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When the past is present…

 

White allies show solidarity with Black Lives Matter

 by , Milwaukee Neighborhood News Service

As sirens blare through the warm summer air on a recent Milwaukee night, a group of about 40 demonstrators gathered on the corner of North 7th and West Ring streets near a pedestrian overpass spanning the I-43 freeway….

“Black Lives Matter” was visible in illuminated letters from I-43 northbound. (Photo by Jabril Faraj)

The demonstration was a collaboration between Showing Up for Racial Justice (SURJ) Milwaukee and the Overpass Light Brigade (OLB) in solidarity with the family of Jay Anderson, a 25-year-old black man who was killed by police in June while sitting in his car at a Wauwatosa park. Other chapters of SURJ, a national network of groups and individuals organizing white people for racial justice, held solidarity demonstrations across the country to show support for the Black Lives Matter movement, which has called for the end of police violence against black people.

The demonstrators, diverse in age and race, displayed the words “Black Lives Matter” for drivers traveling north on the expressway using OLB’s signature lighted letters. Lane Hall, a member of the Overpass Light Brigade, called the demonstration “a celebration, and a vigil, and a witness.” Attendees held the signs for about an hour, receiving supportive beeps from many passersby.

Claire Van Fossen, a white co-organizer of Milwaukee’s SURJ chapter, said the goal of the demonstration was to interrupt the daily routine of white people, “who can move so easily through our lives without having to be conscious of this kind of horror and terror that black people are enduring every day.” The Anderson family was expected to be present, but did not attend after seeing the video of Jay’s death for the first time, an experience Van Fossen, who has been in contact with the family, described as “horrible.”

Last week, the family, along with supporters, demanded that the Milwaukee County District Attorney’s office release full video footage of the incident, the name of the officer who shot Anderson and other evidence relating to the case.

Turning a corner

A combination of images show the dying moments of Philando Castile, a black man shot by Minnesota police after he was pulled over while driving. Mr. Castile’s girlfriend broadcast the scene on her Facebook page. Credit Agence France-Presse — Getty Images

In the wake of the recent police killings of two black men, Philando Castile and Alton Sterling, public opinion, particularly among white people, has started to shift, according to Van Fossen. She said 40 new SURJ chapters have formed in the weeks since the incidents, which set off another set of protests nationwide. Van Fossen said “several hundred people” have joined the local group’s Facebook page during that time, as well.

“We’ve received dozens of emails from white folks saying, ‘I’ve stayed silent on this too long,’” she said….

Kirsten Maier, 25, said an eye-opening experience for her was being able to point the finger back at herself. “I think one important thing that happened for me was … I, at some point, gained the ability to say out loud that I do act and think in ways that are racist,” she said. “And that’s not me, as a person; that’s the institutions that raised me.”

Maier, who has been involved with SURJ Milwaukee for about a year, said it’s important for white people to educate other white people “who haven’t given much thought to the ways that our institutions are racist.” She said white people can support people of color by showing up to protests and other demonstrations, and to talk about these issues with friends, family and coworkers….

“I think we have turned a corner,” Van Fossen said. “I think we’re at a seminal moment in our history, as a people, and I’m hopeful that things will improve” as more people are ready to take action….

Read the full article here.

More Breaking News here.

 

It’s Time to Ring the Alarm About White Nationalism

By Spencer Sunshine, Colorlines.com

Michael Strickland,a right-wing journalist, brought his gun to a Black Lives Matter demonstration in Portland OR and was arrested for pulling it on peaceful demonstrators.While the media has heavily covered Islamist terrorist activity and the recent deadly ambushes on police, it has largely overlooked increasingly brazen demonstrations and violence by the Far Right. In the last year, the level of violence has ramped up dramatically and is only now hitting its stride.

On July 7, Michael Strickland, a right-wing journalist who videotapes left-leaning protests and puts participants’ photos on the Internet, was arrested after waving a gun at a Portland Black Lives Matter rally. He claimed that he feared for his life. because someone allegedly shoved him while he was taping the peaceful demonstration.

