A MESSAGE FROM THE PUBLISHER
Then Joshua set up twelve stones in the middle of the Jordan at the place where the feet of the priests who carried the ark of the covenant were standing, and they are there to this day. Joshua 4:9 (NASB)
By Bobby R. Henry, Sr.
Welcoming the National Newspaper Publishers Association to Fort Lauderdale has reinforced and confirmed my beliefs to the need for the survival of the Black Press. As we stand on the precipice of a new beginning for the disseminating of information to Black people, about Black people, telling our own story and writing the narrative for us. For the record, let us not forget the path from which we came. The one thing that brought to life the existence of Black people in America was, still and is the Black Press. I am not discounting the worth and value of the other media; however, the significance, fortitude, perseverance and sagacity of the Black Press speak to the resilience of the people that it represents. Like a resting titan, once the need for it to get up all hell will break lose. “For such a time is this”, that the resting giant has been awakened. Our need for recognition of who we are has been in questioned for a while and we have lost our way. Becoming dependent upon the fashions of others has left us without identity. We have been coerced by the need to “do the right thing”.
We know how hard you toil week after week to produce a media platform worthy your awaiting audience. Therefore, while you are here getting the needed fuel to increase and fulfill what is needed to keep the Black Press alive, take a moment, remember on the seventh day, He rested; relax and enjoy the rewards of your labor. Be invigorated to creating a legacy of publishers to follow in the footsteps to “Plead our own cause…” for another 193 years since the founding of the first Black newspaper, The Freedom’s Journal in 1827. Let us tell our story to an awaiting audience that has been diverted by the illusion of a ‘fake news persona’ and an inclusion deferred system. When is it necessary to reopen old wounds and revisit things that have been destructive and is causing a malignant tear in our communities? Now is the time! Langston Hughes asked a pivotal question in one of his most brilliant poem, What happens to a dream deferred? I do believe that the last question in this poem surmises what to expect when all of the other interrogations are fully examined. I do believe that in order for us to move forward in writing our own narrative we must include the Black Press FIRST.
What happens to a dream deferred?
Does it dry up like a raisin in the sun? Or fester like a sore—And then run? Does it stink like rotten meat? Or crust and sugar over—like a syrupy sweet? Maybe it just sags like a heavy load. Or does it explode?—Langston Hughes