Posts tagged with "nabj"

Historians Years-Long Campaign Wins Landmark Status for Historic Black NYC School That Survived Anti-Black Riots

Building in NYC’s Chelsea neighborhood is part of seeming flood of U.S. sites newly recognized for ties to Black history

A dormant 176-year-old building in downtown Manhattan played a role in New York’s little-known Draft Riots, which prompted Irish immigrants — angered over being drafted into the Civil War — to take their frustration out on Black people. The Irishmen gathered at the doors of Colored School No. 4, then a refuge for Black children who were taught by educators with ties to abolitionist, suffragist, religious and cultural movements.

Pulitzer winner E.R. Shipp wrote for NABJ Black News & Views about historian Erik K. Washington and his quest to win landmark status for the school. Read  Shipp’s full report HERE


NABJ Calls for Meeting with NFL After No Progress Seen in Media Hiring Practices

The National Association of Black Journalists (NABJ) is disappointed with the lack of progress in the NFL’s media hiring practices. Just a few months short of a year since our initial outreach and call for change, the NFL continues to lack Black journalists and communicators in its news division.

In addition to NABJ, others have sought answers from NFL executives, but no documented progress in the organization’s media diversity efforts has been made available.

As we noted in our initial statement in May 2023, there have been no explanations given for how the NFL has allowed the practice of exclusion to operate over the years.

As a result, the NABJ media monitoring team is requesting an immediate meeting with NFL media executives and commissioner Roger Goodell to discuss what swift actions they will take to remedy the lack of diversity in its media department.

“As the NFL gears up for one of the most watched events in the world, it should not feel comfortable knowing that its news arm does not reflect the diversity of its players, audience and event participants. We are challenging the NFL to make a serious effort to address these inequities now,” said NABJ President Ken Lemon, NABJ Vice President-Broadcast Walter Smith Randolph, and NABJ Vice President-Print Kathy Chaney in a joint statement.

“A failure to move quickly to resolve this matter reflects an insensitivity to the importance of having NFL stories told by diverse voices.”

NABJ Member Lawsuit Raises Concerns About Press Freedom

NABJ Member’s Lawsuit in Ohio Arrest Continues to Raise Concerns About Press Freedom

The National Association of Black Journalists (NABJ) has been outspoken in recent years about a surge in efforts to suppress press freedom. We issue this statement to once again implore all federal government, state, county, and city officials and authorities to uphold the First Amendment. A journalist should never be hindered from seeking the truth and reporting it.

Recently, and unfortunately, our member Evan Lambert, a respected D.C.-based News Nation reporter, has had to file a lawsuit after being pushed to the ground and arrested by local authorities in East Palestine, Ohio — simply for doing his job and reporting live from Gov. Mike DeWine’s February news conference.

Lambert’s lawsuit alleges that Columbiana County, Ohio, the city of East Palestine, and five law enforcement members violated his rights under the U.S. Constitution as well as state law. The lawsuit, filed in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Ohio, states that those violations were the results of “inadequate policies, inadequate training, and the personal participation of key policymaking officials in the decision to arrest and charge Lambert for his newsgathering.”

“A lawsuit should never be required in order to foster a safer environment for journalists in our communities,” said NABJ President Ken Lemon and past Chair of the Black Male Media Project. “In a time where reporters are being harassed in their press gear and Black men continue to be harmed at the hands of police, the imagery of Evan being pushed, handcuffed, and placed in a cruiser while working in a professional, harmless capacity is still disturbing.”

In February, NABJ called for:

  • A public apology with outlined steps local authorities would take to ensure this happens to no other journalists.
  • An explanation as to why Lambert was the only reporter arrested when other journalists were on site.
  • Information and details about when and if the charges would be dropped against Lambert.

After Lambert’s arrest, Gov. Mike DeWine ultimately urged prosecutors to drop the charges, saying that Lambert had every right to cover the news conference. The governor also made it clear that he had not authorized anyone to prohibit live shots or remove Lambert from conducting one.

We will remain watchful as fellow journalists and NABJ members are still concerned about their safety and having safe spaces that will allow them to do their jobs freely.

NABJ Parliamentarian Sia Nyorkor, who is also a reporter in Cleveland, witnessed, recorded and posted what happened to Lambert. She said it was disturbing to experience the incident firsthand as a veteran reporter who knows the importance of telling stories in the community and being present as a Black journalist.