After a late June confrontation with fascists who had secured a permit to rally at the California state courthouse, nine counter-protestors were hospitalized, with five of them stabbed. The fascists, operating under the banner of the Traditionalist Worker Party (but comprised mostly of members of the neo-Nazi Golden State Skinheads), fled after the clash with protestors. A loaded gun was left at the scene, which anti-fascists claimed neo-Nazis has dropped as they ran away.

One of the people stabbed by a KKK member in Anaheim CA. Four months before, on February 28, three anti-racist activists were stabbed while confronting Ku Klux Klan members who were attempting to rally in Anaheim, California.

Patriot Movement paramilitaries took over an Oregon wildlife refuge for 41 days in January, their fourth armed encampment in two years.

And all of this has happened barely a year after 21-year-old White supremacist Dylann Roof attended a bible study session at Charleston, South Carolina’s historic Emanuel AME Church, and then fatally shot nine Black worshippers.

This violence needs to serve as a wake-up call.

Ryan Payne, an anti-government militiaman in Oregon.The media is not hiding these incidents, but they are reported in isolation from each other. Taken together, they paint a picture of a resurgent, armed radical right-wing movement, which ranges from Patriot Movement paramilitaries to neo-Nazis. In the last year, this part of the Right has become brazen in ways not seen in years. They have lost their fear of seizing federal facilities at gunpoint, stabbing anti-fascist protestors, and shooting at Black Lives Matter rallies.

Screenshot 2016-07-21 11.11.16

The Southern Poverty Law Center tracks 892 hate groups currently active in the US.

While Donald Trump has “disavowed and will continue to disavow the support of any such groups associated with a message of hate,” the Republican presidential nominee has inspired and energized White supremacist organizers. In May, The Wall Street Journal reported that prominent fascist Andrew Anglin calls Trump “the Glorious Leader.” As Trump won multiple primaries in May, Anglin wrote on his Daily Stormer website, “White men in America and across the planet are partying like it’s 1999 following Trump’s decisive victory over the evil enemies of our race.” Mother Jones reports that William Johnson, the American Freedom Party leader whom Trump named as a delegate then rescinded the offer, has funded paranoid robocalls including one that decries how “the White race is dying out in America and Europe because we are afraid to be called ‘racist.'” “Trump’s candidacy has absolutely electrified the radical right,” Mark Potok of the Southern Poverty Law Center has told The Wall Street Journal….

Read the full opinion piece here.

More Breaking News here.

 

212 Slaves Died on the São José Ship; National Museum Shares Their Story

The first items recovered from the sunken slave ship have arrived in Washington, D.C., and will be displayed at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American History and Culture.

 

U.S. spending on prisons grew at three times rate of school spending: report

BY STEPHANIE KELLY, Reuters

218883_ChinoPrisonInmates081511U.S. state and local spending on prisons and jails grew at three times the rate of spending on schools over the last 33 years as the number of Americans behind bars ballooned under a spate of harsh sentencing laws, a government report released Thursday said.

U.S. Secretary of Education John King said the report’s stark numbers should make state and local governments reevaluate their spending priorities and channel more money toward education.

Between 1979 and 2012, state and local government expenditures grew by 107 percent to $534 billion from $258 billion for elementary and secondary education, while corrections spending rose by 324 percent to $71 billion from $17 billion, the U.S. Department of Education report found.

In that same period, the population of state and local corrections facilities surged more than four-fold to nearly 2.1 million from around 467,000, more than seven times the growth rate of the U.S. population overall. The prison population shot up following the widespread adoption of mandatory minimum sentence laws in the 1990s.

Seven states – Idaho, Michigan, Montana, North Dakota, South Carolina, South Dakota and West Virginia – each exceeded the average rate, increasing their corrections spending five times as fast as they did their pre-kindergarten to grade 12 education spending.

