Black newspapers came into existence in 1827 when Samuel Cornish and John Brown Russwurm started the first African-American periodical called Freedom’s Journal. Not long afterward, Frederick Douglass founded another black newspaper called The North Star.
The main reason that the papers were created was for uplifiting the black community and to give black people a vehicle through which African Americans could respectfully plead their own causes, which was the aim of Freedom’s Journal.
In 2014, every single black community newspaper is different from the others. Many black publications attempt to copy or replicate what they feel white newspapers try to do. Others try to utilize a scholarly style that the masses of African Americans can only hope to understand and appreciate. A few black-owned publications are merely ad sheets that run only press releases and never actually cover black community stories and events of interest to African-American citizens.
While Cornish, Russwurm and Douglass were often honored, praised and celebrated for their fearless journalism, journalists who write and report today like their media forefathers did are shunned, criticized, ostracized, avoided and oftentimes hated.
Modern-day black journalists who write and speak about the abuse, the neglect, the discrimination and the mistreatment of African Americans are labeled as rabble rousers, radicals and media malcontents.
Instead of being supported and protected, black media owners and black journalists who stand up and speak out for black people are considered “media outlaws.”
So, black media, like other aspects of African-American life, has been divided and somewhat conquered. The devil hurts black media by not buying advertising in or on black media outlets. When white folk don’t patronize the black press, too many black people follow suit and stop subscribing to, stop advertising in and stop supporting black-owned media.
Most people you know have a Facebook profile or a Twitter account but how many of your friends, family members and neighbors read black publications or support black broadcast programs?
If you don’t know, social media companies censor posts that tell the truth about the black experience in America.
Don’t take my word for it. Try to share posts by Minister Louis Farrakhan or the New Black Panther Party or some other outspoken black man or woman and see how many of your 1,000 friends get the posts.
Even The Gantt Report posts don’t find their way to friends and fans of The Gantt Report unless I pay the social media devils.
My colleagues in the media can do what they need to do but I need to do what Cornish, Russwurm and Douglass did. I need to continue to write about equal rights and justice. I need to write about struggle and sacrifice. I need to write about black love and black power. I need to write about topics that other editorial columnists are scared to write about.
The Gantt Report needs to write about the truth regardless of whether other blacks in media write about it or not.
Thanks to readers who have recently purchased my book Beast Too: Dead Man Writing. I truly appreciate it. Digital and hard copies may be bought online or via my web site, www.allworldconsultants.net