By Stacy M. Brown
NNPA Newswire Correspondent @StacyBrownMedia
Karen Carter Richards, the publisher of the Houston Forward Times, has been elected to serve as the chair of the National Newspapers Publishers Association (NNPA), the trade organization that represents African American-owned newspapers and media companies throughout the country.
Richards, who in 2018 won the NNPA’s Publisher of the Year Award, succeeds Dorothy Leavell, publisher of the Chicago and Gary Crusader Newspapers. “We did it!” Richards exclaimed during an NNPA Legacy Awards presentation at the Cincinnati Westin Hotel on Friday, June 28.
The organization also selected a new first- and second- vice chair, secretary, treasurer and at-large board members. The NNPA, which is celebrating its 79th year and 192 years of the Black Press in America, held its annual convention in the Queen City with Cincinnati Herald and Dayton Defender Publisher Jan Michele Kearney and Walter L. White, Vice President of Sesh Communications hosting the weeklong event.
“I just want to thank my family for all of their support,” said Richards, a second-generation publisher who has enjoyed a long and distinguished career in journalism.
Her father, Julius P. Carter, founded the Houston Forward Times in 1960 after recognizing a need for a newspaper that was committed to covering issues and personalities routinely ignored by mainstream media.
After Julius Carter’s death, the legendary Lenora “Doll” Carter assumed responsibility for the Forward Times with Karen Carter Richards working alongside her. Richards said she understands that being the chair comes with a lot of responsibilities and work. After a fierce campaign, Richards said she will work to move the storied association forward, help to continue to provide Black America with critical news and information, and bridge any divides that might exist between members. “I will win your trust,” Richards said.
“This is a new vision and I’m excited about serving. We are the Black Press, the Original Black Press and I’m so happy to serve and be the new chair of the NNPA.” The Houston native said the importance of the Black Press should never be lost on anyone. “We are the voice, the true voice of our people. We have recorded our history for 192 years like no other media could ever do,” she said. “We have recorded many stories…our celebrations, our injustices and those hidden, treasured stories that came from our communities that we have always found value in. Let’s do this.”