The Coalition Speaks: A Tribute to the AFRO

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As the AFRO-American Newspaper celebrates its 125th birthday, it is time for the public to say, “Thank you to the nation’s number one African American Newspaper.”

A society advances through its modes of communication as history has noted the value of hieroglyphics, smoke signals, the Morse Code, and today’s social media innovations. Today, Black Americans are fortunate to have a communication vehicle started by John Henry Murphy in 1892 that forcefully continues on into the digital age. The paper has chronicled the movements, struggles, the achievements, the heroes and sheroes and the regularly published articles from the company’s bountiful archives refresh memories and portray a profound history.

The AFRO may be labeled by some as the Black conscience of America because it increased awareness during the Civil Rights days and brought to light the emergence of Black Power, SNCC and SLCC. Today it continues to highlight the many futuristic endeavors in the current socio-political era. It is the steady vehicle that brings to the forefront the achievements of great Black Americans, young and old. Entertainers, politicians, schools, universities, churches, organizations, clubs, workers and the man and woman on the street are given a spot in the pages of the AFRO.

Read any of today’s issues and note the many relevant provocative commentaries, the voluminous pictorial captions of local events, the plea to curtail crime, support for the HBCUs and public education, political announcements, spotlight on businesses and honorees and news of the nation and the world. Check the daily e-mail blasts. Many run to get a paper to see if they are mentioned in either Rambling Rose or the Living for the Weekend column. If not, they are disappointed; if so, they get busy calling others to alert them to look and see.

The AFRO is catalyst for change. Its respected and sustained voice heightens awareness, shapes directions and stimulates action to promote a wholesome living environment in this complicated era.

Maybe it is time for you to visit the AFRO and talk to the publisher, Jake Oliver; maybe it is time for you to buy a copy of the AFRO; maybe it is time for you to give a subscription to a young girl or boy to illuminate their horizons. Maybe it is time for you to realize how fortunate we are to have a great newspaper that has lasted and grown for 125 years. Maybe it is time for all of us to just stop and wish the newspaper board and staff a Happy Birthday and bountiful thanks.

The mission of the Baltimore Metropolitan Chapter National Coalition of 100 Black Women is to advocate on behalf of Black women and girls to promote leadership development and gender equity in the areas of health, education and economic empowerment.