Speaking of the history of Black Press, the Pittsburgh Courier and the New Pittsburgh Courier, internet maven and journalist Damon Young, founder of verysmartbrothas.com, said he would not be doing what he does if not for the Courier.
“I was reading the Courier when I was 8 or 9. And it’s been inspirational to my work––maybe not directly, but in legacy. I’m standing on the shoulders of the reporters and editors who came before me,” he said during a Feb. 23 panel discussion at Point Park University.
Courier Editor and Publisher Rod Doss, who also took part in the panel presentation sponsored by the Pittsburgh Black Media Federation, said that has always been part of the Courier’s mission––inspiration.
“There was a woman who grew up in the rural south and often told the story of getting the Courier from her pastor,” he said. “She saw African Americans doing things she never saw them doing before—politically, socially and in the entertainment world. But most importantly, she saw a new reality of possibilities for herself. Years later she went to Chicago and started an advertising firm. Some of you may recognize the name Barbara Proctor.”
An inspiration to the community and an advocate for positive change in the community, that continues to be the Courier mission, he said.
“We sponsor events—Men and Women of Excellence, and Fab 40 because it allows us to showcase the talent, the people doing extraordinary things in the community,” said Doss. “Their story is important to tell because they are inspirational to so many young people who need to see themselves in a positive light.”
Jesse Washington, senior writer for ESPN’s The Undefeated, said he was so inspired by the Courier that when he moved to Pittsburgh as a writer for the Associated Press, he was compelled to visit Doss at the Courier offices.