From Tommy Wyatt, The Villager
Planning is now underway for a big celebration to observe the founding of the National Newspaper Publishers Association (NNPA) 75th anniversary. The NNPA was founded in 1940 when John H. Sengstacke of the Chicago Defender organized a meeting with other African American publishers designed for “harmonizing our energies in a common purpose for the benefit of Negro journalism.”
The group decided to form the National Negro Publishers Association. In 1956 the trade association was renamed the National Newspaper Publishers Association. Today the NNPA is composed of more than 200 Black Newspapers in the United States and the Virgin Islands. It has a combined readership of 15 million and the organization has created an electronic news service, BlackPress USA (http://www.Black PressUSA.com) web site, which enables newspapers to provide real-time news and information to its national and international constituency.
I was fortunate enough to meet Publisher Sengstacke and several of the founders of the organization who are no longer with us. But, I am honored to be following in their footsteps. The Villager and The Nokoa newspapers of Austin are longtime members of the organization and will be participating in the anniversary celebration. While there will be a large, formal celebration at our June convention in Detroit, Mich., there will be several things going on leading up to that meeting.
As we celebrate Black History Month 2015, we will focus our attention on local history makers, but we also will focus on some of our national organizations.