AR-150629873.jpg&updated=201506250542&MaxW=800&maxH=800&noborderIn just two states – New Hampshire and Massachusetts – growth in corrections expenditures did not surpass P-12 expenditures, even after accounting for changes in population. The report did not analyze different state policies that could explain these exceptions, King said on a conference call.

State and local spending on postsecondary education has remained mostly flat since 1990, the report said. Average state and local per capita spending on corrections increased by 44 percent as higher education funding per full-time equivalent student decreased by 28 percent, it said.

Two-thirds of state prison inmates did not complete high school, the report said.

LA prisoners NewOrleansTimesPicayune

A 10 percent increase in high school graduation rates would result in a 9 percent decline in criminal arrest rates, King said.

The United States spends about $80 billion a year on incarceration, White House Senior Advisor Valerie Jarrett said on the conference call.

“One in three Americans of working age have a criminal record,” she said. “That creates an often insurmountable barrier to successful reentry.”

More Breaking News here.

 

In the Turmoil Over Race and Policing, Children Pay a Steep Emotional Price

By 

Cameron Sterling being comforted at a vigil near where his father, Alton, was killed by the police in Baton Rouge, La., last week. Credit Gerald Herbert/Associated Press

Cameron Sterling being comforted at a vigil near where his father, Alton, was killed by the police in Baton Rouge, La., last week. Credit Gerald Herbert/Associated Press

In the past week alone, there was the 4-year-old girl in Falcon Heights, Minn., who was captured on video consoling her mother after they watched a police officer shoot the mother’s boyfriend through the window of a car. And there was the 15-year-old boy in Baton Rouge, La., who sobbed uncontrollably in front of television cameras after the similar shooting death of his father.

Then there were the four brothers, ages 12 to 17, whose mother was shot by the sniper who opened fire on officers in Dallas on Thursday night while the family was protesting police violence against blacks. The mother, who survived, threw herself atop one boy, as the others ran for their lives.

Again and again, children are finding themselves enmeshed in the country’s roiling debate over police treatment of African-Americans. The close-up views of violence, obviously traumatizing, are giving rise to a generation of young people who distrust authority, grow up well before their time and suffer nightmares that seem too real.

“As a mother, I have now been forced to raise a son who is going to remember what happened to his father,” said Quinyetta McMillon, the mother of the boy in Louisiana who sobbed over the death of his father, Alton Sterling. “That I can’t take away from him.”

While adults around them protest and demand criminal justice reform, young witnesses of the carnage are reeling from their losses and harboring pent-up depression that often comes pouring out in panic attacks and breakdowns, relatives say.

The daughter of Diamond Reynolds, whose boyfriend, Philando Castile, was shot by the police in Minnesota last week. Credit Eric Miller/Reuters

The daughter of Diamond Reynolds, whose boyfriend, Philando Castile, was shot by the police in Minnesota last week. Credit Eric Miller/Reuters

The list of young people burdened by these tumultuous times includes Tamir Rice’s teenage sister, who lost 50 pounds after watching the police shoot him in 2014; the daughter of Oscar Grant III, killed by a transit officer while lying down on a California train platform in 2009, who as a 5-year-old would ask playmates to duck when she saw the police; and the 9-year-old nephew of Sandra Bland, who began sleeping in his mother’s room after Ms. Bland’s death last year in a jail cell.

“They are aware of what’s going in the world, of how you can leave your house and you can very well end up in a body bag,” said a sister of Ms. Bland’s, Shante Needham, whose four children continue to struggle with the death of their aunt. “They watch the news. They see all the stuff going on on Facebook. And it’s sad that kids even have to think like that, that if I get stopped by the police, I may not make it home.”…

Read the full article here.

More Breaking News here.

 

Study Supports Suspicion That Police Are More Likely to Use Force on Blacks

By 

In Baton Rouge, La., a memorial to Alton Sterling, who was fatally shot by the police on Tuesday. Credit William Widmer for The New York Times

In Baton Rouge, La., a memorial to Alton Sterling, who was fatally shot by the police on Tuesday. Credit William Widmer for The New York Times

The vast majority of interactions between police officers and civilians end routinely, with no one injured, no one aggrieved and no one making the headlines. But when force is used, a new study has found, the race of the person being stopped by officers is significant.