“Every effort should be made so that it won’t happen again in such venues across the country,” Nyorkor said. “We must continue to bring attention to such an abuse of journalistic rights. A lack of respect for press freedom is also a lack of respect for the citizens who deserve to hear and see the facts.”

Read NABJ’s initial statement on this matter here:



NABJ Offers Guidance on Coverage of the Tyre Nichols Murder Footage


Posted by kstewart

January 27, 2023 12:40 pm

Today, and this weekend, the news cycle will be traumatic. As his family, Memphis citizens, the Black community, and the nation continue to cope with the tragic murder of Tyre Nichols, footage of the horrific death is expected to be released soon.

NABJ extends its deepest condolences to Tyre’s family and all who knew and loved him. We pray for their comfort as they will have to relive that horrendous moment once the footage is made available.

Learning more about what happened to Tyre during the senseless beating by five Black police officers will be painful. It will be painful not just for all those watching, reading and listening to the details of the tragic murder at the hands of police, but also for the Black reporters, editors, producers, photographers, videographers, community managers, etc., covering the story.

They will have to deal with being triggered by past traumatic experiences and stories about police violence while balancing their calling to seek the truth and report it. All while knowing that Tyre could have been their spouse/partner, sibling, child, cousin, or best friend. They will have to stand tall and hold back tears and frustrations in a moment when the world is depending on them to help them understand how these senseless acts of violence continue to happen between police and Black citizens.

RowVaughn Wells, mother of Tyre Nichols, who died after being beaten by Memphis police officers, cries as she is comforted by Tyre’s stepfather Rodney Wells, at a news conference with civil rights Attorney Ben Crump in Memphis, Tenn., Monday, Jan. 23, 2023. (AP Photo/Gerald Herbert)

A Call for Thoughtful and Responsible Journalism

What will matter most during this news cycle is accuracy, responsibility, sensitivity, fairness, and support. News executives and managers must ensure that the reporting produced under their leadership follows the pillars of journalism and unapologetically tells Tyre’s story through a careful lens of the Black community. They must make it a priority to be intuitive about what is seen, heard and read by their audiences. And they must immediately activate and sustain resources to help ensure that the mental health of their staff is properly considered and cared for.

Experiencing trauma after trauma takes its toll on any person. While journalists are coping with trauma as a citizen, they are expected to stay faithful to their duty to accurately report on it, holding back, as much as possible, the same human emotions their audience is feeling. We implore newsroom leaders to recognize that their Black staff members are more than just journalists and creators in this moment. Give them space to grieve, breathe and express themselves during such a devastating time.

Managers should ensure that news staff can take a moment when they need it and are not left with the sole burden of being a voice for the Black community and local community. Put together a team, bring in experts and involve local citizens to help tell the story with balance, depth, and perspective.

Be mindful of how the footage, images and audio are used. Ensure when they are used it adds value to the story, is not used out of context, and is not creating unnecessary trauma for the audience and reporter. Be careful not to spread misinformation by requiring fact-checking and not allowing the reporting of hearsay.

A Call for Safety and Support 

As reports come in that law enforcement units across the nation are bracing for unrest and outcry related to the release of the footage, we urge news companies to ensure their staff is safe while in the field, have legal support, security, a buddy system, and know their rights as members of the press. Newsrooms must remember that Black reporters may not only face the normal challenges of navigating what is happening on the streets but also battle with fear that because of their race, they may be harassed, even arrested, by law enforcement while simply doing their jobs (just as we have seen in the past).

We extend our support to Black journalists, and all journalists worldwide, who are telling Tyre’s story with great courage and conviction. We encourage our members and colleagues to take advantage of the mental health resources we have available on our YouTube channel here. Remember to be proactive in requesting and utilizing resources from your companies and health plans. Be watchful and safe on the field.

ePa Livestream_1072023

ePa Livestream: The NFL Culture, U.S. Politics And Prospects In Freetown Sierra Leone

Thank you for joining us for another ePa Livestream conversation on Damar Hamlin and the NFL with AJ O’Hagan, Sports Information Director and Yeshiva University. We will also hear from Ron Carter of The Carter Agency on politics, including Kevin McCarthy’s desperation to become Speaker of the House. And we will also hear from Freetown City Council Member in Sierra Leone, Councilor Abioseh Agnes Wilson affectionately known as, Mama Nee. If you missed the Livestream at 2pm est today, check it out below! 


