Black newspapers urgently need funding to provide the kind of leadership and good information readers seek in this moment. The Fund for Black Journalism aims to gather and apply funding to reinvent the Black press.
When Freedom’s Journal, our nation’s first Black newspaper, was founded in 1827, it proclaimed, “We choose to plead our own cause. For too long have others spoken for us.”
The voice of the Black press has consistently been the drumbeat for Black America for almost 200 years — from the initial cries to end slavery, to the coverage of Black soldiers in the Civil War. The Black Press chronicled the lives of those who would have otherwise been invisible. From major constitutional battles to Supreme Court decisions, the Black press became a key player in changes occurring across the country.
The lynching of Emmett Till, the Montgomery Bus Boycott, the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and the inauguration of former President Barack Obama — the Black Press has been there, told the story, cried the tears, bled the blood, and raised our flag in pride. Now in the wake of the death of George Floyd, Black citizens in communities across the country are looking for answers. Many do not trust mainstream media, and have largely been ignored by major news outlets as a constituency throughout the years.
Through The Fund for Black Journalism, Black media organizations can take their rightful place as leading reporters on this crisis.