Empowering Black America

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(NNPA)—Every March the NNPA and its philanthropic arm, the NNPA Foundation, gather in Washington, D.C. for Black Press Week. I attended this year’s Black Press Week with a heightened interest in how ur Black-owned newspapers, together with the Black Church and our Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) across America can all work together to plan, execute and sustain the economic, social, political, cultural and spiritual empowerment of our families, businesses and communities in every state.

It is indeed a pleasure to share with you that we witnessed a profound sharing of insights, knowledge and experiences from a diverse collective of NNPA publishers, business leaders, academic researchers, theologians, and from a noted group of family, youth and community leaders. It was an intergeneration conference of experts who exchanged perspectives on not just the systemic problems that beset the majority of more than 45 million Black Americans, but also and more importantly on the “participatory” solutions to our problems. Throughout many of the workshops and panel discussions, a common theme emerged: “We all should work strategically together to empower our people in every facet of business, education, technology, media and human endeavor.”

Empowerment may be defined as the process of enabling the attainment of sustainable power. Power is the ability, authority and capacity to do and act in one’s interest unrestrained by external factors, fears, threats or intimidations. Power is not just a mathematical formula involving time and distance, power is also an economic and political reality and condition that impacts the quality of life of humanity.

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