The study of thousands of use-of-force episodes from police departments across the nation has concluded what many people have long thought, but which could not be proved because of a lack of data: African-Americans are far more likely than whites and other groups to be the victims of use of force by the police, even when racial disparities in crime are taken into account.

The report, to be released Friday by the Center for Policing Equity, a New York-based think tank, took three years to assemble and largely refutes explanations from some police officials that blacks are more likely to be subjected to police force because they are more frequently involved in criminal activity.

The researchers said they did not gather enough data specifically related to police shootings to draw conclusions on whether there were racial disparities when it came to the fatal confrontations between officers and civilians so in the news….

Aislinn Sol, a leader of the Black Lives Matter movement in Chicago.

Aislinn Sol, a leader of the Black Lives Matter movement in Chicago.

African-American activists who have demanded greater police accountability since the 2014 fatal police shooting of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Mo., set off days of rioting, said Thursday that the study was critical to the conversation, but far from surprising.

“It’s kind of like, ‘Is water wet?’” said Aislinn Sol, organizer of the Chicago chapter of Black Lives Matter. “But what we gain with each study, each new piece of information is that we are able to win people over who are on the fence. The evidence is becoming overwhelming and incontrovertible that it is a systemic problem, rather than an isolated one.”…

The study found that the overall mean use-of-force rate for all black residents was 273 per 100,000, which is 3.6 times higher than the rate for white residents (76 per 100,000) and 2.5 times higher than the overall rate of 108 per 100,000 for all residents.

For those who were arrested, the mean rate of use of force against blacks was 46 for every 1,000 arrests, compared with 36 per 1,000 for whites….

Read the full article here.

More Breaking News here.

 

What White America Fails to See

By , Op-Ed Contributor, New York Times

IT is clear that you, white America, will never understand us. We are a nation of nearly 40 million black souls inside a nation of more than 320 million people. We don’t all think the same, feel the same, love, learn, live or even die the same.

But there’s one thing most of us agree on: We don’t want the cops to kill us without fear that they will ever face a jury, much less go to jail, even as the world watches our death on a homemade video recording.

A combination of images show the dying moments of Philando Castile, a black man shot by Minnesota police after he was pulled over while driving. Mr. Castile’s girlfriend broadcast the scene on her Facebook page. Credit Agence France-Presse — Getty Images

A combination of images show the dying moments of Philando Castile, a black man shot by Minnesota police after he was pulled over while driving. Mr. Castile’s girlfriend broadcast the scene on her Facebook page. Credit Agence France-Presse — Getty Images

You will never understand the helplessness we feel in watching these events unfold, violently, time and again, as shaky images tell a story more sobering than your eyes are willing to believe: that black life can mean so little. That Alton B. Sterling and Philando Castile, black men whose deaths were captured on film this past week, could be gone as we watch, as a police officer fires a gun. That the police are part of an undeclared war against blackness.

You can never admit that this is true. In fact, you deem the idea so preposterous and insulting that you call the black people who believe it racists themselves. In that case the best-armed man will always win.

You say that black folks kill each other every day without a mumbling word while we thunderously protest a few cops, usually but not always white, who shoot to death black people who you deem to be mostly “thugs.”

That such an accusation is nonsense is nearly beside the point. Black people protest, to one another, to a world that largely refuses to listen, that what goes on in black communities across this nation is horrid, as it would be in any neighborhood depleted of dollars and hope — emptied of good schools, and deprived of social and economic buffers against brutality. People usually murder where they nest; they aim their rage at easy targets.

It is not best understood as black-on-black crime; rather, it is neighbor-to-neighbor carnage. If their neighbors were white, they’d get no exemption from the crime that plagues human beings who happen to be black. If you want interracial killing, you have to have interracial communities.

