Levi Henry, Jr. inducted into Hall of Fame

Levi Henry, Jr. Founded the Westside Gazette in 1971.

By Stewart Curet, Texas Metro News

Cheryl Smith

The Black Press was well represented at the joint National Association of Black Journalists (NABJ) and National Association of Hispanic Journalists (NAHJ) Convention held in Las Vegas, last week.

Publisher Emeritus of the Westside Gazette, Levi Henry, Jr. and I Messenger Media (Texas Metro News, Garland Journal and I Messenger) Publisher Cheryl Smith were both inducted into the NABJ Hall of Fame, along with Urban Radio Networks Tanya Hart; I Messenger Lifestyle Editor Eva Coleman, who is also who is also a NABJ national board member received a Salute to Excellence Award; and I Messenger Sr. Writer Rebecca Aguilar was inducted into the NAHJ Hall of Fame!

While Henry, who was unable to attend the convention, he did send a video and thanked NABJ for “giving me my flowers” while he was alive to smell them, others were cheering at his selection.

Esteemed journalist Yamiche Alcindor, who is an anchor and the moderator of Washington Week on PBS, tweeted on social media: Happy to see Levi Henry, founder of The @_westsidegazett, inducted into the NABJ Hall of Fame. My first journalism job was at The Westside Gazette, a Black newspaper established in 1971 in South Florida. They hired me as an intern while I was in HS. Forever grateful. #nabjnahj22

As she took to the stage, Cheryl Smith, saluted Henry as she talked about sitting in classes with his son, Bobby, as journalism students at Florida A&M University.  Bobby is now the publisher of Westside Gazette.

In nominating Henry, Smith told of how he became a publisher 51 years ago, “That Mr. Henry’s response to inaccurate and unfair coverage was to start his own newspaper is the story that legends are made of. He met with editors of the daily newspaper in his town of Fort Lauderdale and asked for a retraction because of the negative coverage.  The editors said, “no.”  
     Mr. Henry walked out of those editors’ offices that day, but he was not defeated.  Instead  he decided to start his own newspaper and focus on truth, fairness and accuracy.  This year, the Westside Gazette is celebrating 51 years in existence.  The winner of numerous awards for journalism, community and service; Mr. Henry has since turned over the day-to-day duties to his son; however his influence is still felt and he is still held in high esteem by people in the industry and community.”

She went on to talk about the various positions in the community and in media organizations, including the National Newspaper Publishers Association and the Florida Publishers Association that benefited from his leadership.

In his first editorial in the Westside Gazette, he wrote, “This paper will be Black, it will be white and it will be read!”

A U.S. Army veteran, he was born in Nichols, SC and is a proud member of Omega Psi Phi Fraternity. He has served as an associate pastor, and also authored “Nothing But God’s Favor,” the story of his life.

A charter member of the Kiwanis Club of Central Broward, founding member of the Sickle Cell Disease Association of Broward County and a life member of the NAACP, his presence has benefitted so many as he strived to make his communities better.

Although retired, he is the Westside Gazette’s Board Chairman and resides in Whiteville, NC. where he served as Chairman of the Board of Deacons at First St. Paul Missionary Baptist Church.

Smith’s bio describes a woman who is passionate, committed and no-nonsense. For 22 years heated up the airwaves as a talk show host on Soul 73 KKDA-AM and continues today on her own podcast.

About Carma Henry 21271 Articles
Carma Lynn Henry Westside Gazette Newspaper 545 N.W. 7th Terrace, Fort Lauderdale, Florida 33311 Office: (954) 525-1489 Fax: (954) 525-1861

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