"The Black Press: Surviving the Century"

By Art Carter

From the Art Carter Papers, speech [1985?],
Manuscript Division, Moorland-Spingarn Research Center


       In today's world where there are incessant demands for nuclear arms superiority, a world that is so full of hate and misery, a world where rival governments are striving for advantage in military might and dominance of space, where bigotry and prejudice are cancerous twins which continue to eat away at the heart and soul of nations, and a world where the hungry and neglected are frequently ignored, the Black press is essential.

     Under the tragic circumstances which engulf today's world, where the powerful and the traditional ruling classes control the affairs of government, there would be few safe havens for millions outside the "in" circle of leaders without the Black press. Millions of the wretched of the earth would wander aimlessly, impoverished and voteless, while others stand by complacently and unconcerned, if the Black press was not available to tell them "The true story."

     The Black press, wherever it is available, provides a great awakening of conscience, of caring about and improving the quality of life for the least among us. It provides enlightenment of what is going on in the world and educates the least informed about who is who and what is what, thus giving many generally ignored people an opportunity to determine what part they can play in helping elevate the cause of fairness and justice for which all of us strive.

     The world, as many of us see it today, is a battleground in which the powerless are pitted against the powerful. The powerless probably would never make any headway if the Black press did not exist to help them even the odds. This is particularly true with those in the powerless category who happened to be Black.

     A brief reflection on what has been going on in the past half century when there has been so many changes in the world, economically, politically and socially, serves to show that the majority of these changes would never have taken place had it not been for a free Black press which exposed the great problems which face the world and confronted the powers-that-be with a sense of urgency to alleviate as many of the problems as possible.


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February 2000