What does this mean for Black America?
First, we have to see ourselves beyond solely being trillion dollar annual consumers in the U.S. economy. Yes, we want more jobs. Yes, want more economic development, equity and expanded wealth in our communities. We would like to end poverty in America. Yet, clearly the latest jobs report reveals that in order to create more jobs, we have to create more businesses.
The National Newspaper Publishers Association is a national trade association of nearly 200 Black-owned newspapers. We are employers. If we expand our businesses, we will be able to hire more people. The more people we hire, the stronger the U.S. economy.
More than 45 million Black Americans and more than 45 million Latino Americans hunger for consistent and trustworthy news, relevant information, business development opportunities, career options, youth business and vocational apprenticeships. We must articulate a strategic plan for advancing the socioeconomic, political, cultural and spiritual interests of our respective communities.
Corporate America should understand that with rapidly changing demographics, it is its best interest to support the economic development of our businesses and communities.
The truth is that every inch of socioeconomic or political progress that we have made in America has only come as a consequence of a long protracted struggle for freedom, justice and equality. “The Voice of Black America” is, therefore, the resolute voice of empowerment. The Black Press is the voice that articulates the clear interests of Black America without apology or cow towering to the forces of oppression and division. The Black Press has a proud and valiant history of being the standard bearer of news and information distribution that advances the causes for freedom, inclusiveness, democracy and prosperity.
Even in this growing digital age there is a vital role that the Black Press of America must continue to play. Digital media should complement—not replace—print media. Social media should also complement the printed press and give extended distribution outlets to our newspapers on mobile devices around the world. The “Voice of Black America” will not be silenced nor erased. We will continue to stand. We will continue to print and be active on our digital platforms. We will continue to distribute the news and information yearned for by millions of people every day. The future of the Black Press of America is bright and there are many new opportunities on the horizon.
(Benjamin F. Chavis Jr. is the Interim President and CEO of the NNPA and can be reached for national advertisement sales and partnership proposals at: firstname.lastname@example.org; and for lectures and other professional consultations at: http://drbenjaminfchavisjr.wix.com/drbfc)