 

Critics of Police Welcome Facebook Live and Other Tools to Stream Video

After back-to-back killings of black men by police officers this week, scores of African-Americans declared on social media that they would be equipping themselves with a powerful tool: FacebookLive.

philando8n-1-web

Philando Castile was the supervisor of a school cafeteria, much beloved by both the students and staff.

Facebook’s new live-streaming service and similar apps, like Twitter’s Periscope, offer the ability to not just record but to broadcast events as they are unfolding.

Viewers saw this firsthand when a woman streamed her boyfriend, Philando Castile, clutching his bloodied chest during a traffic stop in Falcon Heights, Minn., on Wednesday, moments after he was shot by the police. As of Thursday, the video had been watched nearly four million times.

Those wrenching images on Facebook, along with the police shooting of Alton Sterling a day earlier in Baton Rouge, La., uploaded to YouTube and other platforms, reinforced the power of video, especially when live, in drawing public attention.

After news of the two shootings spread, many in the active black community on Twitter vowed to begin making live recordings of every interaction they had with the police….

Video has increasingly enabled citizens to document their interactions with the police. In 1991, the plumber who captured footage of Los Angeles police officers beating Rodney King used a Sony Handycam, and then sent the videotape to a local news station. Even with powerful digital cameras in smartphones, it still often took hours or days for footage to find its way online as recently as two years ago.

But that has changed greatly with the introduction of tools like Periscope in March 2015 and Facebook Live, which became available to all users in April. Videos can be streamed even before an encounter is over, leaving no time for investigations or official statements.

A flier distributed by Communities United Against Police Brutality in the Minneapolis area urges people to film their interactions with the police.

A flier distributed by Communities United Against Police Brutality in the Minneapolis area urges people to film their interactions with the police.

Diamond Reynolds, the girlfriend of Mr. Castile, said during another Facebook Live session on Thursday that she put the video online to hold the officers accountable.

“I wanted to put it on Facebook and go viral so that the people could see,” said Ms. Reynolds, who uses the name Lavish Reynolds online. “I want the people to determine who was right and who was wrong.”…

Michelle Gross, the president of Communities United Against Police Brutality, based in Minnesota, said the spread of apps that instantly store video online represented a transformation in holding police accountable.

Ms. Gross’s group has distributed fliers encouraging residents in the Minneapolis area to download the Bambuser app, which immediately saves video online and protects it with a password. She said her group had heard of police officers confiscating and erasing images from cellphones.

Ademo Freeman, the founder of CopBlock, a group dedicated to documenting police actions, said that he had recommended dedicated apps like Bambuser but that Facebook, with more than a billion active users, had a big advantage.

“Facebook is something that everybody has, so it is very easy,” Mr. Freeman said. “Just because of the sheer number of people and its convenience, Facebook is probably going to become more popular for these types of videos.”…

Alton Sterling, 37 years old, was the father of five children.

Alton Sterling, 37 years old, was the father of five children.

Arthur Reed, the leader of the anti-violence group that released the cellphone video of the Baton Rouge shooting, said the case demonstrated the power that regular people had at their fingertips.

Mr. Reed’s group did not use a live-streaming app to capture the encounter, but decided to circulate the footage online to counter reports in which the police said Mr. Sterling had reached for a gun.

“We don’t have to beg the media to come and report on the stories,” Mr. Reed said. “We can put it out on social media now, and the story gets told.”

Read the full article here.

More Breaking News here.

 

Did a Fear of Slave Revolts Drive American Independence?

By 

Binghamton, N.Y. — FOR more than two centuries, we have been reading the Declaration of Independence wrong. Or rather, we’ve been celebrating the Declaration as people in the 19th and 20th centuries have told us we should, but not the Declaration as Thomas Jefferson, Benjamin Franklin and John Adams wrote it. To them, separation from Britain was as much, if not more, about racial fear and exclusion as it was about inalienable rights.