Segregation; Iconic Newsman Helped Capture A Tragic Period In American History




The year iconic Journalist Simeon Booker was born, America launched its first airmail service between New York and Washington and the world celebrated the armistice that ended WWI.

More notably, Booker was born during segregation and the great migration era; 1910-1949. The year before his birth in 1918, thousands of African Americans marched in silence down New York’s Fifth Avenue to protest lynching and racial oppression. The group was met with counter protests and riots by whites. These riots, attacking innocent black people, swept across the country and lasted until 1921. These are historical facts.

Mr. Booker was born into a hostile world and as a citizen of a country that didn’t value him. And yet, he grew up to become a pioneering journalist, author and chronicler of the Civil Rights Movement. His life is a testament to the strength and resolve we must all hold on to as we continue the work toward creating a more just country and world for all mankind.

From National Association of Black Journalists:

Booker, the Jet reporter who brought the 1955 murder of Emmett Till to the forefront of national news, died Dec. 10 at the age of 99, in an assisted-living community in Solomons, Maryland. His wife, Carol, confirmed his death to the Washington Post.

“Simeon Booker’s remarkable career, spanning more than six decades, reminds us how important chronicling the truth and speaking truth to power via the written word is,” said NABJ President Sarah Glover. “Booker’s reports during the Civil Rights Movement shed light on the country’s ills, bringing much-needed perspective; and he did so all while risking his own life to tell the story. Simeon Booker is a role model for black journalists and his life’s work is an example of media excellence that all journalists should strive for.”

Booker joined the Washington Post in 1952 and was the first full-time black reporter. He left to become the chief columnist at Jet magazine and the Washington bureau chief for the Johnson Publishing Company.

“God knows, I tried to succeed at the Post. I struggled so hard that friends thought I was dying, I looked so fatigued. After a year and a half, I had to give up. Trying to cover news in a city where even animal cemeteries were segregated overwhelmed me,” Booker said of his time at the Post.

Bryan Monroe, editorial director of Ebony and Jet magazines from 2006-2009 and former NABJ President remembered Booker as the quintessential reporter.

“Mr. Booker knew the facts, he knew his audience, and he would not be stopped,” said Monroe. “He was a kind soul who will be missed by all of us.”

Booker began his journalism career in the 1940s working for Black Press publications in Cleveland and Baltimore. As racial tensions rose throughout the nation during the 1950s and ’60s, he told riveting stories, about the struggle between Civil Rights activists and segregationists. Booker, the only journalist to make the trip with the first Freedom Riders as they protested transportation segregation laws in 1961, also covered Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. at the March on Washington in 1963, and marched alongside protesters at the 1965 Selma March. Booker brought the front lines of the Civil Rights movement to the millions of Jet and Ebony readers across the nation.

After 65 years of chronicling the broad spectrum of the black experience, Booker retired in 2007. In 2013, Booker completed his memoir, Shocking the Conscience: A Reporter’s Account of the Civil Rights Movement. His work allowed many black people to see themselves, and the things that were important to them, reflected in the media.

Booker was inducted into the National Association of Black Journalists Hall of Fame in 2013, won a Neiman Fellowship to study at Harvard and received the George Polk Lifetime Achievement Award in 2016. Booker was nominated this year by 17 members of Congress for the Congressional Gold Medal and the Presidential Medal of Freedom, according to The New York Times. He also mentored aspiring student journalists at Howard University.

Marlon A. Walker, NABJ Vice President Print said, “Simeon Booker’s death is felt around the world. His significant contributions to our industry and humanity are monumental and his life’s works should be shared and taught in classrooms, community centers and organizations, as an example of excellence.”


About The National Association of Black Journalists

An advocacy group established in 1975 in Washington, D.C., NABJ is the largest organization for journalists of color in the nation, and provides career development as well as educational and other support to its members worldwide. For additional information, please visit


NABJ New Orleans: A Significant Moment In America’s Journey In A City Full Of Culture And Black History




New Orleans can easily be described as America’s secret gem. Despite the havoc caused by Hurricane Katrina and the negative portrayal of a city plagued by violence, New Orleans stands alone in all its glory, people, culture and revelry.

