as long as we allow businesses to disrespect us.
But like David, we understand that it all belongs to God. We know that everything is divinely provided; it is incumbent on us then to practice proper stewardship by giving back in all areas of our lives.
We continue to as the Credo for the Negro Press states: I Shall Be A Crusader… I Shall Be An Advocate… I Shall Be A Herald… I Shall Be A Mirror And A Record… I Shall Have Integrity… I Shall be a crusader and an advocate, a mirror and a record, a herald and a spotlight, and I Shall not falter. So help me God.
The Credo, written by Journal and Guide editor P. Bernard Young, Jr., characterizes an affirmation to provide legitimacy, truthfulness, and service to the Black population. At the time the Credo was written, the Black Press was the sole “Voice of the Negro.” As a crusader, the Black Press struggled enthusiastically for Negro rights. As an advocate, the Black Press was on a crusade to ban “Jim Crow” laws which officially authorized segregation. As a herald, the Black Press was the carrier of both good and bad news, al-ways heralding those causes that others would smother out of bias or perceived lack of interest.
The Black Press achieved its admirable reputation for being the “Voice of the Negro” in the untimely days of segregation and unconscionable prejudice. African Americans were often destructively portrayed in the white media. The downbeat representations were philosophical of the discernments held by numerous whites; this consequently led to the development of the advocacy position by the Black Press.
In the early period of the Black existence in America, admission to the white press was without to the “Negro.” As an outcome, African Americans started their own newspapers.
Out of the vastness of a seemingly hopeless situation, the voice of a people resounded and reverberated in the pages of the Black Press. In 1827, Samuel Cornish and John B. Russwurm established the first Black newspaper, Freedom’s Journal.
“We wish to plead our own cause. Too long have others spoken for us. Too long has the public been deceived by misrepresentations in the things which concern us dearly.” — Editorial from Freedom’s Journal
It is with this spirit and the belief in God that we carry on in the tradition of those that have gone before us; as we continue to “Plead our on cause”, we shall not equivocate, nor shall we fear, we shall march on!
Happy Birthday Westside Gazette!