The Declaration’s beautiful preamble distracts us from the heart of the document, the 27 accusations against King George III over which its authors wrangled and debated, trying to get the wording just right. The very last one — the ultimate deal-breaker — was the most important for them, and it is for us: “He has excited domestic insurrections amongst us, and has endeavored to bring on the inhabitants of our frontiers, the merciless Indian savages, whose known rule of warfare is an undistinguished destruction of all ages, sexes and conditions.” In the context of the 18th century, “domestic insurrections” refers to rebellious slaves. “Merciless Indian savages” doesn’t need much explanation….

indian1Upon hearing the news that the Congress had just declared American independence, a group of people gathered in the tiny village of Huntington, N.Y., to observe the occasion by creating an effigy of King George. But before torching the tyrant, the Long Islanders did something odd, at least to us. According to a report in a New York City newspaper, first they blackened his face, and then, alongside his wooden crown, they stuck his head “full of feathers” like “savages,” wrapped his body in the Union Jack, lined it with gunpowder and then set it ablaze.

The 27th and final grievance was at the Declaration’s heart (and on Long Islanders’ minds) because in the 15 months between the Battles of Lexington and Concord and independence, reports about the role African-Americans and Indians would play in the coming conflict was the most widely discussed news. And British officials all over North America did seek the aid of slaves and Indians to quell the rebellion.

A few months before Jefferson wrote the Declaration, the Continental Congress received a letter from an army commander that contained a shocking revelation: Two British officials, Guy Carleton and Guy Johnson, had gathered a number of Indians and begged them to “feast on a Bostonian and drink his blood.” Seizing this as proof that the British were utterly despicable, Congress ordered this letter printed in newspapers from Massachusetts to Virginia….slave revolt in VA

Adams, Franklin and Jefferson were essential in broadcasting these accounts as loudly as they could. They highlighted any efforts of British agents like Dunmore, Carleton and Johnson to involve African-Americans and Indians in defeating the Revolution….It was a very rare week in 1775 and 1776 in which Americans would open their local paper without reading at least one article about British officials “whispering” to Indians or “tampering” with slave plantations.

john_singleton_copley_001So when the crowd in Huntington blackened the effigy’s face and stuffed its head with feathers before setting it on fire, they were indeed celebrating an independent America, but one defined by racial fear and exclusion. Their burning of the king and his enslaved and native supporters together signified the opposite of what we think of as America. The effigy represented a collection of enemies who were all excluded from the republic born on July 4, 1776.

This idea — that some people belong as proper Americans and others do not — has marked American history ever since…. All the African-Americans and Indians who supported the revolution — and lots did — were no match against the idea that they were all “merciless savages” and “domestic insurrectionists.” Like the people of Huntington, Americans since 1776 have operated time and time again on the assumption that blacks and Indians don’t belong in this republic. This notion comes from the very founders we revere this weekend. It haunts us still.

Read the full article here.

More Breaking News here.

 

Pillars of Black Media, Once Vibrant, Now Fighting for Survival

By SYDNEY EMBER and NICHOLAS FANDOS, New York Times

For the black community in Chicago and elsewhere, Johnson Publishing Company represented a certain kind of hope.

Ebony cover M. ObamaThe company’s magazines, most notably Ebony and Jet, gained prominence during the struggle for civil rights — Jet published graphic photos of the murdered black teenager Emmett Till that helped intensify the movement — and made it their mission to chronicle African-American life.

At a time when much of the media was ignoring black people, or showing them primarily in the context of poverty or crime, Ebony and Jet celebrated their success, featuring stars like Muhammad Ali and Aretha Franklin on their covers. When Barack Obama was elected president in 2008, the first print publication he granted an interview to was Ebony. 

So when Johnson Publishing, which is based in Chicago, announced a little more than two weeks ago that it had sold Ebony and Jet to a private equity firm in Texas, there was a sense of loss.

“It was a very heartbreaking day,” said Melody Spann-Cooper, the chairwoman of Midway Broadcasting Corporation, which owns a Chicago radio station, WVON, aimed at a black audience. “Ebony gave to African-Americans what Life didn’t.”