This year, the National Association of Black Journalists congregated in the historic city, part of the group’s annual convention and career fair. America’s racial turmoil, like the most recent incident in Charlottesville, VA, makes the destination for the gathering a unique one that highlights who we are, what we’re capable of and what we continue to stand for as Americans and NABJ members. The struggle for equality and a more just country isn’t over but neither is our resolve and determination to fight bigotry with education, success and the most powerful armor man has against hate; Love. And, New Orleans has plenty of love, history and black culture for the greater mission to improve our world and American culture as a whole.

The Big Easy, as the iconic and beautiful city is nicknamed, was the perfect complement to highlight NABJ’s work and the people that come out to support it. People like, Roland S. Martin, Charles Barkley, Harris Faulkner, Dr. Jeff Gardere, Nyja Greene with CNN in Atlanta, Tracey Rivers with Fox 26 News in Houston, and many other prominent black figures. And, even the presence of arguably the most unpopular black woman in the White House, Omarosa Manigault, couldn’t overshadow the power of the event in a city full of life, talent, charm and charisma. And, how fitting and telling of the group’s importance, growth and impact that even Facebook joined the convention this year to recruit talent for its own innovative work across the globe.

In our current state of aggressive and divisive nationalism, New Orleans was the perfect backdrop to mark black progress in America. Black folks, specifically those that call the Big Easy home, have come a long way as a people. In the repugnant face of racism and discrimination, to a natural disaster that changed the lives and demographics of the city; New Orleanians are overcoming everything that has plagued their journey with music, food, revelry, an organic entrepreneurial spirit and a potent dose of American culture. Nevertheless, it’s clear to see, especially thanks to an administration fueling anti-American values that the civil rights movement is far from over, making NABJ’s mission and work more important than ever.

Jazz or Jass as it was first spelled, was born in New Orleans, making dancing and singing in the streets to great local bands simply a cultural norm. From Bourbon Street to Frenchman Street, the city cradles its patrons like moths uncontrollably drawn to light, despite all the effects that comes with merrymaking, and an alcohol and drugs infused atmosphere. However, there’s more than the music and revelry to talk about. The local artists on the streets hawking their goods like, Alex Lee Calacuayo, add a certain essence to the bright beautiful colors that is New Orleans and its people. Food venders, like Mr. Joe’s Island Grill—unlike some other cities in America—take a great deal of pride in what they prepare and offer. It’s a constant party that hits you all over, from your dancing feet to your mouth full of the best food on the planet. And, none of it takes away from the cultural significance that is New Orleans.

A significant perspective of NABJ’s presence in the Big Easy is the story of Palmer Park, which according to, New Orleans Historical, was named after a staunch supporter of slavery and segregation; Benjamin Parker. The white’s only park was the scene where during the Jim Crow era, during a 1924 speech, “Shreveport Mayor Lee E. Thomas, challenging Senator Randsell for his seat, drew loud applause when he accused the senator of signing a letter supporting a black man for a federal job; the mayor’s allegation sought to condemn the senator’s egalitarian gesture. Similar racism could be seen in reaction to a 1934 incident. Residents nearby the park and civic organizations complained about an unlicensed shoe shine stand, “Sam’s Shine Parlor,” which appeared in the park. The stand, aimed at people waiting nearby for the bus to Kenner, was originally chained to a tree in the park. The black vendor’s chair was removed. White vendors, like the man who sold hot tamales, were allowed in the park.”

Despite a long and arduous journey plagued with racial prejudice black people in America are still standing, and still working towards their own prosperity as our collective American values instills in each and every one of us. And how fitting that after all these years and racial turmoil’s, NABJ is still working to bring organizations together that recognize the importance and value of diversity in the work place, especially in media. We represent the spirit of Sam’s Shine Parlor.

The country is changing. New Orleans is going through it too, especially following the mass public upheaval brought on by Katrina. Walking the streets of the city you can still hear folks talk about all they’ve lost during the August 2005 storm. The breaking of the levees didn’t just spill massive amounts of water covering the city and destroying lives. Some argue that it also washed away a great deal of its culture and fast-tracking gentrification. Even so, the city full of charm with one of the best American accents you’ll hear is still thriving. And a large reason for it lies at the feet of the local population that make a living in the streets, where a great deal of the city’s booming tourism industry can be seen and deeply felt. New Orleans is not just beautiful; the Big Easy is the epitome of what we recognize as the birth of American culture.