Note: As we celebrate the 196th anniversary of the Black Press, I am taking this opportunity to share most of my remarks from the 2022 National Association of Black Journalists Convention when I was inducted into the Hall of Fame. I love the Black Press and I am proud that it is part of my legacy.
Thanks NABJ family. To god and to God be the glory. To my Soror Valerie Fields Hill, my sis Eva Coleman and esteemed NABJ founder Norma Adams Wade, thanks for nominating me.
To this Hall of Fame Class, you’re the best.
Sarah Glover, The mark of a true leader is the ability to recognize, cultivate, uplift and encourage others. Thanks for seeing that I had so much more to give. Our founders wanted us to embrace every member no matter the age.
I joined NABJ as a junior at Florida A&M University. DFW-ABC’s Dallas Mafia later embraced me. Now after more than 30 years of service with 10 on the national board, I stand before you feeling kinda special.
I thank Joseph and Earline. Just look what Black Love produced! My God parents Charles and Liz Braswell were always Team Cheryl.
I’m from East Orange NJ, by way of Newark. I grew up loving James Brown. The library was my place of refuge and respite as I read Nikki Giovanni, Dr. Maya Angelou and Iceberg Slim.
Jim Washington at the Dallas Weekly gave me a chance and others followed. Teaching at Paul Quinn College and managing DFWABJ’s Urban Journalism Workshop helped make me better.
With resources from my foundation, more than $250,000 in scholarships, internships and fellowships also helped send students to NABJ conventions.
I wish Arthur Teele who gave me my first job at The Capital Outlook; Chuck Smith who introduced me to radio at Soul 73 KKDA or my friends Dick Gregory, George Curry, Pius Njawe or Lawrence Young could be here today.
Mentors, mentees and their families, the FAMUly, The Warriors, my Godbrother Richard Moore in Ghana, HBCUs, Melanie Burney – who had me carrying her pink and green bag around the NABJ convention, praying loved ones, Delta Sigma Theta Sorority and the Divine 9 all greatly enriched my life.
Yes — Coleman Love is Strong! Just ask Stewart Curet — who is my fire and desire!
Congrats to mi Hermana, SPJ president and NAHJ Hall of Famer Rebecca Aguilar.
I’m proud to have my line sister here. Elusive Ladies Spring 78.
We’re the BADST.
Thanks to others who traveled to be here and those who are watching on line.
The oldest of my three live crew plus one: my heart, Air Force Sgt. Andre, is here with his wife, Emma.
Many here helped me raise my sister’s four children – that includes Alayna, Annya and Ayanna.
You all are my family, why I do what I do.
Garry Howard you always have my back. I can’t stop won’t stop.
You see, I chose the Black Press. I chose to go to FAMU, I chose to walk this journey and have never wanted to walk it back.
I am Black. I am Black-ish and I can get Blackity Black as I tell the stories of my people, and elevate the worlds’ muted voices, like Brittney Griner’s.
Thanks to those at the Dallas Morning News who said, “let’s do great journalism together’ and I’m excited about The Black News Link and our future.
This year the Black Press celebrates 195 years, thanks National Newspaper Publishers Association and all Black media for being that VOICE, even when those we are speaking for sometimes don’t realize that all ice is 32 degrees Fahrenheit.
Speaking truth to power is what I do. The Black Press is here for you. If it is not what you want or need, use what you got to help it become better.
Don’t tear it down.
I close paraphrasing a message from my friend and creative genius, Chuck D of Public Enemy, “People will tear you down and try to break your spirit. Faith and fear can’t occupy the same space. Be the leader you are looking for and Whoever you are, Wherever you go and Whatever you do—Don’t Believe the Hype!”