The U.S. Congress is expected to give special recognition to the Black Press on its 180th anniversary during the annual observance of Black Press Week, March 14-17.
A congressional resolution introduced by the leadership of the Congressional Black Caucus will be presented to officials of the National Newspaper Publishers Association Foundation, sponsors of Black Press Week, and the National Newspaper Publishers Association, the trade group for the more than 200 Black newspapers. The resolution will cite the historic role of the Black Press as the strong, influential voice of the Black community beginning with the anti-slavery movement and the founding of the first Black newspaper, Freedom's Journal on March 17, l827.
Major highlights of Black Press Week include the annual Newsmaker of the Year Awards Dinner on Thursday, March 15, honoring New Orleans Mayor C. Ray Nagin, representing the nation's continuing concern over the Katrina-devastated gulf area, the Tuskegee Airmen, and Simeon Booker, who recently retired after serving for 50 years at the Washington Bureau Chief for Ebony and Jet magazines. The dinner will be held at the Capital Hilton Hotel in Washington, D.C.
At a March 16 luncheon at Howard University, an enshrinement ceremony will be held to induct two NNPA publishers into the Black Press Hall of Fame. In addition, for the first time, special recognition will be given to the Unsung Heroes of the Black Press, those reporters of Black newspapers who covered the civil rights movement in the south during the height of the violence. These former reporters include Moses Newsom, of the Baltimore Afro-American; Dorothy Gilliam, of the Tri-State Defender; and Simeon Booker, of Jet Magazine.