By Byler Henry
The NNPA (National Newspaper Publishers Association) celebrated 190 years of the Black Press, hosting their annual conference in the beautiful city of Fort Lauderdale. I was blessed with an opportunity to volunteer at their conference and learn a thing or two along the way.
One of the few things was the importance of the Black Press and the community. As the word of the people we want to continue to flourish. for that to happen we need the community to continue to support us. As the press, we can continue to gain the support of the community by printing the truth. The community needs a newspaper that will speak for them because they don’t have much of a voice on their own. However, with the press backing them up, many voices rang louder than one. In my time there, I was also fortunate to meet many members of the NNPA, all of which was an exciting opportunity. It is here that I began to learn the importance of networking which can be an important tool to get my foot in the door. In life it’s not always what you know, but who you know. “Lean not on your own understanding.” – Proverbs 3:5
I also learned the importance of being prepared and how powerful prayer can be. On our last night, there was an awards dinner honoring Mr. Robert Bogle, President and CEO of the Philadelphia Tribune Newspaper, someone was needed to do the blessing of the food. I was asked about an hour before the event started, and I got butterflies in my stomach the size of eagles. Although I was nervous, a voice was reassuring me that I could do it. I was a little hesitant at first, but I accepted the opportunity. I said a little prayer a few minutes after my acceptance. Once I got on the podium the words came out of me, in one fluid motion.
In life you may be thrown a curve-ball, but there is always a reason you are put in situations. You will not understand it right away, but you will see when you look back. I learned that in my three days there that your heavenly father will paint a picture that you will not understand because you can’t see it when you are in the midst of it. But when he feels you are ready he will pull you out to see the beautiful painting that he created.