On Nov. 8 The AfroAmerican Newspaper, in conjunction with Morgan State University, will host a symposium entitled “125 Years of Speaking Truth to Power.” The symposium will highlight the 125 years of the AFRO, with a focus on how the paper has covered presidential administrations, as well as Morgan’s 150th anniversary.
Jake Oliver, CEO and publisher of the AFRO said, “I want people to get a sense of the enormous amount of history the AFRO has written about over the past 125 years. While it will be impossible to address all of the major historical events the AFRO has covered within the short time of the symposium, my hope is that those who attend will nevertheless come away with a deep appreciation of why a Black newspaper is critical to the progress of the American Black community.”
Dewayne Wickham, dean of Morgan’s School of Global Journalism & Communication, said, “The Afro American Newspaper has had a long and impactful history of speaking truth to power. It has been the voice of Black America and the conscience of White America.”
Oliver was interviewed on camera by Morgan representatives ahead of the symposium. Clips of the interview will be played during the symposium and then the panelists will react to Oliver’s comments. The discussion will cover five historical periods and the impact and influence each period had on Black America.
The panelists for the symposium are journalist and filmmaker Tony Harris, writer and contributor Lauren Victoria Burke and professor and political analyst Dr. Jason Johnson.
On the role of the Black press going forward Oliver said, “The role of the Black Press in the 21st century will continue to be the reporting of the news that involves and impacts the Black community. It will furthermore serve as a forum where Black thought can be aired and debated through editorials, commentaries, blogs, videos etc. It also must continue to promote issues important to the Black community at large, and to defend against the types of threats against our civil rights the coverage during the past 125 years so clearly dramatizes as having been too often threatened in innumerable ways.
The symposium is one of many events to mark the celebration of the AFRO’s 125 years. Other events throughout the year include a concert at Morgan State University by Anthony Brown and group therAPy on Nov. 12 (ticketmaster.com), Ms. Santa in Dec., Character Education in Feb. and AFRO Clean/Green Block in 2017. The celebration culminates with the AFRO’s 125 Gala in 2017.