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Black Press Honors Its Own
By Yussuf J. Simmonds (Managing Editor)
Published March 24, 2011

Publisher emeritus, Garth C. Reeves receiving the Lifetime Achievement Award from chairman Danny Bakewell.  (L ro R) Michael House, Congresswoman Frederica Wilson, the honoree, Dorothy Leavell, chairman Bakewell.

“… to enshrined legendary publisher, 92-year-old Garth Reeves into the Gallery of Distinguished Publishers while he is still among us.” DANNY J. BAKEWELL, SR.

During a week of celebration, remembrances and a renewal of its mission, the Black Press Week was a rousing success as it continued to “… plead our own cause.”

Yussuf J. Simmonds
Sentinel Managing Editor

The National Newspaper Publishers Association (NNPA) also known as the Black Press of America, is a 69-year-old federation of more than 200 Black community newspapers from across the United States. In celebrating Black Press week, it is important to remind everyone that the reason for the Black Press is as vital today as it was when the first Black newspaper was published in 1827 by Samuel E. Cornish and John B. Russwurm and that was/is “We wish to plead our own cause,” or in other words, “We wish to tell our own story.”

In a recent article by Joy Childs in the L.A. Watts Times, Publisher Campbell of the Arizona Informant stated, “The biggest value (of the paper) is the fact that you record the Black history of Arizona every week.”

NNPA chairman, Danny J. Bakewell, Sr. focusing the organization’s role as a advocate for its members, and indeed for Black people in general, recently commented on the potential effect the AT&T merger will have on the quality of life for minorities: “Yesterday’s announcement of the proposed merger of AT&T and T-Mobile takes us a tangible step closer to our goal of cementing broadband as ‘the great equalizer’ it bears the potential to be and increasing jobs and economic opportunities for minority and rural communities.”

These are some of the successes that the Black Press celebrates as the vanguard for telling Black people’s stories throughout the centuries.

Honorees that Black Press week celebrations included were:

Shirley Sherrod as “Newsmaker of the Year” Award;

Dr. John Boyd and Timothy Pickford of the National Black Farmers
Association with the “Northstar Community Service” Award;

Garth C. Reeves, publisher emeritus of the Miami Times with the “Lifetime Achievement” Award;

The Congressional Black Caucus Financial Services Committee with the “Political Leadership” Award.

In addition, Cloves C. Campbell Sr. of Arizona Informant, and Charles W. Cherry Sr. of Florida Courier were enshrined at Howard University in the Distinguished Publishers Gallery Hall of Fame.

Chairman Bakewell also expressed his intent “… to enshrined legendary publisher, 92-year-old Garth Reeves into the Gallery of Distinguished Publishers while he is still among us.” That will be a milestone since heretofore, only deceased publishers have been enshrined in the gallery. 

Categories: National

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