Jet Magazine printed what mainstream presses would not -- including the photos of teenager Emmett Till's lynched and mutilated body, in its October 1960 issue.

Jet Magazine printed what mainstream presses would not — including the photos of teenager Emmett Till’s lynched and mutilated body, in its October 1960 issue.

Ms. Spann-Cooper’s reaction underscored a deeper concern: As racial issues have once again become a prominent topic in the national conversation, the influence of black-owned media companies on black culture is diminishing.

“Ebony used to be the only thing black folks had and read,” Ms. Spann-Cooper said. “As we became more integrated into society, we had other options.”…

Traditional media companies have struggled for years to adapt to a digital world, but the pressure on black-owned media has been even more acute. Many are smaller and lack the financial resources to compete in an increasingly consolidated media landscape. Advertisers have turned away from black-oriented media, owners say, under the belief that they can now reach minorities in other ways.

Ethel Payne, known as the First Lady of the Black Press, speaks with a soldier in Vietnam. Payne was a city reporter and later Washington correspondent for the Chicago Defender in the 1950s and '60s. (By Moorland-Spingarn Research Center, HarperCollins)

Ethel Payne, known as the First Lady of the Black Press, speaks with a soldier in Vietnam. Payne was a city reporter and later Washington correspondent for the black newspaper, the Chicago Defender, in the 1950s and ’60s. (By Moorland-Spingarn Research Center, HarperCollins)

Since well before the Civil War, publications and, more recently, radio and television stations owned and operated by African-Americans have provided an important counterweight to mass market media, simultaneously celebrating and shaping black culture — from politics and government to fashion and music.

Johnson Publishing was started in 1942 with a modest $500 loan, and eventually turned into a media empire big enough that in 1982, its founder, John H. Johnson, became the first black person to make Forbes magazine’s list of the 400 wealthiest Americans. When the radio station WVON ran a program in 2007 for Black History Month called the “28 Blacks Who Changed America,” Mr. Johnson, who died in 2005, was No. 7 on the list, behind luminaries like Martin Luther King Jr., Rosa Parks and Thurgood Marshall.

WVON Radio in Chicago is aimed at a black audience. Credit Lyndon French for The New York Times

WVON Radio in Chicago is aimed at a black audience. Credit Lyndon French for The New York Times

“If we don’t own our press, we don’t have a platform to speak,” said Leonard Burnett Jr., whose company, the Uptown Ventures Group, owns Uptown Magazineuptlifestyle publication aimed at affluent African-Americans.

Several owners also pointed to another benefit: Their companies hired more minorities. Ms. Spann-Cooper of the Midway Broadcasting Corporation said 90 percent of her employees were African-American. “When we are African-American-owned, the work force looks like us,” she said.

But as financial resources dwindle, black-owned media companies are struggling to maintain their presence. Jet, for instance, became a web-only publication in 2014….

Read the full article here.

For more information, see this exhibit By Us, For Us: The Crucial Role of the Black Press.

More Breaking News here.

A Very Short List of National Black Press Outlets

Ebony Magazine's print cover, August 8, 2015. Ebony was founded by John H. Johnson and has published continuously since 1945. This monthly magazine reaches 11 million readers. Its digest-sized sister magazine, Jet, is also published by Johnson Publishing Company.

Ebony Magazine’s print cover, August 8, 2015. Ebony was founded by John H. Johnson and has published continuously since 1945. This monthly magazine reaches 11 million readers. Its digest-sized sister magazine, Jet, is also published (now online only) by Johnson Publishing Company.

Online

theRoot.com

theGrio.com

Jet Magazine

Ebony (also in print)

Essence (also in print)

In Print

Black News Directory (A listing of dozens of some of the 200+ black publications published in the USA – from the American Legacy Magazine to Hip Hop Weekly.)

National Newspaper Publishers Association (and links to member papers of the NNPA black press in each state)

Black Perspectives Sections within White-Owned/Operated Media

Shadow and Act (on Cinema of the African Diaspora)

Huffington Post Black Voices 

NY Times Black Culture and History section